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Products and solutions, 2001-04-23, 02:00 AM

Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG expands e-business activities

Company plays pioneering role for the steel industry

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group the annual volume of e-business is set to rise from 177 billion euros in 2000 to 422 billion euros in 2003, with trade on the internet growing by an annual 68 percent while trade via conventional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is expected to expand by just eight percent each year. In 2003, e-commerce will account for 14 percent of all business-to-business trade.

Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG (TKS) has already successfully taken up the digital challenge and is stepping up the digitization of its business processes. When the company first went online with a weekly auction of commission-free products in February 2000 it broke new ground in the European steel industry. The online offering has since been significantly expanded. Since June 2000 TKS customers have been able to buy pickled and unpickled hot-rolled strip from current production on the internet and in November heavy plate and quarto plate were added to the online range. TKS has already sold over a hundred thousand tons via this sales channel. TKS`s internet customer service has also been available since 1997, giving customers online access to information on the status of their orders. Reduced transaction expenses - also for the customer - and faster processing have led to considerable savings and increased revenues.

E-commerce is therefore a worthwhile venture, but at TKS it is just one aspect of an entire e-business program incorporating a whole range of computerized business processes between the company and its customers, suppliers and other business associates. E-business is a useful tool not just for sales, but also for purchasing, engineering and project management.

Since December 2000, for example, freight auctions have been held at www.thyssen-krupp-stahl.com. Here, under e-logistics, registered carriers can take part in freight auctions and invitations to bid or use the web-based invoicing service. The materials management department of Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG uses the internet to purchase various products, from plant components to computer accessories, from suppliers throughout the web and throughout the world. E-purchasing makes locating the best offer faster and easier than ever before.

In the current year TKS aims to handle around 270 million marks of its purchasing volume through the internet, saving around five million marks compared with conventional purchasing. From summer 2001 services will also be put out to tender and purchased on the internet. Further e-business activities are planned in training and education and in cooperating with other companies on plant engineering projects.

E-business is now an integral component of Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG`s corporate strategy. With the targeted expansion of these activities, the company aims to achieve and maintain market advantages. To develop the e-commerce strategy an e-competence center has been set up in which TKS`s entire e-business know-how is pooled. The e-competence center coordinates the individual e-commerce activities, develops innovative e-solutions on its own and in association with partners, and advises the business units on ways of realizing concrete solutions.

The e-competence center will be present throughout the 2001 Hanover Fair with an internet café on the Thyssen Krupp Steel AG stand. April 25 has been designated "E-Sales & Services" day, when visitors will have the chance to find out more about modern customer communications at TKS.

For further reference: ThyssenKrupp AG, Trade Press, Bernd Overmaat
Tel: +49-211-824-36012, Fax: +49-211-824-36035
e-mail: overmaat@tk.thyssenkrupp.com

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