China's impending entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened up tremendous business opportunities for e-jing Technologies, a spin-off of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The company provides software systems for Chinese enterprises to do business on the Internet. Its innovative software combines e-procurement and e-sale with supply chain management (SCM), and the system can be used by companies to strengthen their trading positions in the Asia Pacific. e-jing's advanced technologies were fostered by a world-class Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) laboratory at the Chinese University. The laboratory was established in 1998 to satisfy a demand for SCM technology within Hong Kong industry. 'The laboratory acts like a think-tank to support research and teaching for enterprise management solutions,' said e-jing manager, Mark Lee Cheuk-chun. The laboratory, which occupies 3,000 sq ft, serves Hong Kong companies, government and semi-government organisations. Mr Lee said e-jing was currently holding discussions with, among others, a national organisation in Beijing about applying electronic marketplace systems in major cities in China. 'As China is about to enter the WTO, the country will face stiff competition and therefore many Chinese are eager to learn from us as a leading technology software provider and also to seek our cooperation,' he said. He explained that e-jing's role was to develop software and systems to enable companies to conduct business activities on the Internet. As most organisations have e-procurement requirements, they could benefit from many cost-saving opportunities if they used efficient e-procurement systems. Mr Lee said it was necessary for companies to have dynamic strategies to meet the challenges of today's fast-paced business world. The objective is to boost productivity and enhance customer satisfaction. 'The ability to respond nimbly to new customer needs and seize market opportunities as they arise is crucial,' he said. Mr Lee added that modern logistics management requires the seamless co-ordination of goods production, material distribution and information flow across the whole continental region. The future enterprise planning systems, which will need to satisfy the full range of business requirements, should include financial accounting and controlling, sales and distribution, materials management, production planning, and human resources management, he said, adding that they were powerful tools. Between May and June this year, e-jing ran a workshop for about 100 companies in Hong Kong to teach them how to use its systems. On October 31, e-jing and the Hong Kong Productivity Council will jointly offer a workshop on the topic of Supply Chain Management. According to Goldman Sachs research, the Asian market for business-to-business (B2B) software, such as that developed by e-jing, will have a 206 per cent annual growth rate until 2005. e-jing's researchers and scientists have won many awards globally, and their methods are employed by companies such as IBM. For example, e-jing's scientists recently helped IBM to re-engineer its supply chain. 'The re-engineering efforts resulted in over US$750 million in savings in 1998,' Mr Lee said. The effort won first prize from the Institute For Operations Research And Management Sciences in 1999.