The latest release of the Internet-based Tribon.com facility comes in response to business growth in the largest centres of the marine industry. Version 10 of Tribon.com now supports the Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Russian languages, and enables the users to select their preferred language for the user interface. Tribon.com is a subscription-based Internet service for the review and selection of shipbuilding items. It is populated with technical information direct from major suppliers and is accessed directly by engineers at the shipyards.
At the end of March 2005, more than 317,000 products were published on Tribon.com, according to the company. It allows engineers to communicate with suppliers directly; integrating design information, drawings, technical specifications, certificates and 3D models of each product into their design model quickly and easily. The possibilities for communicating between shipyards and suppliers have been further enhanced by the introduction of a new Enquiry function. This function allows users of Tribon.com at the design and procurement departments within a shipyard to collaborate directly with suppliers in the creation of material enquiries.
Enquiries are based on standardised categories, providing individual templates for different kinds of shipbuilding products. When an enquiry draft has been completed, it can easily be sent to multiple suppliers via email. The shipyard is then informed of the supplier's acceptance or rejection of the enquiry, as well as the availability and technical suitability of their products. The shipyard can therefore easily evaluate the responses and make a selection of supplier. This integration within the supply chain is expected to radically reduce cost, time and error in the material procurement task.