City Web firm scores coup with MiningSurplus.com - Kamloops Daily News
December 21, 2000
A Web site developed by a local high-technology company for Teck Corp. has changed the way the mining giant sells surplus equipment worldwide.
Miningsurplus.com was unveiled at Mine Expo in Nevada last month and is generating sales of millions of dollars of equipment from Teck Corp., Cominco Ltd. and Highland Valley Copper to other mining operations around the globe.
The contract to develop an Internet-based equipment disposal site was picked up by Kamloops-based MediaWave Communications Corp.
MediaWave president Grant Robertson said the contract was one of his firm's largest and most complex to date.
The site lists surplus mining equipment from 11 Teck-controlled mines around the world. Prospective buyers are able to buy parts and smaller capital purchases online through a complex e-commerce function and scan lists of larger capital items.
"It has some interesting complexity," Robertson said. "Because there's so many sites in the program we had to integrate with databases of all these sites and bring them together for one system on the Web."
The system must also deal with sales within different tax jurisdictions where mines are located.
The idea for the business-to-business Web site came from longtime Afton Mine purchasing superintendent Mario Talarico.
Traffic and sales at Miningsurplus.com "are substantial," said Talarico, who works out of the now-closed Afton mine west of the city. We're really happy with the results so far."
The old method of surplus disposal required agents to fax out long documents with lists of supplies to other mining operations and contacts.
"People threw the lists in the garbage," he said. "This is dynamic and current."
The success of the project has neted MediaWave its biggest contract to date: the complete redesign of a CDNX-listed company's e-commerce site to focus on business-to-business transactions.
Robertson said sales for the high-tech company, which specializes in Web-based software, are up 500 percent over the same quarter last year.
Despite its success, Robertson said local high-tech companies are at some disadvantage compared with centres that have a higher concentration of technology businesses.
"It's improving. There are some impediments to doing business in Kamloops. One is B.C.-wide: our tax rates. It's been tempting to move to Alberta because of the tax advantages and their economy is moving faster than ours."
But Robertson added the city's location between Calgary and Vancouver provides it's own advantages.