Now it’s time to take a look at a Korean business bringing about changes in the global economy with some new ideas.
Today, we’re going to introduce you to WeBiztech that develops a platform related to logistics systems. Let’s hear from company CEO Shin Joong-bae.
The company name WeBiztech represents its vision that its clients, members and business partners all grow and prosper together through IT business. After its foundation in September 2008, the company focused on the development of finance software. Currently, it carries out new IT business that fuses finance, logistics and e-commerce. It began to show interest in the IT logistics market as early as ten years ago. It successfully developed Korea’s first customized international logistics system in cooperation with CJ Logistics, the largest logistics firm in Korea, to gain confidence in the advanced logistics system. Based on many years of experience, the company released its own solution called “Wiver” that introduced a new concept of e-commerce logistics in 2016. It has been applied to some 30 different projects to attract attention in the industry.
As the first generation of Korea’s IT development, Shin accumulated experiences both in Korea and overseas. He set up the company with a goal of developing Korea’s own, creative solutions by using the country’s talented workforce. While developing finance-related software and logistics systems, he decided to nurture a platform combining logistics and e-commerce as a new growth engine for his company. The result was “Smart AEO Platform.” AEO stands for authorized economic operator. If exporters meet certain standards, they earn the AEO status. AEO-certified firms can enjoy various benefits, including simplified customs procedures.
We decided to develop an AEO certification platform because we were confident about our technology and we aimed to plant global standards in software for the first time. Also, AEO-based trade was expected to expand, and we felt the need to respond to the trend swiftly. Our new solution called “Smart AEO Platform” conforms to the Safe Framework set by the World Customs Organization and Korea’s certification system in line with Article 255 of the Customs Act. We began to develop the IoT-based platform designed to support small-and mid-sized exporters in June 2016 and completed it December 2018 for the first time in the world.
An AEO refers to a safe and trusted firm that has been approved by its country. The AEO policy was formulated after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. As the U.S. intensified customs inspections for stronger security, relevant procedures were delayed too often. The World Customs Organization then introduced the AEO program for quicker customs clearance.
AEO-certified firms can save time and cost because they do not need to go through unnecessary customs procedures. Problems may occur in the procedures to blow a deal to exporters, which have to deliver goods on time. The AEO program can prevent the risk in advance.
Despite the benefits, the number of Korean firms with the AEO status did not increase. Some even had their AEO certificates canceled. That’s because it required considerable time and money to gain and maintain an AEO certificate. The burden was especially heavy for small-and mid-sized firms. Calls were rising to improve the situation, when WeBiztech showed a solution using its IT technology.
Most of South Korea’s export destinations seek to strengthen trade security measures by setting the precondition of including an AEO certificate in a business contract. But there was no IT system for AEO. We developed the world’s first smart AEO platform to assist many more small exporters and importers in Korea in obtaining the certificate and subsequently sharpening their competitiveness. The new system computerized workflow in each process for nine different businesses and simplified requirements for certification to reduce the average AEO screening period of 300 days to 180 days. Previously, applicants needed to fill out 377 documents manually. The system automated the process of creating and managing the documents. Korea remained in the bottom 30 percent of the OECD economies, in terms of the ratio of AEO-certified companies. But the new solution contributed to raise the proportion significantly.
The company’s Smart AEO Platform has drawn an enthusiastic response. At an international event, it was positively evaluated by participants from all around the world. Many countries in Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America showed keen interest in this platform and expressed their willingness to purchase it, in the hopes of introducing the AEO system. The solution is well received in Korea as well. Some companies were even touched by the new platform, as the development of IT platforms for small firms has been relatively slow thus far.
WeBiztech actively pursues technological innovation. At present, the company provides a cloud-based service using big data. It aims to incorporate blockchain and AI technology as well to launch new services both in domestic and global markets.
Developing economies and underdeveloped countries find it challenging to introduce the AEO system, because infrastructure for customs clearance is inadequate there. An AEO certification platform itself could facilitate the process of building the AEO system and offering IT services. If that is the case, it could serve as a global platform to be used worldwide. Having this vision in mind, we’ll make diverse promotional efforts and reach many more customers overseas. For example, we’ll introduce our solution through webinars, conferences and customs authorities in many countries. It would be ideal if public agencies show interest in this solution and offer benefits to its users. We’ll make efforts to better promote the benefits of AEO-certified firms.
In fact, the company underwent many difficulties in the course of developing and distributing its Smart AEO Platform. That’s why deregulatory measures are necessary in the relevant area.
Despite the difficulties, WeBiztech is sure that its service will take firm root in the market as it believes that demand for relevant platforms will rise. Also, the company is confident about its technological prowess.
We are transforming from a financial IT service firm into a provider of logistics and e-commerce solutions as well as the AEO certification service, with an aim to explore the global market. We’ll continue to support our customers, develop a smart and automated platform for system management and provide customers in Korea and overseas with an upgraded experience. We’ll secure a competitive edge through innovative features that would lead the global IT trend for AEO certification. When we founded the company, we dreamed of becoming Korea’s leading IT service provider through a successful initial public offering within 20 years. We hope to realize that dream.
In the ever-changing global trade environment, the AEO program is becoming an essential element for exporters. We hope that WeBiztech’s Smart AEO Platform will help small Korean firms hone their competitiveness so the company and the small firms can stand high in the global market together.