The launch of an online readymade garment (RMG) platform called 'Merchant Bay' last week is no doubt a remarkable event that may have escaped many people's notice. In fact, such a digital platform is critically vital to facilitate communications between businesses at home and abroad, and hence though belated, it is highly likely to render business-to-business (B2B) exchanges far more convenient than now. Merchant Bay is an online-based B2B platform and its key functions involve trade digitisation, sourcing digitisation, production monitoring. To put it simply, this platform is meant to ensure digitisation of the supply chain by facilitating sourcing for both producers and buyers in a variety of ways. The minister of posts and telecommunications formally inaugurated the online platform via a webinar.
To start with, Merchant Bay will primarily work to build, verify, and create digital profiles of Bangladeshi RMG manufacturers to reach buyers worldwide. It will also be able to quickly connect suppliers with buyers, deliver updates with transparency, order processing, and production monitoring. By using the platform, it will be possible to make analytical decisions that will make sourcing more affordable and increase production efficiency. According to industry insiders, the platform will also help SMEs and new entrepreneurs in the garment industry to keep the supply chain active and uninterrupted. It will also help them present themselves in new markets and to buyers worldwide. In addition to establishing a relationship between a producer and a buyer, Merchant Bay has built supplier verification and production monitoring systems. Using the platform's product monitoring system, a manager will be able to manage his factory more efficiently. The digital platform, a subsidiary of a leading garment exporting company Sayem Group, has already registered more than a thousand garment companies.
Clearly, it is the pandemic-induced disruptions including those among international buyers and local exporters affecting the supply chain that has necessitated this digital platform to bring buyers and sellers to the closest proximity possible. While Merchant Bay's e-B2B platform will make sourcing easier for both factory and buyer, it is expected to improve production and efficiency of factory management. Experts are at one with the view that the ongoing pandemic has brought a significant change in buying behaviour of international retailers, and it is here that that the virtual matchmaking via this digital platform can do wonders for both buyers and sellers in taking decisions much faster and with a greater sense of security. It has been learnt that utmost effort would be taken to upload updated and authentic information including audit reports. In buying garments, auditing and verification of the information of goods and factories are very important. In many cases, export orders get cancelled or suspended because of incorrect audit reports. Merchant Bay will ensure verification of audit reports in order that overseas buyers can safely conduct business deals.
So, it is expected that the digital platform while bringing businesses close to each other, will facilitate them with all critical information enabling them with easy and hassle-free decision making. No doubt, it may be a very important game changer.