When it comes to IT, even international companies with much longer histories than Korean firms are scrambling to adopt Korean-developed standards.
Samsung Electronics' supply chain management (SCM) system is an IT infrastructure that even Sony, the world's leading electronics maker, is envious of. The system automatically adjusts production volumes and parts orders in real time when products are removed from shelves. Sony reportedly lags behind in cost reduction because it does not have as precise a system as Samsung's. Rumor has it that Sony has asked NEC, the Japanese company responsible for building Sony's infrastructure, to develop an SCM system like Samsung's, and that has prompted NEC staff to visit the Korean company four times since late last year to learn its techniques.
The situation is same in the government administration field. The Korean Intellectual Property Office's Patents Net was named among the best in the world by the World Intellectual Property Organization and has attracted attention from 40 nations worldwide including Europe, Japan and Singapore. Set up by LG CNS, the system makes it possible to take care of the entire patent application process on the Internet.
The Financial Supervisory Service's Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System (DART: http://dart.fss.or.kr) is an Internet-based public disclosure service that provides information on listed companies. Renowned investor Warren Buffet has hailed it as by far the world's best. It provides full texts of public disclosure materials such as financial statements and securities reporting documents both in Korean and English. Although the U.S. and Canada were faster than Korea in launching electronic public disclosure systems, the Korean system is recognized for its top-quality service. Moreover, Korea was the first country to provide the service on the Internet.
Many Korean IT standards have also become global standards. Mobile WiMAX, which is based on the Korean-made wireless broadband Internet technology WiBro, was adopted as a global standard by the International Telecommunication Union in Switzerland on Oct. 19. Digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) technology, which has been exported to 10 nations including Germany and China, is another example of a Korean standard becoming a global one. Samsung Electronics, Hynix and other Korean semiconductor firms, meanwhile, are increasing their influence in the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), the leading developer of global standards for the semiconductor and computer industries.
In the mobile phone industry, the fact that Korean design standards are now global has helped Korean manufacturers expand their market share around the world. For instance, the design of the button board where the "send" button is placed on the upper left side became a global standard after Samsung Electronics first introduced it in 1993. Samsung and LG Electronics have also led global handset design trends with their sophisticated folder and slide phones.