Well, it's already made a huge impact and by the time the project's fully implemented, we'll have networked over 300,000 employees and suppliers - they'll all the able to communicate through e-mail. And it's this interconnectivity, it's changing everything about they way we work. I mean, last year around 15 per cent of our in-service staff development was carried out through Web-based distance learning using the company intranet. And we reckon that for every 1,000 days of classroom-based teaching that's supplied by distance learning, it generates about $500,000 in efficiency gains. And this year we'll be delivering up to 30 per cent of our courses by distance learning. So we'll be looking at savings of over $100 million.
We're one of the largest insurance organizations in Canada, offering a wide range of financial products. We rely on a system of independent agents to distribute our products so it's really important to maintain a close relationship with them. This used to be done over the telephone but that was all very time-consuming for our employees and meant we could only supply agents with information during office hours. Now we have the extranet, which means that all our representatives can keep in touch around the clock and get the latest information about offerings. They can also request back-up articles and information such as telemarketing scripts and advertisements. And of course, we'll be introducing more and more new product lines so it's essential that our agents get the back-up they need.
We're one of the Netherlands' leading banks with 1,300 branches here and abroad. We deal with both businesses and consumers but our primary focus is small and medium-sized businesses - SMBs as we call them. As part of our offering to SMBs, we recently launched a Web-based euro project which provides free briefings to both customers and staff about the new European currency. Since the issues surrounding the euro will constantly be changing, people will need regular updating. By providing up-to-the-minute bulletins, we're establishing ourselves as a major player in the Eurozone countries. This, in turn, is enhancing our clients' perceptions of us and strengthening our customer base.
Well, we are one of France's most prestigious bicycle manufacturers, selling mainly to professionals and people with a real passion for cycling as a sport. The best bit about our new website is that it lets customers actually design their own personalized cyber cycle. All they have to do is choose a basic model and then decide what frame, wheels, pedals, colour and so on they want. They pay on-line by credit card and the bike is then delivered to their nearest dealer within 14 days. It's as simple as that. Our business was initially aimed at mostly French customers but with the new way of using the Internet, we have been able to create an international presence at a fraction of what it would have cost to advertise outside the domestic market.
After recent restructuring we felt we needed to change the company culture to reflect our leaner structure. Processes that used to be highly bureaucratized needed to be simplified. One area we really had to tackle was procurement. After filling in massive amounts of paperwork, getting requisite signatures and then faxing orders off, our employees sometimes had to wait over a month for things like office material and PCs to get here. A real advantage with the new system is there's less margin for error because if the form isn't filled in correctly, then the system says so immediately. So less time'll be wasted on sorting out problems. By the end of the year we'll have reduced our paper invoices from five million to zero.