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First web marketplace for car parts

7 December 2004

Ecentric and IAG NZ launch the country’s first web marketplace for car parts

E-business experts Ecentric, incubator of the recent Deloittes Fast 50 award-winning Trade Me, has excelled again. The Wellington based internet solutions company has aided IAG NZ, New Zealand’s largest general insurer, to remodel their vehicle repairs claims process with “PartsTrader” - an innovative online parts procurement system that takes the hassle out of sourcing quotes and ordering parts.

IAG NZ, which has 40% share of the general insurance market, manages 2.5 million policies on behalf of more than one million New Zealanders. IAG NZ’s National Assessing Manager Barry Adkins says the newly launched PartsTrader system provides an easy-to-use solution that creates a more competitive marketplace for car parts and a more efficient business model for IAG NZ’s approved vehicle repairers and parts suppliers.

“PartsTrader has opened up the marketplace. Repairers submit their parts requests online and wait for the quotes to come in. Car part suppliers’ benefit with the opportunity to quote for more work, and repairers benefit by way of a seamless parts procurement process and a more competitive choice of parts. As all requests and quotes are sourced online instead of by phone, the process is faster, fairer and much more convenient,” said Mr Adkins.

Training of IAG NZ’s 342 approved repairers and 314 approved suppliers was completed over a 12-week nationwide roll out period that ended on 31 October. On average figures so far show that PartsTrader is managing 9,378 parts requests and 24,522 quotations per month with an average request value of between $400 and $500. The average quote success rate for parts suppliers is over 17%.

PartsTrader has been in the pipeline at IAG NZ since early 2003, when the company began canvassing the thoughts of repairers who felt overwhelmingly that a parts system would help them to be more effective in locating and procuring parts. IAG NZ presented their concept of an online system to Ecentric for development. “Internet technology seemed the way to go to create systems that would last well into the future and that could be modified to meet the demands of the market,” said Mr Adkins.

The concept was then put out to tender. Ecentric won the contract against local and international competition on the strength of their experience with developing, hosting and supporting successful e-business solutions for high-brand entities, including: Adidas World Cup 2002, Trade Me, eCargo, New Zealand Dairy Foods – Anchor and Anchorville, Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, and the New Zealand Army.

“We selected Ecentric for their tremendous expertise and innovation. They are a frontrunner in terms of their ability to take ideas to market, and have the proven results to show for it,” he said.

IAG sponsored the development of PartsTrader and agreed a 5-year management contract with Ecentric. Once completed the total value of the project will be in excess of $2 million.
With strong industry interest and export market potential, Ecentric is keen to get PartsTrader adopted as an industry wide solution both in New Zealand and overseas, and is currently in negotiations with representatives from the wider industry about the future direction of PartsTrader.

Rob Cooper, Chief Executive at Ecentric, said “New Zealand has typically taken a more creative and practical approach to e-business solutions than what is often seen overseas, and PartsTrader is another example of this successful approach. The eTrader technology platform and business nouse that has made PartsTrader successful has enormous potential in overseas markets. Ecentric is a graduate of the ICEHOUSE 321 Go Global program and is actively pursuing export opportunities in this area.”

Feedback from users has so far been very positive.

Trish Hollier, Administrator at Shardlow Panelbeaters in New Lynn, Auckland found that through using PartsTrader she is saving a lot of time previously spent phoning around to source parts.

“Before PartsTrader we could easily spend a week locating and sourcing a particular part, and more if we then had to wait for the customer to come in to get it fitted. The new system makes us much more efficient with our workflow planning, and enables us to service our customers better.”

About Ecentric Ventures Ltd Ecentric Ventures Ltd (www.ecentric.co.nz) is an independent and wholly New Zealand-owned company established in 1998 by directors Colin Bevan and Phil McCaw. The company was one of the first Icehouse incubator businesses and is today part of the AMR Holdings Group – a Wellington based ideas-to-business investment company. Ecentric has grown to 12 full-time staff and has developed a proven track record in helping organisations create real business value using the Internet. They have successfully invested and incubated their own e-businesses including www.ecargo.co.nz and the recent Deloittes Fast 50 award-winning www.trademe.co.nz website.

About IAG NZ IAG NZ (www.iag.co.nz) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insurance Australia Group (IAG) Australasia’s largest general insurer. In New Zealand it trades under the State and NZI insurance brands and underwrites general insurance business for some of the country’s leading financial institutions. It has approximately 40% share of the general insurance market and manages 2.5 million policies on behalf of more than 1 million New Zealanders.

ENDS

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