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Biolab Builds Marketplace For Scientific Supplies

Biolab Builds First Marketplace For Scientific Supplies

Biolab Scientific announced today that it is developing a “digital marketplace” to meet the purchasing needs of Australasian scientific, research and health organisations from a single website.

The marketplace, which has been designed by e-commerce consultants Arthur Andersen, will run on Ariba Inc software and be hosted by Telecom (esolutions).

“Our development partners have been chosen because of their ‘best of breed’ technology,” says Biolab’s e-Business General Manager Catherine Calarco. “The existing strong relationships between Arthur Andersen, Ariba and esolutions will give us speed to market and help ensure the success of the venture.”

Construction of the marketplace is well on the way. Biolab will begin testing with a group of clients and suppliers this month before the site goes live in February 2001.

The digital market concept is a development of Biolab’s successful e-commerce experience with its own on-line warehouse, Biolab Direct.

“It’s a natural evolution of Biolab Direct,” Ms Calarco says. “In two and a half years we have built a new distribution channel which transacts a significant portion of our business.”

“The next step is to offer a greater range of products, and better integration with our customers’ systems. The digital marketplace will do all that, and much more.”

The new market will not be another middleman perpetuating the old inefficiencies.

“The value we will add comes from process improvements and cost reduction. We can do that by building e-business efficiencies into the supply chain, without sacrificing our customers’ preferred supplier relationships.

“Instead of having to invest in their own systems, our customers will be freed to concentrate on their own core business of research, manufacturing or teaching.”

Biolab Scientific believes the primary customer benefits of the digital marketplace will include:
 A single place to access multiple suppliers
 Aggregation of buying power
 Less “maverick buying” through customised access
 Stronger reporting on order and spend status through better integration

Suppliers who join the marketplace will also benefit from:
 Low cost to acquire customers
 Increased volumes
 Lower transaction costs
 Better data for supply chain management

Customer advisory group helps develop the digital marketplace

Biolab Scientific is working with a number of its current customers to refine the model for the digital marketplace, including AgResearch, a health service provider and a university.

AgResearch’s Stephanie Jones says there’s a strong synergy between the business objectives of the Crown research institute and the Biolab marketplace.

“We both want to capture the efficiencies of the electronic environment. After successfully using Biolab Direct for the last two years, we’re confident that Biolab Scientific’s experience and knowledge will bring as much, if not more success from the digital marketplace.”

Suppliers are signing up

Biolab Scientific is working with a number of potential suppliers to participate in the digital marketplace alongside its own range of scientific, research and health products. The extended range will include gas and engineering supplies, stationery, computers, software and accessories, and travel.

One of the companies already on board is Australasian office supply company Corporate Express.

General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Grant Harrod says the digital marketplace concept fits Corporate Express’s goal of helping customers simplify procurement and reduce costs.

“We welcome the opportunity to participate as a principle supplier,” Mr Harrod said. “We believe that this new venture will cement our position, and that of Biolab Scientific, as Australasian leaders in B2B e-Commerce.”

Key partners offer global experience

Arthur Andersen works in partnership with Ariba to ensure clients’ success in eCommerce. Arthur Andersen helps clients create, manage and measure value, and provides world-class implementation services for clients using the Ariba B2B commerce platform.

Ariba is the leading provider of B2B solutions to companies around the globe, including 20 of the FORTUNE 100. Ariba provides the most comprehensive and open commerce platform to build B2B marketplaces, manage corporate purchasing and electronically enable suppliers and commerce service providers on the Internet.

The marketplace will be hosted on-line by Telecom, utilising a custom implementation of esolutions’ web-hosting service. esolutions is the alliance between Telecom New Zealand, EDS and Microsoft. The esolutions Safecom package will also provide an option for secure internet, extranet (vpn) and remote access to the marketplace to allow customers and suppliers of all sizes to participate and share information in a safe way.

esolutions worked with Arthur Anderson and Ariba to develop its own BusinessXchange eProcurement service. It also offers web hosting, managed network services and is an application service provider.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

Catherine Calarco, General Manager, e-Business Australasia, Biolab Scientific
Phone (09) 980 6741, 029 477 420

Released on behalf of Biolab Scientific by Network Communications - Peter Hallwright. Phone (09) 306 5803, (025) 444 534

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