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Largest Foodservice distributor implements Conduit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Australia's Largest Foodservice distributor implements Conduit

AUCKLAND, 20 August 2001 - Supply chain Internet application specialist, Conduit International Limited, today announced an agreement with Australasia's leading foodservice wholesale distributor, Bidvest Australia Limited. The agreement will see Bidvest implement Conduit's e-business application as their platform for electronic engagement with customers, currently in implementation and scheduled for launch at the end of August.

The first in the foodservice and hospitality industry to provide business customers online access to their operation, Bidvest expect to create significant new value for clients, a large number of which operate outside of usual business hours. The new website will provide 24/7 access to Bidvest systems and the ability to transact and reconcile their business with the distributor online,

A critical element in Bidvest's selection of Conduit was the organisation's track record in New Zealand. Several of the country's industry leading distributors use Conduit to deliver their e-business capability, and in doing so are providing some of the most compelling examples of the benefits of eCommerce on business operations. After four years experience, Conduit's technology is well-developed and their extensive functionality can be quickly and effectively implemented, often demonstrating Return On Investment as early as three months after launch.

In addition to Bidvest's product catalogue and order process, the secure website will feature customer specific pricing, full visibility of account records, and the capability for the customer to establish their own reporting requirements, providing information on past purchases, price lists and status of orders. This information will be passed on in a format and at a frequency specified by the customer, directly to an individual's email address.

"The implementation of this on-line trading environment will provide significant benefits to Bidvest's operations, especially in that it provides full-integration between processes and the back office" says Conduit's Chief Executive Officer John Hayson

"In the past, lack of attention in this area has been one of the major failings in eCommerce initiatives but with the Bidvest system full integration will be available from the first day of operation," he says.

Bidvest operates 15 branches throughout Australia with separate warehouses and regional customer relationships. Using the Bidvest website, customers will be automatically linked to their local Bidvest branch and local information including inventory. Once placed, their orders will flow through the Bidvest system and be dispatched from the local Bidvest warehouse. Bidvest's new website will be launched at the Sydney Fine Food Fair, August 27-30th a major event for the foodservice and hospitality industries.

Following the August launch, Bidvest will roll out the website to its 20,000 customers around Australia. Bidvest's customers range from hotels and restaurants to caterers and mining camps. The company recently acquired John Lewis Foodservice, taking turnover in Australia too more than $700 million (NZ $875 million). Over the remainder of 2001 the new subsidiary will be integrated into Bidvest's infrastructures and their customers given access to the web services.

Conduit Background

Conduit is a supply chain specialist organisation. The company's primary goal is to use Internet technology to make clients' business transactions more effective. Its core business is supplying and hosting Internet-based supply chain applications, developed in-house or in partnership with other leading software application providers.

These applications take business-to-business supply chains and distribution to an electronic environment, creating cost-efficiencies for clients. Conduit's applications are provided in a hosted environment allowing clients to focus on their core revenue-generating business.

Conduit International Limited (www.thewebconduit.com ) is a subsidiary of Renaissance Corporation, a technology company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, with a 17% holding by the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) Conduit was formed in 1997 as a solutions group to support Renaissance Corporation. The company's core intellectual property was originally developed in response to Renaissance's need to identify a strategy for cost-reduction and competitive advantage in the New Zealand Information Technology market.

-ENDS-

For further information, please call:

Justine Pellett Chief Communications Officer 09 915 9100 Business 021 626 604 Mobile

Marie Weeks mweeks@hillandknowlton.com 09 367 6370 Business 021 702 196 Mobile

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