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NZI Signs Up To Supplynet E-Procurement Solution

For immediate release

29 October 2001

NZI Signs Up To Supplynet E-Procurement Solution

Technology services company SupplyNet has signed a Letter of Intent with New Zealand Insurance to begin a nationwide rollout of its Enterprise Buyer Desktop (EBD) e-procurement tool developed by Commerce One„µ and SAPMarkets„§.

The deal follows a successful three-month pilot in which NZI’s objectives were: -

- Create efficiencies by reducing the time, money and paperwork associated with ordering goods and services by fax or phone

- Rationalisation of suppliers

- Monitoring purchasing expenditure

- Automation of the authorisation process for purchasing.

NZI, which is New Zealand’s largest business insurer, operates over some 24 sites with around 700 employees. While the pilot was limited to three suppliers, the national version will incorporate a broader supplier base.

NZI’s Accounting and Administration Manager, Tim Griffith says the pilot confirmed EBD’s ability to meet NZI’s objectives in terms of efficiencies, cost savings and better procurement processes.

“I would recommend SupplyNet and their technology to an organisation where there is a focus towards automating activities and practices that are traditionally manual and time-consuming.”

SupplyNet Sales Manager, Gerry Hughes, says longer term NZI is looking at integrating the EBD e-procurement solution with its financial systems to reduce the manual processes of invoice matching and payment.

“Looking forward, there is also opportunity to explore how SupplyNet technology can be applied in other areas of NZI’s business.”

The NZI deal comes hard on the heels of its launch of EBDXpress in September. EBDXpress, a templated, “rapid start’ version of EBD, is primarily designed for companies wanting to buy regularly purchased, high volume goods and services on-line. The solution, which channels most employee purchasing to an easy-to-use browser-based system, is ideal for a company which has implemented a strategic procurement framework and wants to lock in the purchasing policies and procedures.

Companies have the choice of two EBDXpress levels as well as a customisation option. Level one is designed to accommodate 10 users in one buying centre, dealing with up to five suppliers. It is designed for smaller operations with one purchasing department responsible for buying the company’s supplies. The second can accommodate three buying centres, 20 users and 10 suppliers. It is designed for larger companies with purchasing needs spread over several departments.

“Providing two entry levels and customisation options means that this solution is completely scalable to suit the user company’s size. Electronic procurement tools now make sense in New Zealand for smaller companies, rather than only being the domain of large corporations,” says SupplyNet Chief Operating Officer, Carl Mitchell-Turner.

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“As a hosted application, EBDXpress is not only cost-effective for adopters, but is also obsolescence-proof with regular software upgrades keeping the technology current.”

EBDXpress has been designed to make purchasing simple. Buying users sign on once for access to search supplier catalogues, place orders and receive confirmation of the transaction and of delivery arrangements. Effectively, all purchasing from a range of suppliers can be done in one session with the on-line screen showing transactions in one “basket”. The system can be customised to accommodate in-house purchasing rules, such as spending limits on departments, or individuals and can also accommodate in-house authorisation procedures.

Mr Mitchell-Turner says that in the past suppliers have been reluctant to take part in e-procurement so in developing this product SupplyNet has concentrated on adding value at both ends of the transaction.

“Solutions that we’ve developed for suppliers include free directory listings, catalogue and content management and the opportunity to upscale to a trading website totally integrated into an electronic marketplace. When we talk to suppliers, they can see tangible benefits.”

The pre-configured EBDXpress package starts at $1,900 plus $495 per month (first 36 months, then falls thereafter) - including an initial consultation, implementation and training; excluding GST. Ongoing costs consist of an electronic data fee.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Carl Mitchell-Turner - Chief Operating Officer (09) 915-7777

Gerry Hughes - Sales Manager (09) 915-7775

Matt Caughey - Marketing Manager (09) 915-7776


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