e.conomy is PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new business-to-business marketplace run by a team of procurement specialists who will be able to offer savings through using bulk buying power.
Holiday giant BTI Hogg Robinson and the Hyatt and Forte hotel chains have already agreed supply deals along with recruitment specialist Kelly Temporary Services.
PwC partner John Baker said that although many companies were skilled at buying raw materials for their core business, many paid less attention to indirect costs to their business such as travel and office supplies – which can cost up to 40% of a companies total costs.
Orders can be placed over the internet, faxed or phoned.
The exchange, which has been online in America since the end of last year, has so far attracted more than 375 members after its launch in December.
Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are already saving £24bn-a-year by taking advantage of e-procurement. Some of the largest e-procurement players come from the chemical and textiles industries that are currently boosting sales and slashing millions from supply budgets through electronic marketplaces.
UK petrochemical and oil giant BP Amoco supports a chemical e-procurement site which went live in July and carries a market worth $400bn. And Swedish-based TextileSolutions.com is promising a 30% cut in costs using its $30m online exchange after only four months.
In the aerospace industry, MyAircraft.com – a joint venture between US-based Honeywell and United technologies – is to offer ‘one-stop shopping’ and supply management across the sector after it was finally given the go-head by the European Commission.
The MyAircraft.com highlights a regulatory issue with the large of the exchanges, as the project was subject to a EC investigation into possible price fixing within the industry.
But an EC spokesman said: ‘The commission found no competition problems, but we should not assume that will be the case with all the others.’
‘If companies are getting together to sell, it could pose problems if they are not competing properly with each other.’
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