Searching for Help
Searching for Help Its little wonder, then, that e-procurement buyers and sellers are looking for outside help managing catalog content. At Ametek Inc., of Paoli, Pa., officials knew from the beginning of their e-procurement project in June of last year that they didnt want to try managing suppliers and their content. The company was implementing Oracles Internet Procurement application as part of a larger Oracle ERP (enterprise resource planning) project. The task of managing supplier content would cut into the potential savings from the $1.5 million e-procurement project and require adding to the staff of four involved in managing e-procurement, said Sue Eckel, Ameteks director of e-procurement. Thats because, although a principal goal of e-procurement was to reduce the number of suppliers, at the time the company was working with about 7,000 suppliers of indirect goods.E-procurement was rolled out in May, and Ametek has seven supplier catalogs available through ICG, in Jenkintown, Pa., and another four through TPN Register. By next May, Eckel said, she expects a total of about 18 suppliers on board. That will encompass about 70 percent of the companys spending on indirect goodssomething that would have taken years had Ametek tried to manage suppliers and their content on its own, she said.
So Ametek looked to solve both problemsmanaging the electronic catalogs and aggregating its suppliersthrough outsourcing. It contracted with ICG Commerce to use its Managed eProcurement service, which reformats supplier catalogs into consistent file formats and online presentation and also aggregates the purchases of multiple buyers to drive down product costs. Ametek also signed up for services from catalog-management service provider TPN Register LLCnow owned by General Electric Co., of Fairfield, Conn.to streamline access to the catalog content of suppliers that were not part of the ICG network.