Index Funds

Marketplace releases new e-sourcing suite

Whippany, NJ  September 25, 2001  Custom manufactured components marketplace First Index has released findFAST PRO, a Web-based suite of e-sourcing, request for quote (RFQ) automation and supplier relationship management (SRM) tools. findFAST PRO is aimed at buyers who purchase made-to-order direct materials in, among others, the global automotive, aerospace and defense, industrial machinery, and electronics sectors.

According to industry analyst The Butler Group, these engineered components represent roughly one-third of all corporate spending for the manufacturing sector and a significant proportion of the overall B2B e-procurement spend, estimated by most analysts to grow to well over $1 trillion by 2003 (eMarketer 2001 survey of eight leading B2B analysts). findFAST PRO is designed to let buyers speed product lifecycles, deliver purchasing efficiencies and save money by organizing their preferred suppliers online, streamlining their sourcing processes, and providing access to First Index's e-marketplace to source new, qualified suppliers.

According to Bill Burke, president of First Index in the U.S., "findFAST PRO helps manage preferred suppliers while sourcing new ones, turning purchasing into a strategic job for the buying enterprise. In time, findFAST PRO should provide an understanding of supplier relationships that reduces costs. It should also make procurement predictable and repeatable and enlighten supplier partnership decisions."

First Index CEO Hans Wigart said that findFAST PRO was developed in response to clear demand from buyers. "We did a survey of 180 buyers already using our marketplace for e-sourcing and they told us clearly what their sourcing, RFQ and SRM needs were," he said. "They wanted to pool buyer experience across their organizations via an organized, easy to use supplier database. In addition, Wigart said that research indicated customers wanted to automate the RFQ process, facilitate online collaboration with suppliers throughout the RFQ process and build long-term relationships with preferred suppliers that shortened lifecycles.

"B2B e-marketplaces are rapidly gaining industry recognition as an effective means of strategic sourcing, especially for complicated services or products such as custom-manufactured components," said Rob Rosenthal, research analyst, Internet and eCommerce Strategies for IDC. "Companies such as First Index create marketplaces which not only match appropriate buyers and suppliers, but also deliver the tools they need to meet, collaborate and establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Such companies will play a leading role in bringing the benefits of e-business to many industries."