A Healthy Dose of e-Procurement

Cedar to distribute system to reconcile credit card transaction to government agencies

Baltimore, MD  August 30, 2001  Cedar, a global consulting, applications and outsourcing firm, and San Francisco-based BioSpace Inc. today announced an agreement that gives Cedar the exclusive rights to market and distribute Marketplace, an e-procurement solution first developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and called IntraMall. Marketplace now provides a centralized, simplified system for reconciling credit card transactions.

"Marketplace is the only e-procurement solution that ensures all rules, policies, and procedures are upheld before orders are processed and guarantees financial reconciliation at the project and budget level," said Bob Byrd, vice president, federal government sector, Cedar. "As a result, it is extremely well-suited to government agencies, which typically have had some difficulty in assuring credit card purchases are 100 percent compliant with federal acquisition regulations and generally accepted accounting principles."

MaryAnn Guerra, NCI's deputy director for management noted, "The original vision for the IntraMall [now called Cedar Marketplace] was to enable scientists to focus on their research and to simplify what was identified as one of their key frustrations: procurement." She added, "The [Marketplace] does just that, and a whole lot more. It provides a check-and-balance system for credit card purchases that has already saved taxpayers millions of dollars and encourages ongoing competitive buying practices."

Last year, Marketplace handled less than one-half percent of the $1 billion NIH spends annually on lab equipment, and yet has saved NIH an estimated $5-6 million since its inception.

Beyond potential cost savings for government agencies and taxpayers, the new partnership between BioSpace and Cedar will allow both companies to enhance product and service offerings. Cedar's Byrd explained, "The partnership comes at an opportune time in the evolution of e-procurement. Cedar has the knowledge, resources and experience to leverage the benefits of Marketplace beyond the NIH. By offering the only solution that ensures that all rules, policies and procedures are followed, Cedar can help enable all federal agencies to achieve dramatic cost savings through e-procurement, with full regulatory compliance."

BioSpace first became NIH's partner in ongoing development of the IntraMall through an extended Cooperative Research and Development Agreement signed in late 1999. In recent months, Marketplace has grown to include 140 suppliers and 1.8 million products. The e-procurement solution already has won a number of awards for its easy, accurate reconciliation of credit card transactions, including the 2001 Association of Government Accounts Award for "Best Practices" in financial reconciliation.

Cedar will add Marketplace to its other product offerings, including Cedar Drive, Cedar Flow and Cedar Financials. Initially, Cedar plans to offer Marketplace to selected agencies within the federal government. Cedar has nearly two decades of experience in providing solutions to public sector clients.