Zeborg Reassimilates Universal Studios

Print procurement solution's savings prompt contract renewal

New York  June 13, 2001  Universal Studios has inked a two-year deal to continue using e-procurement software from Zeborg for its day-to-day purchasing of print-related goods and services, according to an announcement this week from the software provider.

Under the terms of the agreement, Universal Studios will continue to use Zeborg MarketPort Print, an online purchasing and management software package. The new agreement, effective immediately, extends the relationship that Universal Studios and Zeborg began in March 2000.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Universal Studios is owned by the French company VivendiUniversal.

Resisting the hard-dollar savings provided by the Zeborg system proved futile for Universal, according to Rick Roberts, senior vice president of the international sourcing group at the studios. "Over the past year, Zeborg has saved us over 20 percent in hard dollar savings on the cost of our printed products," Robers said. "The unique benefit of continuing to work with Zeborg is that its procurement tools will help us to sustain and continuously improve those hard-dollar cost savings going forward."

Universal Studios has been using Zeborg Print, Zeborg's two-step solution for print. The first step, Advanced Sourcing, is a technology-enabled cost-reduction process that establishes new best-in-class supplier contracts based on a company's unique printing needs.

Universal Studios has completed the Advanced Sourcing process and is now focused on the second step, MarketPort Print, the day-to-day software tool that implements the best-in-class contracts and that serves as Universal Studios' desktop application for purchasing, managing and monitoring all print services.

MarketPort Print helps Universal Studios improve pricing on print jobs through the "spot" market and conduct downward price auctions to gain additional discounts from the contracted price ceilings. The software also automates the transaction process, facilitates communication with preferred suppliers and enables print buyers to compare price trade-offs of job-specification changes.

In addition, the system provides the studio with reports to help it monitor contract compliance, spending patterns and buyer and supplier performance.

Zeborg says the reporting features can help companies gain control of their print spend. "Many companies are unaware of exactly how much they are overspending for their printed products due to off-contract purchases, de-centralized and manual purchasing processes, or ineffective supplier management," said Arnab Gupta, chairman and co-CEO of Zeborg.

Procurement software such as Zeborg Print can give a company greater visibility into that spend and help it eliminate such maverick print spending, Gupta added.