Try before You e-Buy

Moai offers pilot program for its new e-sourcing software, services

San Francisco  April 16, 2001  Would you like to look under the hood of that new e-procurement application, kick the tires and take it out for a spin before you jump into a full-scale implementation? Moai Technologies will let you do just that with its new online strategic sourcing software.

San Francisco, Calif.-based Moai today unveiled its new sourcing software and services package as the company moves into what it believes will be an expanding market for online strategic sourcing. To ease potential customers into online sourcing, Moai is offering a pilot program called CompleteSource QuickStart pilot program, intended to provide a quick, cost-effective means for companies to gauge the value of "e-sourcing" without having to undergo a major implementation.

Licensing fees for the software, which is currently available, vary depending on server platforms and configuration, but range in the hundreds of thousands, according to Moai. However, under the company's CompleteSource QuickStart pilot program, a customer can try out e-sourcing for as little as $60,000. Moai says that if the customer does not receive a return on its investment in QuickStart after hosting up to five e-sourcing events over 30 days, the software provider will give the customer a second month of hosted service free.

The new CompleteSource e-Sourcing Solution includes both an application, dubbed CompleteSource Enterprise, and services in the form of spend analysis and outsourced e-sourcing.

The Enterprise software is a follow-up to Moai's LiveExchange application, which has been around since 1997 and is currently being used to operate about 140 online exchanges in 15 countries. Moai estimates that during 2000 its customers sourced $1.1 billion in materials through LiveExchange and realized overall savings in goods of over $100 million.

The new software includes an automated "wizard" that guides purchasers through the creation of complex electronic requests for quote (RFQs) or requests for proposal (RFPs). The software includes a "negotiation engine" that provides for multi-parameter, multi-stage and multi-line bidding, as well as weighted scoring, document management and reporting on bidding events.

Research indicates that greater numbers of companies are turning to software that will allow them to do e-sourcing internally in pursuit of cost savings. A study by IT research consultancy Aberdeen Group, for instance, indicates that companies are realizing savings of as much as 70 percent in time and costs by moving purchasing online.

"Over the past year or so, leading corporations have validated the premise that sourcing their materials online can cut costs," said Matt Miller, CEO of Moai. "Many of these first experiences came through public exchanges or industry consortia. Now those corporations are increasingly seeking a solution that can bring them the advantages of e-sourcing without giving up control of this critical process. We designed the CompleteSource solution to allow a company to quickly generate cost savings while giving them complete control of the negotiation process and direct contact with their own suppliers."

Arnold Waldstein, Moai's vice president of marketing, said that e-sourcing applications are becoming increasingly important as companies feel pressure to cut costs in the face of the slowing economy. "I don't think that a lot of companies right now are looking for huge growth," Waldstein said. "They're looking for profits, for margin. We've created a tool that will allow large corporations to source their materials a lot more cost effectively, thus putting savings back in the coffers and increasing their profit margins."

Moai, founded in 1996, says that CompleteSource Enterprise includes a number of features specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of e-sourcing. For example, companies can license CompleteSource Enterprise and install it on their own systems or use it in a hosted environment, accessing software directly from Moai or from the computers of a Moai application service provider (ASP) partner.

Another example: Using the weighted scoring feature, purchasers assign a level of importance to different aspects of an RFQ or RFP. As suppliers respond to the request, the software automates the process of comparing the bids based on multiple, weighted parameters.

Moai says that the software incorporates and accommodates a customer's internal workflows for preparing and approving RFQs and RFPs. The software also supports multiple currencies and local languages for bidding events in various countries.