The Supply Side Strikes Back

Metreo introduces customer sales request management software

CHICAGO, ILL.  March 6, 2001  Remember, you read it here first: to the burgeoning ranks of B2B abbreviations, we humbly submit a new candidate: CSRM. That's "customer sales request management."

Metreo, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based technology company, announced today the availability of its CSRM software, Supplier Response (SR2), which the company bills as the "first supplier-driven e-business solution."

SR2 can help suppliers improve their margins by evaluating customer sales requests and recommending a profitable response in real-time, according to Metreo. SR2 routes inbound sales requests to the right person at the supplier, evaluates each request by ranking and scoring the request against certain variables, and recommends counteroffers by managing tradeoffs between product price, availability and potential up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that benefit the supplier's bottom line.

"Maverick selling is getting out of control  suppliers are forced to respond quickly to these new buy-side solutions with less profitable and less desirable deals," said Daphne Carmeli, CEO of Metreo, which announced its CSRM software at the Manufacturing Week trade show in Chicago. "The Metreo SR2 solution reigns in maverick selling, allowing manufacturers and distributors to make informed decisions faster, while improving profitability and margins."

Metreo is initially targeting the software at Global 2000 manufacturers and distributors of high-tech and electronics components and systems. Consulting firm AMR Research estimates that up to $95 billion in annual incremental operating margin could be generated with tools such as SR2 in the U.S. manufacturing economy alone.

Metreo says its CSRM software serves as a bridge between front office and supply chain systems, providing enterprisewide visibility into each sales request by accessing relevant data from these information systems in real-time to help suppliers make fully informed decisions about pending deals.

"Metreo's solution attacks a problem that happens day in and day out," said Kevin O'Marah, service director for supply chain strategies at AMR. "Suppliers have difficulty accessing critical business information in order to respond to multiple sales requests. Lacking real-time visibility into enterprise resource planning, sales force automation or customer relationship management data, deals are made without knowing the financial impact for the company. Metreo recognizes this problem and their product can be the key to making deals profitable."

Eaton Corp., through its Cutler-Hammer business unit, is helping to pioneer the CSRM "space" by adopting the SR2 software. With annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion, the Cutler-Hammer business unit's team of 60 employees responds to 200,000 sales force-generated customer requests for electrical control products and power distribution equipment each year. It will use the Metreo SR2 enterprise software to evaluate and recommend profitable responses to each of these requests. The Cutler-Hammer business unit hopes to achieve significant improvements in margins and profitability by using the software to more effectively and more consistently to every sales request.

"Today, our sales force only gets limited information when their orders are evaluated," said Ray Huber, director of e-business for Cutler-Hammer. "Metreo's solution will allow us to see and understand how their decision reflects our company's business goals and how profitable each deal is. With this information we will be able to make better decisions as we evaluate the potential impact of each requests, ultimately allowing us to better serve our customers."