Do-It-Yourself Auctions

eBreviate update includes sell-service events

WALNUT CREEK, CALIF.  February 1, 2001  Purchasing professionals can potentially save time and increase the cost savings from sourcing through the Internet by setting up their own online auction events using updated software released Thursday.

The software, from eBreviate, lets corporate purchasers create a variety of Internet auctions, from complex multi-language, multi-currency, total-cost downward auctions to simple price-only auctions. Users answer a series of questions to provide the software, called Auction 4.0, with the content necessary to build an auction.

"By training their own personnel to conduct supplier negotiation events, our customers are now able to further reduce the time and money they spend on their strategic sourcing initiatives," said Sarah Pfaff, executive vice president of sales, marketing and strategy at eBreviate.

According to a current equity research report from Lehman Brothers, global 1000 companies are increasingly asking for more self-service software. Patrick Walravens, vice president of research at Lehman Brothers and author of the report, said: "Purchasing professionals want access to a set of tools that empower them to conduct auctions on their own. Moreover, corporations want to distribute these auction tools throughout their organizations and make their use part of standard business practice."

eBreviate has been facilitating self-service auctions, which the solution provider calls "Internet negotiations," during more than 800 buying events over the past six months. eBreviate says the auctions produced an average savings of 11 percent on a spend of more than $1.3 billion. The company says that the cost and time savings that resulted from the auctions, as well as strong customer acceptance, prompted the company to proceed with the general release of the sell-service feature in the Auction 4.0 update.

"Full-service auctions will not go away," said eBreviate Director of Corporate Communications Richard Shippee, "but self-service auctions will clearly be the majority of auction events, and for compelling reasons." Shippee explained that, in addition to the cost savings available through online auctions, the self-service functionality allows for faster turnaround in the auction process.

eBreviate believes that the reduced time spent per online event will let purchasers run auctions for increasing numbers of direct and indirect goods and services. The result will be even greater cost savings, plus purchasers will be able to devote more time to strategic sourcing. "It's the cost savings and time savings that will convince people to use self-service auctions," Shippee concluded.

Additional functionality debuting with the 4.0 release includes dynamic messaging capability, along with enhanced auction activity reporting tools. The update also features a complete redesign of the software's look and feel, with a new color scheme and what eBreviate says is a more intuitive interface and simplified navigation.

Auction 4.0 software functionality will be available to eBreviate's channel partners, including 2Source, a new global strategic alliance involving A.T. Kearney, EDS and i2 Technologies Inc. 2Source offers bundled solutions of strategic sourcing and procurement services, powered by i2 technology and content.

eBreviate, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., is an EDS company.