Acuity Brands Goes with Procuri for e-Sourcing

Also, Procuri announces new alliances with Open Ratings, SupplyWorks and SAS

Also, Procuri announces new alliances with Open Ratings, SupplyWorks and SAS

Atlanta  September 16, 2004  e-Sourcing specialist Procuri this week marked its first user conference by announcing a new customer relationship with manufacturer Acuity Brands and new partnerships with solution providers Open Ratings, SupplyWorks and SAS.

Acuity, a provider of lighting fixtures and specialty chemicals, has selected Procuri as one of its strategic sourcing solution providers in an effort to build a more globally competitive supply chain.

Acuity, with fiscal year 2003 net sales of over $2.0 billion, is comprised of Acuity Brands Lighting and Acuity Specialty Products. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Acuity employs approximately 11,000 people and has operations throughout North America and in Europe and Asia.

With its global operations, Acuity Brands will use Procuri's solutions to consolidate purchases across divisions with the goal of improving the decision-making process and further developing the company's world-class supplier organization.

"Through the sourcing events conducted thus far, we have achieved significant savings on various materials and services," said Scott Clifford, director of sourcing for Acuity Brands Lighting. "Procuri's solutions and services enable our organization to streamline and automate our sourcing processes, while allowing us to build a competitive global supply chain."

Acuity Brands conducted more than 20 events in a 10-week period using Procuri's deployable solutions. Acuity sourced a variety of materials and services, including chemicals, wire, printing services, pallets, gaskets and office supplies. As a result of the increased operational efficiency gained from the deployment Procuri's strategic sourcing solutions, the company plans to increase the number of users over the next several months.

Clifford said that in the company's evaluation process, Acuity looked for functionally rich, user-friendly solutions, and the company concluded that the combination of Procuri's solutions with the company's in-house industry expertise would help ensure the success of its strategic sourcing initiatives.

"Acuity is yet another example of how Procuri's solutions empower sourcing organizations by allowing them to better control costs, manage performance and improve the effectiveness of their processes," said Mark F. Morel, Sr., president and CEO for Procuri.

Partnership with Open Ratings on Supply Chain Visibility

Meanwhile, Procuri has formed a sales and marketing agreement with Open Ratings, a provider of supply base performance management solutions. Open Ratings says its solutions use predictive technology to provide companies with advance notice of supplier performance and financial stability problems.

Under terms of the agreement, both Open Ratings and Procuri will market each others solutions to current and prospective customers. Both companies offer similar "on-demand," Web-based solutions. The new partners said their alliance would provide customers with the opportunity to access enriched, integrated supplier data and supplier predictive analysis, creating a more visible supply chain and increased support for sourcing events.

"Organizations continue to face pressure to perform, compete and reach the highest levels of efficiency," said Stan Smith, president and CEO for Open Ratings. "Our partnership with Procuri brings supplier management and sourcing to the next level of efficiency because we can provide customers with the tools and enriched supplier qualifications they need to make the best decisions quickly and confidently."

Open Rating said its SBManager solution provides the technology infrastructure and supplier information that is critical to achieving best practices in global supply base management through three components: Supply Base Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Activity Specific Application Modules. These solutions allow organizations to continuously monitor their supply bases, predict supplier performance problems and assess the root cause and severity of impending issues months in advance of their occurrence, the solution provider said.

"This agreement delivers great potential for both the supplier management and sourcing market," said Procuri's Morel. "Every organization we talk with expresses the need for increased supplier management capabilities: supplier discovery, accurate and qualified supplier profiles, and now predictive supplier analysis, all of which significantly reduces risk during the strategic sourcing process."

Alliance with SupplyWorks for Procurement Solution

Elsewhere, Procuri has teamed up with SupplyWorks, a provider of direct materials supply management software for discrete manufacturers, in a sales and marketing alliance intended to enable both companies to better assist their discrete manufacturing customers in making informed decisions regarding how best to manage direct procurement processes.

SupplyWorks offers solutions designed to help discrete manufacturers improve procurement execution, optimize the flow of parts and materials in lean and demand-driven supply chains, and free up working capital by lowering raw materials inventories.

Under the terms of the agreement, SupplyWorks and Procuri will market each others' products to their current and prospective discrete manufacturing customers. "Both buyers and suppliers are positioned to benefit from this alliance by gaining access to cost-effective, Web-enabled solutions that have demonstrated return on investment," the two providers said in a statement.

"Our association with Procuri is a logical extension of SupplyWorks' marketing footprint, but our customers are the real winners here," said David Wangler, president and CEO for SupplyWorks. "We have an opportunity to demonstrate the complementary benefits of both direct materials procurement and strategic sourcing to companies that may not yet have considered the corresponding cost reductions and business process improvements."

"Discrete manufacturers are demanding robust solutions as they look to manage complex, multi-tier, global operations," said Morel. "This partnership bridges the gap between procurement execution and strategic e-sourcing by providing buyers and suppliers with richer functionalities and enhanced capabilities that will enable the timely delivery of materials and ultimately increase the efficiency of supply chain operations."

Silver Alliance Partner Status with SAS

Finally, Procuri announced its status as a Silver Alliance partner with SAS Institute, business intelligence software provider. The partnership allows both software-makers to build on established sourcing and service strengths for customers of all sizes across all vertical markets, the two providers said in a statement.

"The dirty little secret in industry is that few businesses truly understand how much they spend, on which products, and with which suppliers," said Tim Minahan, vice president of supply research and strategy at technology consultancy Aberdeen Group. "As a result, enterprises are unable to maximize spend leverage and develop fact-based sourcing strategies and award decisions. The combination of SAS' spending analysis capabilities with Procuri's sourcing management technologies offers enterprises the opportunity to identify spending patterns; maximize buying leverage; execute informed sourcing and supply management decisions; and drive continuous improvement in compliance and supplier performance."

The two companies said that the Procuri-SAS partnership will provide procurement professionals with a complete solution that starts with clean supplier and spend data, continues with analytics and business intelligence, and then follows through to sourcing execution.

In their joint statement, the two providers said: "Cleansing, aggregating and analyzing corporate spending data is a vital but often overlooked first step in the sourcing process. This step ensures that users understand how much time and money is being spent, for what and with whom, all of which is critical information for sound sourcing. When clean data flows, buyers streamline planning and multiply the effectiveness of sourcing teams. Solid and accurate information helps buyers identify and prioritize the most beneficial opportunities and sets the stage for rapid ROI and sustained e-sourcing success."

"The SAS Supplier Relationship Management Suite helps our customers reduce enterprise spend across suppliers and commodities through increased visibility into procurement information, understanding of the supply base, and prioritization of suppliers through business rules-based ranking," said Dennie Norman, SAS global strategist for SRM solutions. "We believe the synergies between our analytic and business intelligence software solutions and Procuri's strategic e-sourcing solutions will provide significant business value to our customers."

Procuri's Morel said that with SAS solutions integrated into the sourcing process, Procuri customers would be able to take advantage of functionality for data quality management and spend analysis, while deploying Web-based sourcing solutions with Procuri TotalSource. "The potential for true strategic sourcing has never been better. Companies taking advantage of this partnership will truly empower their organizations to improve bottom line results," Morel said.