Signing up for e-Sourcing

Acuity Brands taps A.T. Kearney; Prudential goes with Frictionless Commerce

Mesa, AZ — June 2, 2003 — e-Sourcing providers ratcheted up two wins today, with lighting fixture manufacturer Acuity Brands signing up with A.T. Kearney Procurement Solutions and financial services company Prudential going with Frictionless Commerce.

Acuity, a $2.0 billion manufacturer headquartered in Atlanta, employs 11,800 people and has operations throughout North America and in Europe. In addition to lighting fixtures, the company is a leading provider of specialty chemicals.

Under an annual contract with A.T. Kearney, Acuity will use the provider's e-sourcing negotiations services and technologies, which are based on eBreviate solutions. The contract includes access to the eBreviate request for proposal and auction solutions, as well as e-sourcing management support.

The agreement follows a successful relationship between A.T. Kearney and National Service Industries, Inc. (NSI), the company from which Acuity Brands was spun on November 30, 2001. That engagement included consulting services as well as the use of the eBreviate technology.

"Selecting A.T. Kearney Procurement Solutions was a natural choice for us, following our successful strategic sourcing efforts with them during the past two years," said Tom Naramore, Acuity Lighting Group's senior vice president of global sourcing. "Our prior relationship through NSI was a win-win situation for everyone. Carrying the benefits of that relationship over to Acuity Brands makes good business sense."

Ed Walczak, vice president of operations for Acuity Specialty Products Group, said that the use of the eBreviate e-sourcing technology has allowed Acuity to accelerate and embed the strategic sourcing process and simultaneously collaborate with a broader group of suppliers. "These tools provide the buyer with the right information and the supplier with visibility into the process," Walczak said.

Meanwhile, UK-based Prudential plc, a provider of financial products and services and fund management, has selected Frictionless Sourcing software to manage its expenditures and drive cost savings.

One of Britain's leading life and pension providers, Prudential has operations in Continental Europe, the United States and Asia, with more than 16 million customers worldwide.

Prudential will utilize Frictionless Sourcing to manage third-party expenditures in a bid to drive cost savings across selected U.K. business units. Frictionless Sourcing will be deployed in order to ensure best practice strategic sourcing is consistently being followed across the United Kingdom through the solution's workflow module, according to the solution provider.

"Frictionless Commerce was selected by Prudential as part of [its] procurement transformation strategy after Prudential completed a sourcing vendor evaluation," said Clive Heal, director of group procurement for Prudential.