MarketMile announces e-procurement service

MarketMile LLC, a Mountain View, Calif-based American Express Co. subsidiary, announced Wednesday a new e-procurement service targeting indirect purchases at mid-market companies.

MarketMile's service is designed to give enterprises a full-cycle procurement solution that extends from sourcing and payment through to tracking and procurement data analysis, enabling users to manage the entire procurement process through a single Web interface.

Gayle Sheppard, president and CEO of MarketMile, said that the new hosted solution is targeted at a mid-market that other vendors have neglected in favor of catering to the largest companies. With its service, MarketMile is offering customers personalization features, such as adding specialty suppliers of choice to the service for unique business needs, she said.

"We provide solutions for customers that start with the requisition of goods ... through to the order management with a supplier to payment and to reconciliation," she said. "It's full-cycle and it's affordable. Middle market companies have had to put up with large market solutions being relabeled as mid-market solutions."

In addition to honing its focus on the mid-market, Sheppard said MarketMile is different from other e-procurement solutions because it has not encountered the difficulties in enabling suppliers that other offerings have had to endure. The company has enabled 30 suppliers that cover 95 percent of the standard products in categories such as office products, computer hardware and software and certain categories of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) materials, she said.

Many businesses were dissatisfied with early e-procurement deployments because supplier enablement burdens were greater than expected and implementation cycles took longer than projected, said Tim Minahan, vice president of supply chain research at Aberdeen Group. However, MarketMile has designed service that minimizes deployment burdens and speeds implementation cycles, he said.

To support its end-to-end procurement offering, MarketMile will work in conjunction with American Express Corporate Services' expense management solutions so businesses can easily automate other procurement-related tasks, such as electronically reconciling purchases and transferring data into back-end financial systems, Sheppard said.

MarketMile's strategic supplier network enabled ready access to the product catalogs of many of Universal Studios' existing suppliers, said Theodore Garcia, director of e-procurement for Universal Studios. Universal was a pilot customer of MarketMile's service, and did not have to invest time or resources to entice these suppliers to join a custom e-procurement solution or assist them with catalog development because they were already a part of MarketMile's supplier network, Garcia said.

Strategic suppliers in MarketMile's supplier network include: Boise Cascade Office Products, CDW Computer Centers, Compaq, CompUSA, Corporate Express, IKON Office Solutions, Jannus Group, Micro Warehouse, Motion Industries, Newark Electronics, Office Depot, and Software Spectrum.

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More about Aberdeen GroupAmerican Express AustraliaCDWCDW Computer CentersCompaqCompUSACorporate ExpressIKON Office SolutionsMarketMileMicro WarehouseOffice DepotOffice SolutionsSoftware SpectrumUniversal Studios

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