PwC B2B e-comm product a real value-add: PwC

Web-enabled businesses can make annual cuts in expenditure of up to 20 per cent. That's the marketing catchcry of PricewaterhouseCoopers' business-to-business portal, e.conomy.

The portal (http://www.pwceconomy.com.au) plans to connect some 400 Australian medium-to-large goods and service providers with their customers via the internet, e.conomy CEO Tony Peake said.

Almost all participating member companies will make immediate savings of between 10 and 20 per cent on spending, with further savings of up to 10 per cent on "rogue" spending and up to 5 per cent from PwC's "best practices" library, which is available for e.conomy members, Peake said.

Overall, Peake believes 90 per cent of businesses that conduct their e-business via e.conomy will make annual savings of between 17 and 35 per cent.

E.conomy had its Asia-Pacific launch today, but the concept has already been around since September 1999 in the US, Peake said. Since its US launch, e.conomy has attracted around 350 US providers to join its books.

Peake said e.conomy would draw revenues only through member spending. The portal charges no sign-up or monthly access fees and members need only be equipped with basic web browser software, he said. He expects members will conduct around 30 per cent of their spending through e.conomy, of which PwC will then pocket between 1 and 5 per cent. Peake would not give revenue projections.

In Australia, e.conomy has already signed up a handful of providers, including hotel chains and airline companies - what Peake described as the high-spend departments of the corporate world. The portal soon plans to offer access to basic services, such as telecommunications and electricity.

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