New Tools May Make E-Life Easier

FRAMINGHAM (03/27/2000) - Maxager Technology Inc. in San Rafael, Calif., has announced software that enables suppliers to calculate their costs and profit in real time while simultaneously bidding at online exchanges. The software identifies which contracts are potentially the most profitable and flags the lowest price a supplier can bid and still earn a profit on net assets based on real production costs.

Users of the software, which takes four weeks to install and is priced at 1% of a plant's revenue over three years, include Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola Inc., Chicago-based Nippon Steel U.S.A. Inc. and Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.

Also on the sales side, New York-based InterWorld Corp. is taking aim at the differentiation issue with software that enables suppliers to automatically upload their entire catalogs - including specific branding and promo-tional data - to several different exchanges, such as Walnut Creek, California-based Commerce One Inc.'s MarketSite.

Delray Beach, Florida-based Wiznet Inc.'s business-to-business site puts suppliers' full catalogs online, enabling buyers to search millions of products, ranging from adhesives to telecommunications systems, by dozens of parameters other than price.

David Yockelsen, an analyst at Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, said suppliers can expect more such products in the coming months. "We'll start to see tools made available to suppliers so they can get real-time analytics about what's happening in a Net market and how that relates to what's going on with their own production," Yockelsen said.

Without them, companies whose products are compared online by price alone "are going to lose more and more margin," he said. "Suppliers will wise up about that."

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