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Credit Accounting Firm with E-procurement Initiative

Written By: D. Geller
Published On: January 3 2000

Event Summary

As a $17 billion company, privately held PricewaterhouseCoopers has tremendous leverage when it goes to the marketplace to make purchases. Now the company is offering to share that leverage by creating a purchasing consortium. Its new e.conomy marketplace will offer members the ability to purchase products, services, travel and software. It will also cover best practices, contract negotiation, and other content areas. The marketplace was launched in the United States and will expand to Canada, Europe and countries in Asia and the Pacific early next year.

Market Impact

Like the similar announcement by TD Bank of Canada (See TEC News Analysis article: "Bank is First Mover in Canadian E-Commerce" December 27th, 1999), PricewaterhouseCoopers is taking the position that anyone can create a marketplace. While the largest financial consulting firm is hardly "anybody," what we see here is the beginning of a flood of similar ventures from companies of all kinds, including similar consulting companies, banks, other large companies with purchasing leverage, and potentially anyone else. Look for a lot of confusion at the beginning of 2000, with some serious shakeouts near the end.

User Recommendations

A user in the United States wishing to enter into E-procurement currently has at least two options. PricewaterhouseCoopers is one option, while joining a marketplace run by an E-procurement software vendor is another. The user has to consider many factors when making a final choice, including:

  • Current buyer and vendor members of the marketplace

  • Capabilities of the underlying procurement software

  • Ease of integration with existing back-end, legacy or ERP systems

  • Ease of integration with other marketplaces

  • Likely financial stability and viability of the marketplace

  • Experience of other users, including ease of use and speed of delivery

These factors must be determined for every candidate marketplace or E-procurement company.

 
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