Buying-partner.com, a European gate of general purchases
Buying partner is a new start-up created at the beginning of the year in Sophia Antipolis. It wants to offer the opportunity to optimise the purchases of supplies, furniture, computers, cars…to the SME.
A new start-up in Sophia Antipolis : Buying-partner.com. It was founded by four people among whom there are a former purchase manager of Andersen consulting in Sophia Antipolis and an American teacher in Standford (California). The 'dot.com' settled in a niche of the B to B (Business to Business), the general purchases of firms. This is a niche that certainly starts to be stormed, but that Buying-partner tackles in a different way.They were bitten by the bug at Andersen consulting's.'For instance, Tradematch that is also in the niche of firm purchases, targets all the things that are industrial purchase, output purchase', Andreas Woywode explains. He is a former management consultant in Germany, and he works on huge amounts. Buying-partner is only in charge of the general purchases : supplies, furniture, computers, cars, travels, etc. and on lower amounts. We work on 23 purchase families and on almost 100 subgroups.'The idea to create this kind of firm came from Brice Graillot. As he was the person in charge of the purchases at Andersen Consulting's, he had set up the function 'purchase' in 1994. 'That was when I was bitten by the bug. I attended a DESS in purchase management. I also had the opportunity to identify a need in the firms in terms of general purchases. Those needs were not handled in a rational way. Not all the firms have a specialized purchase department and yet, they had to organize the purchases and to make the costs lower. On one hand there was a need, on the other hand there was Internet that has been changing the things : hence the idea to integrate a service for general purchases into the Internet world.The market place of general purchasesThus, a concept of gate on the kind of market places was studied. Through the Internet it is possible to look for the suppliers the firm needs, in an optimum way, Andreas Woywode says. This is the stage of the sourcing. Second stage : the online negotiation on the principle of the inverted bidding. While they keep the confidentiality of the offers and the anonymity of the people taking parts, the suppliers can adjust their offers. This provides many opportunities to get lower costs. We also decided to aim at the SME, contrary to some competitors. With our platform, an invitation to tender can be profitable from 20,000 F.'Cost of the services ? To make a tender of about 100,000 francs costs about 330 F (660 francs up to 250,000 francs). With a guarantee of results : if the buyer is not satisfied and he does not buy, he does not pay. 'No subscription, no software to buy, no admission charges, it is an open community, Andreas Woywode says.Actually, this is especially the supplier who pays the greatest part of the running system. Each supplier who is interested in taking part to an invitation to tender pays the same amount than the buyer pays to make the tender. But, contrary to the buyer, he will not recoup his outlay if he does not get the market (however, he will have been able to modify his price as much as he may want, without having to pay again). To receive the invitations to tender, the suppliers have to register on the site, free of charge, and then they receive the whole of the invitations to tender that are meant to be for them.A European callingThe firm, settled in the World Trade Centre, was created on January 1st 2000 by Brice Graillot, the president, Andreas Woywode , the general manager, Michael Woywode, the manager in Germany, Michael Horvath, the financial manager, a teacher at Standford University. Currently, three employees for the purchases, the management and the computers have come to be added to the four founders. The site was put online on April 1st, and the first transactions are under way. But the market is not limited to France. This is Europe. Buying-partner wants to play a new concept of gate in general purchases, a concept that is the only one in Europe. Thus, it plans to open a department in Germany in early September, and a department in London before the end of 2000.The start-up has begun from personal capitals. It also has got a first investor, Michael Horvath, one of the founders who has already created a star-up that is quoted on the Nasdaq (Kana Communication, software of online marketing). Even if at the moment it is difficult to plan a turnover, the new start-up thinks of a staff of about twenty people by the end of the year, after a real trade start at mid-April.