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ProcureZone.com and Process Industry Practices Sign Joint Development and License Agreement; More Than 300 Standard Practices Added to Specification-based Site for e-Procurement.

Business Editors/Hi-Tech & Building Writers

HINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 14, 2000

ProcureZone.com LLC and the Process Industry Practices (PIP) consortium today announced a formal Joint Development and License Agreement that will add hundreds of standard specifications to the ProcureZone Internet hub for procuring engineered equipment and materials for the construction industry.

ProcureZone announced the agreement at the E-Business in the Construction Industry conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Forbes magazine. ProcureZone is a sponsor of the conference and is leading a panel discussion on cost savings that can be achieved by using its automated procurement system.

The arrangement with PIP will immediately add more than 300 published PIP Practices to ProcureZone's unique online specification library. These Practices, based on the combined operating and construction experience of PIP member companies, are expected to expand to more than 520 Practices in the next twelve months.

"The addition of the PIP library of more than 300 company-neutral practices will enable ProcureZone clients to procure essentially all of the engineered equipment and materials used in process facilities through our Web site," said Charles Miller, Chairman and CEO of ProcureZone.com. "More importantly, linking the PIP Practices to our comprehensive, automated online workflow means these items can be procured faster and more cost effectively than ever before."

The significance of standard practices and specifications is underscored by a recent value-added study exploring a $200 million construction project for a U.S.-based process plant built by a PIP member company.

Using data from the completed project and a detailed engineering estimate approach, the study team of owner, contractor and supplier/vendor resources determined that the potential project cost savings would have been as high as 6.7 percent of total installed cost, if all PIP Practices had been available and in use.

Previous studies and surveys have shown similar potential savings opportunities in the range of 5 percent to 8 percent.

"The potential improvement in return on capital investment for process industry owners using standard specifications is significant," said B.C. Ebert, Director of the Austin-based PIP. "Even the low end of the expected savings range translates into hundreds of millions of dollars of potential savings in U.S. projects alone."

Ebert added: "I am excited about the potential for expanded use of the PIP Practices by linking them to the unique functionality of the ProcureZone.com Web site."

ProcureZone is the only application service provider (ASP) focused on procuring products needing extensive engineering specification and documentation. At the heart of the ProcureZone.com system is a proprietary library of specifications and XML-based intelligent forms that enable buyers to quickly create data sheets and assemble requests for proposal (RFPs) for any application.

Users can select suppliers, submit RFPs, receive and compare bids, conduct auctions, negotiate offers, and conform contract documents, all online. The electronic workflow also includes milestone tracking, invoicing, and payment. All of these functionalities can be applied to the purchase of commodities, catalog items and services, too.

Companies can integrate ProcureZone seamlessly with their existing systems because the Internet hub is based on an open architecture design.

Users of the system achieve significant time and cost savings from the resulting efficiency improvements in their procurement and proposal work processes. Buyers and suppliers also realize additional economies from an enlarged community of potential business partners.

Other unique features of ProcureZone.com include a complete electronic history of each purchase, which helps minimize misunderstandings between buyers and suppliers, and an unprecedented online database, which allows companies to compare the costs of components over time and across projects.

About ProcureZone.com

ProcureZone.com is the only application service provider and Internet hub focused on the procurement of engineered equipment and materials such as pressure vessels, transmission and distribution equipment, compressors, pumps, electrical and process control equipment, and other products needing extensive engineering specification and documentation.

Designed by a team of construction industry veterans, ProcureZone.com provides a comprehensive set of Web-based, automated procurement tools for engineering and construction professionals in the energy, industrial, commercial, infrastructure and process sectors.

The system became operational in July 2000 and is being utilized for approximately $20 million worth of procurements on a variety of projects. More than 35 buyers have registered on the site, including ABB, Toshiba, Toyo, Linde, Mitsui, Sargent & Lundy, BE&K, Samsung and Hyundai.

More than 175 suppliers also have joined ProcureZone.com's growing global online community, including Cutler Hammer, Ingersoll-Dresser Pump, Honeywell, WESCO, Leslie Controls, Pirelli Cables, ITT Goulds Pumps and Van Leeuwen. Additional information about ProcureZone.com is available at www.procurezone.com.

About Process Industry Practices

Process Industry Practices is a consortium of 34 process industry plant owners and engineering construction contractors. PIP is working to harmonize member companies' internal design, procurement and construction standards into a set of industry wide practices for voluntary use.

Members share the goal of reducing plant costs by up to 6 percent through the implementation of common industry practices for plant design, engineering and construction. Organized in 1993, PIP is a separately funded initiative of the Construction Industry Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

PIP publishes and maintains recommended Practices for the process industry in the following disciplines: Civil, Structural and Architectural, Coatings and Insulation, Electrical, Machinery, Piping and Instrument Diagrams, Piping, Process Control and Vessels. Specific Practices include design, selection, specification and installation information.

A current listing of published Practices is available on the PIP Web site at www.pip.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 14, 2000
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