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Technology Promises to Revolutionize Procurement; MaterialNet.com's Custom Procurement Platform Introduced.

Business/Internet Editors

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 12, 2000

Web-Based System Provides the Most Cost Effective and Convenient

Solution for Companies to Manage their Existing Supply Chain

MaterialNet.com, the first buyer-centric online marketplace for the metals industry (www.materialnet.com), today unveiled the company's proprietary Custom Procurement Platform.

The patent-pending technology offers users an immediate, no-upfront-cost solution for buying metals and other materials online from suppliers with whom they have long-standing relationships.

"Our technology solution enables buyers to quickly and easily input their supply base, effectively creating their own Custom Procurement Platform on the MaterialNet.com website," says David Center, company president. "Clients can now use our platform as a powerful tool to achieve process savings and to manage their purchasing online in the most convenient and cost-effective manner."

This technology is the company's next step in its mission to provide a complete suite of products and services for buyers and sellers of all industrial metals. The MaterialNet.com platform is now equipped to meet the needs of all metal procurement professionals, whether it is for a spot transaction, for just-in-time inventory, or for more strategic requirements involving a company's preferred trading partners. "What's more, the platform is scalable and can eventually be applied across additional raw material categories," Centner adds.

Key advantages of the Custom Procurement Platform, according to Centner, include:

- No startup costs to either buyers or suppliers

- No IT integration requirements

- Maintaining and enhancing pre-existing relationships

- Option to expand beyond metals procurement

- Efficient reporting in real-time

- Improving inventory/supply management

- Flexible bidding formats including sealed bid

- Cultivating new, highly qualified supplier sources.

"This is the fast-track, no-cost way for any company considering making a huge technology investment to handle its purchasing online," says Centner. "It's a viable means for them to retain valued existing relationships while gaining instant technology to transact via this platform. They have the added option of using MaterialNet.com Certified Suppliers to supplement their own Private Suppliers each time they run a Request for Quote."

Here's how the technology works: Buyers can build their own Custom Procurement Platform on the MaterialNet.com site simply by entering some basic supplier contact information. Once all suppliers are notified, buyers can use the platform to conduct automated online purchasing via sealed bids or any of MaterialNet.com's numerous auction formats. Procurement professionals may also track orders and shipments from one centralized location and access a comprehensive array of reporting functionality from their desktop. Buyers will also have the option to expand their supply bases on any requirement to include qualified suppliers from the MaterialNet.com Certified Supplier Network, which now numbers more than 400 mills, service centers and distributors representing about 1500 locations worldwide.

The Custom Procurement Platform is an ideal, instant solution for large corporations with many operations and extensive internal procurement requirements. "Our Custom Procurement Platform technology allows such companies to maximize their resources," Centner explains. "The platform encourages subsidiaries to keep outsourcing within the corporate family and provides access to real-time reporting across multiple divisions. This information can then be used to make better decisions and to create a more efficient process of supply chain management."

The MaterialNet.com Custom Procurement Platform is individually developed for each company, for its exclusive use. Ultimately, this customization will allow for the option of a complete integration into the supplier and buyer's legacy systems.

About MaterialNet.com

Since launching its Web site in November 1999, MaterialNet.com has increased its Certified Supplier Network from an initial base of 47 suppliers to more than 400 suppliers representing some $30 billion in revenue. Unique in its multimetals approach to the online marketplace, the company currently focuses on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), service centers and the end-users of primary metal products. Plans are for a phased global expansion into all raw materials. On March 20 the company announced it had secured $12.5 million in its first institutional round of funding. Wit SoundView Ventures, a unit of Wit Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WITC), led the round, with participation from Jacobson Family Investments (JFI), MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (NYSE:MSM), and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 12, 2000
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