The #4.5 billion per annum NHS supplies market saw a new entrant this week with the launch of Procurnet, an online acquisition service aimed at a wide gamut of NHS buyers.
Launched with the backing of The NHS Confederation, The Independent Healthcare Association and the Association of Managers in General Practice, the backend analysis is performed by InferNet Plc. The new systems run on Informix? object relational database and Silicon Graphics hardware with the Internet connections via UUNet.
Buyers enter several factors that affect choice of product, including company, brand name, product, service and geographical location. By combining the criteria, the system produces a tailor-made selection in rank order. For an additional charge, users can search Dun & Bradstreet?s database and credit rating service to vet suppliers listed on the system.
InferNet was established in 1995 and identified four main areas of information management to improve existing business and promote new launches on the Internet. Those are, location - how to attract customers and help them locate the business; interaction - transacting business with customers; collation - gather information about prospects and the customer base; analysis - understand the audience to help identify new business opportunities.
The site?s three main areas are a pharmaceutical section - comprising a comprehensive list of pharmaceutical companies and equipment suppliers, service companies and wholesalers. General healthcare products and services - with around 12,000 companies in approximately 40 generic groupings and over 4,000 main classifications; and thirdly, a forum of News Groups dealing with directorate or procurement, and displaying editorials, press releases and suppliers' announcements.
The service is free, apart from the cost of Internet access or NHSnet, and ProcurNet is in beta-test service until 1st September at www.procurnet.com.
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