Danish ecommerce specialist Catalog-International has opened up a UK office targeting medium-sized businesses which need to develop online trading solutions to deal with major corporate suppliers.
Prem Athwal, Catalog's UK country manager, said that many such businesses need to consider sell-side software rather than adopting e-procurement systems.
"Mid-size businesses must have sell-side software if they are going to link to the procurement systems of larger companies," he said. "And many don't do enough procurement of their own to make investment in software pay off."
However, most medium-sized businesses have a very high cost of sale to smaller customers - a situation which sell-side software can alleviate.
"One of our clients has a large pool of customers who order in small quantities and are expensive to service," said Athwal. "The cost of administering those clients erases any profit they generate."
Catalog's Ideal Seller software automates these small transactions over the web, thereby reducing the cost of each sale and making profits easier to realise.
A ready-to-run solution, Ideal Seller allows companies with limited budgets to quickly implement online sell-side trading. This can be done standalone or integrated with an existing database or ERP infrastructure.
Athwal said that medium-sized businesses are floundering in the adoption of business to business ecommerce owing to a lack of focus from vendors and management consultants. He claims that Catalog is one of the few companies providing that focus.
"The technology industry's focus has been predominantly on buy-side ecommerce aimed at major enterprise e-procurement needs at premium cost," he said. "Medium-sized organisations have been left without an array of affordable ecommerce sell-side propositions to put their businesses online."
"Organisations with turnovers between £5m and £300m cannot afford exorbitant consultancy fees. In addition, major software vendors continue to focus on the Global 2000 market sector where large-scale projects are found," he added. "This leaves medium-sized organisations with limited choice when faced with the prospect of putting their businesses online."
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