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Cephren Launches Online Bidding Service

Construction procurement firm Cephren Inc. Tuesday debuted its online bidding service.

Cephren MarketNet allows general contractors, subcontractors, distributors and manufacturers to solicit and submit bids for materials and services to online members of its network.

The service has been in testing since January. A select group of charter customers have been using the bidding service, providing feedback to enhance the its features and functionality.

Current e-commerce customers are reported to represent more than $1.5 billion in purchases annually and include Mass Electric Construction Company, E-J Electric Co., J. A. Penney Co., Liberty-Wesco, Fischbach & Moore Electric LLC, DualStar Technologies, Forest Electric (EMCOR), Midwest Mechanical of New Jersey and Watsco.

"Our initial test of the bidding service has been extremely positive," said Bob Knudsen, director of marketing for Midwest Mechanical, a specialty subcontractor. "The service has made it possible to streamline our procurement process, get better pricing, reduce time and waste, and increase our margins as a result."

All project participants benefit from the bidding service, according to Timothy S. Perini, vice president of business development and marketing at Cephren.

"Contractors can get quicker responses on bid requests, while suppliers can bid on more projects in less time, potentially adding to their revenues and expanding their market reach."

Cephren was formed in January by the merger of eBricks.com Inc. and Blueline Online.