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PwC Consolidates Place in B2B e.conomy

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched a national multiple business-to-business e-marketplace aiming to providing companies with cost savings and access to world's best practices through its consortium.

e.conomy aims at reducing purchasing costs for companies by buying goods and services such as travel, rental cars, accommodation services and office supplies as a member of an online consortium of middle market companies and larger Australian organizations.

In the future, PwC said the range will expand to include technology equipment, express mail, office furniture, temporary staff, office equipment, commercial printing and copy services.

"e.conomy is ready to transact. In a practical sense, e.conomy enables members to buy high-volume, low-strategic business items more quickly, easily and cheaply than they currently do," said Asia-Pacific business leader of e.conomy Tony Peake. "They are able to buy at volume discounts, without volume purchasing. There are no joining fees and no minimum spend requirements."

Launched in the U.S. late last year, e.conomy has proved successful in attracting over 350 U.S. members, according to PwC. It began operating recently in Canada and will be rolled out from Australia across the Asia-Pacific over coming months, launching within weeks in the United Kingdom.

"With the Australian launch of e.conomy," Mr. Peake continued, "PwC expands on the services already offered to the market, with e.conomy being an extension of the considerable work we are doing in e-markets, and horizontal and vertical trade exchanges. The launch of e.conomy is exciting in its own right and provides an avenue for us to entertain potential opportunities with other emerging B2B ventures," he said.

Peake said e-business is fundamentally changing the way companies can do business, but many Australian organizations have been wary about moving online. "e.conomy allows members to accelerate their use of e-business and start realizing immediate bottom-line savings and procurement efficiencies. These savings come through the favorable contracts our dedicated procurement team cuts, plus the use of the Internet to reduce transaction costs," he said.

Meanwhile, travel management company Internet Travel has announced its successful tender for the travel business of e.conomy, which includes the inhouse travel management system Lumina.

Internet Travel's chief executive Leslie Lofthouse said the system gave the group the edge over other groups competing for the contract. "This e.conomy win reinforces the international recognition that our system is getting," she said, citing recent deals with Sabre Pacific and National Australia Bank as factors.



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