25 May 2006 | Steve Bagshaw
Two US firms claim they will "revolutionise online procurement" with a system that uses artifical intelligence (AI).
The Puridiom system uses software from sourcing firm Procusoft in a programme the developers forecast will "shorten the request for quotations cycle by half".
The firms say it is the first time an e-auction has been designed that lets vendors highlight the specifications of their products which most closely meet buyers' needs. Organisations including Boeing and the US Marines are already signed up.
Fadi Micaelian, Procusoft chief executive, speaking to SM at the Institute for Supply Management conference in Minneapolis this month, described it as an "apples and oranges comparison engine".
He said: "It allows suppliers to compete on all the criteria important to a buyer, delivering the best value for any transaction. It also enables buyers to select from a range of criteria and to weight those that matter to them most."
Jesus Ramos, chief executive at Puridiom parent company TSA, said it negated the need to be an expert in a particular category so "any buyer can buy any commodity", freeing up purchasers to work on strategic projects.
The system provides a relevance scoring percentage taking into account the type and weight of the buyers' requirements.
While other firms are known to offer complex evaluation tools, the US firms believe their product is a first for the market.