In the beginning of 2001, the e-sourcing platform myFUTURA took over the traditional handling of tendering between buyers and vendors, which at that time was still based on the exchange of tendering documents in paper or disk form. Initially, myFUTURA was only used for construction purchasing.
The agents of the BASF Competence Center “Global Purchasing” however, were not satisfied with the parallel usage of different electronic purchasing applications. Instead of using multiple platforms, all purchasers should be working with one product only. In addition to the desired standardization, further criteria were quickly added to the technical specifications, e.g. a product of industry-wide acceptance was required. Only a well-known, universally accepted software can gain the trust of all participants which is needed for overall success. Choosing the option of accessing the next application version via Application Service Providing (ASP) was connected to the same objective. Within the scope of this concept, Futura Solutions not only assumes the hosting and operation of the application, but also takes care of the whole supplier management (user administration). The usage-dependent account of charges was particularly enticing for BASF. “Thanks to the neutrality achieved by the ASP operation, our business partners can also be sure that we as purchasers are not able to interfere with the system to their detriment. This in turn is a significant contribution to confidence building and transparency”, says Karl May, project manager responsible for software selection.
Based on these requirements, an interdisciplinary team of IT specialists and employees from various purchasing areas started a professional selection process. In the course of an intensive market investigation, more than 100 relevant supplier companies worldwide were subject to performance and product quality tests. The “top five” companies nominated for the final round had to demonstrate the capability of their products during a presentation and live demonstration on site.
The solid foundation and the expansion stages implemented during the project have created an excellent tool.
Just two months after opting for myFUTURA, the present area of application could be extended to other purchasing units. Expenses for administration and training have been reduced immensely by using only one application throughout all units of technical procurement. The application’s well-structured setup enables quick and interconnected work. For instance, a call for tender can be converted into an auction with a few mouse clicks. Moreover, different auction types are available and a variety of settings can be made exclusively for specific purchasing organizations. Each buyer can thus create and manage their own master file of suppliers which is an optimal provision for repetitive routine operations. In addition, the system leaves room for strategies that would not be practicable during traditional negotiations; this in turn leads to significant cost advantages.
The e-sourcing application is tried and trusted across multiple countries in Europe, North and South America as well as in Asia. The purchasing units of technical procurement which are using the system currently cover about 50 percent of their procurement volume. Other purchasing units too, like packaging materials and raw materials, are currently testing myFUTURA for their areas of responsibility. According to the unanimous opinion of the project team, “The solid foundation and the expansion stages implemented during the project have created an excellent tool. It’s safe to assume that it still has great potential on the market”. Plans for the future include the expansion of additional functionalities, e.g. integration into SAP and further specific improvements like the international roll-out within the whole BASF group.
Broad acceptance by industry-wide usage
Very short introduction time – productive within 2 months
E-sourcing application for international usage