Despite promises of a paperless office, manufacturers and other businesses still spend significant sums each year on printing, business forms, packaging, point of purchases displays and other related products. For some companies, this can amount to 3% of their annual revenues. For a $1 billion company, that can mean up to $30 million each year.

Even in today's cost-conscious environment, says William Gindlesperger, CEO of e-Lynxx Corp., most company CEOs don't look at the cost of purchased goods closely enough. Their background usually is in operations, accounting or sales, and that is where their cost-cutting focus will be. But Gindlesperger says they should be "paying attention to purchasing because every dollar they save is the same as $10 to $20 in new sales."

Gindlesperger's business is built on providing clients with "measurable cost savings." The company helps clients determine which of its print suppliers (e-Lynxx maintains a large database of print vendors to assist with this process) to put into a database. Attributes for each vendor such as production capabilities and socioeconomic data (union or non-union, minority or women-owned, etc.) are entered.

Then the buyer's needs for its project are also entered in the database. This can include selection criteria such as product category, quality level and geographic location. The buyer's selection criteria are then matched up against the buyer's supplier base to identify the suppliers who are qualified for the job and an electronic solicitation is sent to each of them requesting a bid or price quotation.

William Gindlesperger, CEO, e-Lynxx Corp.

Suppliers that want the job submit their bids. Gindlesperger says his system prequalifies bidders based on objective criteria so it is easy to rank the bids based on cost. The low bidder wins the job, while the suppliers who submitted losing bids, at the buyer's option, can be informed of the winning bid. Moreover, Gindlesperger says his system benefits suppliers because they can choose to participate based not on pricing expectations but rather on what is happening in their shops. If they have capacity, they can afford to bid aggressively on the job because it helps them fill downtime where they would ordinarily receive no income at all. According to Gindlesperger, companies using his system save an average of 42% on their print costs. e-Lynxx charges customers based on their savings on a job compared to a comparable prior job, and guarantees a 25% savings. So if a print project cost them $100,000 previously and the winning bid is $60,000, e-Lynxx receives 25% of the difference, or $10,000. If the cost reduction is not at least 25%, customers pay e-Lynxx nothing

e-Lynxx's ambitions go beyond using its methodology for print services. In November 2008, the company's 10-year quest to patent its procurement methodology was successful. Gindlesperger said companies that contract to use its system for print services will be able to receive a license to use the methodology for any other procurement needs they have for specification-based goods and services.

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