media release

Akzo Nobel launches e-procurement initiative

First target set of 50,000 annual online orders

Arnhem, March 22, 2001 – Akzo Nobel today launched its e-procurement initiative, making it the first Dutch-based company to join a public e-procurement marketplace.

The first two orders were placed by the company’s Base Chemicals business unit at a special event held at Akzo Nobel’s headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The event marked an achievement for Base Chemicals, which has led the way in the company’s drive to devise a suitable e-procurement solution.

”Our original decision to enter this new area of e-procurement made sheer business logic and that has been the case all the way through the development of the initiative,” explained René Scheffers, General Manager Base Chemicals. “Much the better that our initiative is also of high value to Akzo Nobel as a whole.”

To help launch its common e-procurement solution, known as “BUY-CEPS” (Business Units’ Common E-Procurement System), Akzo Nobel has connected to BT MarketSite, the first site of its kind in Europe. This public online marketplace, based in the UK, connects buyers with suppliers to enable the complete automation of the ordering process for indirect goods and services, such as computer hardware and software, stationery and maintenance.

The site has connections with the worldwide trading web and Base Chemicals aims to be ordering from 50 suppliers within six months. A target of placing 50,000 orders annually has also been set, which will represent 50 per cent of the business unit’s yearly transactions. Efficiency savings using the new system for the planned 50,000 orders alone have been estimated at EUR 2-3 million.

“This is just the first step to a global Akzo Nobel-wide e-procurement system,” said Ronald Baars, the company’s Director of Purchasing who coordinates the BUY-CEPS initiative. “Together with the business units, we are creating a common solution for the whole company, enabling us to participate efficiently, and stay competitive, in future market dynamics.”

At today’s launch event, attended by representatives from A.D. Little, British Telecom, implementation partner Atos Origin and e-commerce solution providers SAP and Commerce One, Paul Brons, the Akzo Nobel Board Member whose responsibilities include Purchasing and IT, noted that the shockwaves reverberating through the world of e-Business have left Akzo Nobel unruffled.

“We have tried to approach e-Business as a help rather than a hype,” he said. “First we created e-Point, a virtual meeting place on our Intranet for Akzo Nobel staff to share practical ideas and experiences on e-Business applications. “Now we see BUY-CEPS becoming just one excellent example of this sharing of know-how and technologies in Akzo Nobel’s diversified business environment. And, of course, we will progress further.”

Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 2000 totaled EUR 14 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8.5 billion). The Company employs approximately 68,000 people in 75 countries. Financial results for the first quarter of 2001 will be announced on April 25, 2001.