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Mining E-Procurement For SavingsMining E-Procurement For Savings

Copper-mining company to move $1 billion in annual spending to exchange

InformationWeek Staff

March 29, 2002

2 Min Read

Fast-moving companies want procurement exchanges to move beyond office supplies. Codelco, the world's largest copper mining company, needs to automate the sourcing and procurement of multimillion-dollar mining machinery that's central to its business. This summer, the mining company, formally known as Corporaci?n Nacional del Cobre de Chile, plans to begin the process of moving more than $1 billion in annual spending onto the mining, minerals, and metals exchange Quadrem International Ltd. Procurement will be based on new E-sourcing software from Emptoris Inc.

Codelco, in Santiago, Chile, uses Quadrem's auction-and catalog-based procurement tools. But the process of buying from catalogs is ill-suited to the business and to the culture of Chile, says German Sandoval, Codelco's E-business manager. Quadrem's implementation of Emptoris' ePass sourcing software will let the government-owned company automate its preferred procurement method--issuing requests for proposals and negotiating contracts based on supplier quality and price.The ePass software, which Quadrem offers under the name Quest, will automate the request for quotes and bid-receipt process. It also should help in contract negotiations. Quadrem's integration with Codelco's SAP financial applications will let the company manage contracts for high-cost strategic goods, such as massive smelting furnaces and mining machinery, by issuing purchase orders directly from SAP. Also, some contract items may be cataloged on Quadrem so they're easier to order. For one-time purchases, Codelco will use Quadrem's proprietary tools to issue an electronic purchase order.Codelco desperately needs to automate the sourcing process, Sandoval says. The company faxes as many as 15,000 requests for quotes per month to suppliers and processes them manually. Bids also are processed manually, and purchases against contracts are entered into the company's SAP financials individually. "I send RFQs to five suppliers for most items," Sandoval says. "Using the new system, I'll be able to send them to 10 or 20 and pick the best supplier at the best price, and begin to manage procurement in a much more cost-effective way." The first $100 million in spending will move to the exchange this year. Sandoval expects to save millions.

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