An Aerospace e-procurement marketplace
was a startup e-procurement marketplace company owned by a
$1.7 billion a year key player in the air transport
industry. Most of the parent companies services however,
were connected to old technology. Therefore, the parent
company was in the process of re-inventing itself, by
developing an ASP business model with the startup company
as the centerpiece itís offering.
The startup e-procurement marketplace company was created
to address the procurement problems of the air transport
industry. Ultimately, the startup was to incorporate all
capabilities necessary to become the one-stop
e-procurement marketplace for the air transport industry.
However, the initial objective was to provide an
e-procurement marketplace for buyers and sellers of
aftermarket parts and spares. The e-procurement
marketplace would provide an Internet mechanism for
procuring, administering the orders, and document
management of technical documentation of a parts
The initial concern of startup company was to achieve
speed-to-market with a functionality rich e-procurement
marketplace. To establish itself as a leader in the
industry and garner a significant market share.
Initially, rpti was brought on to provide project
management and technical services. rpti resources
contributed to the development of the startup companyís
product in the following areas:
Oracle PL/SQL developers
Unix System Administration
Quality Assurance team members
The first decision was whether to buy an of-the-shelf
e-procurement platform and customize it, or to build a
complete product from scratch. After performing
feasibility studies, gathering requirements, and
performing product evaluations, it was determined that the
products available at that time did not address the
workflow issues specific to the technical procurement
process. Therefore, it was a collective decision to build
the product from the ground up.
Based on a number of factors it was decided that Unix
would be the network platform, Oracle the database,
ColdFusion the application interface and application
server, Netscape the web server, and Siebel the Customer
Relationship Management software. 170 System was chosen as
the document management software that would address the
online traceability feature where suppliers could make
available their part documentation to the buying customer.
Spec2000 was a requirement to send orders to the OEMs.
Extricity (now Peregrine) was chosen to be the integration
platform to connect startup company to other business
processes such as ERPís and other Internet business
websites that provided services that complimented the
technical procurement objective.
Often times in startups, resources have to wear more than
one hat. This opportunity was no exception; as the project
turned into a company, rpti was called on to assist in the
development of internal departmental processes and
procedures as well as to help establish the Customer
Service department. An innovation rpti contributed was
online training. This provided the personal touch of an
instructed course, but also saved the company money with
some of the smaller companies needing the same hand
holding as the larger ones. We also exploited the
capabilities of this tool to enhance the customer service
experience as well as providing communication for
integration projects that span great distances. Other
areas of significant contribution by rpti were business
development, training, pre-sales technical support,
account management, customer implementations, sales, and
presentations at trade shows and at specific customer
In less than one year we helped the startup company
deliver an e-procurement market second to none. The
e-procurement marketplace won the coveted Flight
International Aerospace Industry Award, and garnered very
favorable press releases from trade shows and conventions.
The air transport industry was excited about the startup
company. Headquartered in Chicago, and offices in Seattle,
London, and Singapore, and offices soon to come are Paris
and Dubai, the startup grew from 25 airlines and over 100
suppliers on the site. Aerospan is headquartered in
Chicago and now has offices in Seattle, London, and
Singapore. Offices soon to come are Paris and Dubai.
The startup company was one of the first to deliver an
e-procurement marketplace to the air transport industry,
and it had the most complete set of functionality of any
marketplace to-date. We successfully completed the first
Aerospace integration of 2 e-procurement marketplaces. We
have entered into a proposal for integrating a clientís
ERP and legacy application. rpti is currently being
considered as the startupís exclusive business process
integrator for the Middle East and Africa.
Because of our early success, two airline consortiums
(together they represent 65% of the buying power of the air
transport industry) have expressed an interest of using
the startup as their technical procurement engine.
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