CHICAGO (July 17, 4:10 p.m. EDT) — Commerx PlasticsNet is getting into the forecasting business.
The company, a provider of electronic supply-chain management, has struck an agreement with Manugistics Group Inc. to offer collaborative software to processors.
The agreement, completed June 19, will allow Chicago-based Commerx to offer packages that assist in forecasting orders for materials and other suppliers over a period of several months, said Executive Vice President Nick Stojka.
The software will help processors reduce inventory levels that might otherwise sit at a dock waiting for future use, Stojka said in an interview at NPE 2000.
"It can be used throughout the supply chain to allow companies to more efficiently communicate and collaborate," Stojka said.
The software can also be integrated with two new products from the company, its Commerx eBuy procurement package and eShip delivery software.
The order-forecasting software, developed by Rockville, Md.-base Manugistics, will be available by the end of the year, Stojka said.
The company also announced that users of Commerx PlasticsNet and Commerx Metals will have access to FindMRO.com, a Web site offered from W.W. Grainger Inc. The site offers sourcing services for maintenance, repair and operating supplies.
The Manugistics package is part of a market shift for Commerx. The company recently decided to move from a Web marketplace model to one offering supply-chain solutions to individual processors.
Those processors would connect to Commerx´s site, with a special password, to conduct transactions and track orders.
"We want to stay behind the scenes with our customers," said Commerx Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Stojka. "A lot of these companies might look at us as a middleman. But we´d rather be a technology partner to enhance their work."
The company is close to an agreement with an unnamed, $16 billion packaging company to use its technology, Tim Stojka said. Several processors, including Nypro Inc., are using the eBuy system.
The company also will continue its Web buying site for now, he said. Commerx also is offering a private auction site for customers.