The first British B2B eMarketplace designed for the everyday purchases of small to medium-sized businesses has been launched.
Apsiz, consultants in procurement, and cloudBuy plc, the transactional cloud platform, have developed ukplc.biz – an online marketplace dealing with the everyday needs of SMEs.
We talk to David Shields, Director of Apsiz, about what the eMarketplace offers.
BusinessesForSale: Hi David. Could you explain what the eMarketplace does?
David Shields: The aim of the marketplace is really to connect businesses together, with the specific focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
We felt there was a gap in the marketplace that really focused on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. We wanted specifically UK suppliers to be able to supply SMEs and the products and services they need at good prices.
BFS: You mentioned suppliers – who are the suppliers and how are they chosen?
DS: We’ve worked with thousands of suppliers over time, so we’ve selected suppliers that we know are great value and perform well on service levels. We’re committed to working within the UK, so these are very much UK companies supplying UK companies. Part of the process is that we work with them on benchmarking, so we know that the prices are competitive in the markeplaces as well.
BFS: How is it specifically catered to small to medium sized businesses? How does it differentiate from other marketplaces?
DS: The concept is to enable small businesses to go to a single portal to buy all of their common goods and services that most organisations might need.
At the moment, in most cases, if you want to buy a computer or some stationary or insurance you need to go to different websites and get different prices and quotes. What we’re trying to do that within one place to make it convenient and easy. The other thing we’re aiming to achieve is card payments: as a small-medium sized enterprise, what you want is efficiency and no paperwork. With secure card payments, we can keep a track of our costs and without any paperwork and the hassle of any transactions an invoices.
The other element of this that we’re providing services a small company may need, for example: IT, travel, supplies, and insurance services. Once we develop the concept we’ll bring in legal services and accountancy services.
What we’re trying to use are companies that are happy to specialise in those kinds of services to small to medium-sized enterprises.
BFS: Do you think that by providing this service, it effectively improves the day-to-day running of a small business? And if so, how?
Ok well I think all, or a majority of, companies spend most of their profit on buying goods and services. The difficulty in having a small company is that it’s very difficult to understand whether you’ll get good value and that you have no real leverage when the spend is very small.
The idea was to leverage expenditure across many medium to small-sized customers and make that attractive to suppliers by making sure that it’s a larger spend.
BFS: How would someone register to enable their use of the eMarketplace?
DS: Registration is really simple. There’s a single page form to fill in and provide details – name, address, email address, name of company and the relevant clerk details.
Interested? Take a look at the site here.
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