NatureBid.com Profile

September 1, 2000

6 Min Read
NatureBid.com Profile


NatureBid.com

1 World Trade Center, Ste. 7803
New York, NY 10048
Phone: (212) 775-1771
Fax: (212) 839-8006
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.NatureBid.com
CEO: Jie Wang, Ph.D.
COO/CFO: Donald Stires
President: Albert Kit Chan, Ph.D., J.D.
CTO: Ruihai An
Founded September 1999, live launch March 2000
Mission Statement: NatureBid.com is a B2B e-commerce trading marketplace for natural products for the dietarysupplement/nutraceutical, natural foods and natural personal care industries. We not only offer buyers and sellers cost-effective e-commerce solutions but also provide end-to-end value-added services streamlining business processes. Our mission is to facilitate trading between companies that are looking to expand their business solutions through e-commerce channels.

INSIDER talked with Dr. Wang, CEO, about the strategy of NatureBid.com.

Q: What are the main services you offer?

A: We provide a trading platform for the nutraceutical industry that focuses on the raw material market. Our site has more than $300 million in goods and services, with a focus on raw materials. Our Total Solution Services program allows people to come to our platform to both find the materials they want plus additional services. We can provide quality control, logistical assistance, and banking/escrow services. Our site is integrated with major providers of these different services. This comprehensive service is up and available to our registered members. Companies with whom we have established strategic relationships can use these services with no additional fee. For example, we can do hosting of their homepage and economize their purchasing and sourcing process. Also, we offer an information center on which our members can post clinical data or articles; this lets people read the information and then return to the trading platform to buy or sell.

Q: In an increasingly competitive marketplace, what sets you apart?

A: We think our Total Solution Services program, with its one-stop service, is key to our unique position. While others may talk about it, we're offering services. For example, we have a strategic alliance with two difference QA/QC labs, as well as with a major shipping service and banking operation. Second, we were the first B2B site to launch, so our technology is very advanced. Our site is available in both Chinese and English, and we will launch other languages. We have two patents on our technology for translation. This helps close the loop in a global marketplace. On that note, we have strong connections in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. If buyers want to source unique products from those areas, they can source them very efficiently. Next, our past experience in filing Investigational New Drug (IND) applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and patent application for products can help guide other companies who are interested in that area. Finally, we are trying to build our strategic alliances. For example, if you have a certain number of transactions, you get certain credits that you can use to get additional services and even common shares in the company.

Q: How have you dealt with the issue of security on your site?

A: We know that security is an issue. In this industry, what you buy, how much you buy, it's all a secret. But when the information is product specific, about prices, quantity, product identity, that is all secure. Companies/buyers of a certain size can set up private trading rooms to allow them to use our site as one of their own purchasing departments. No one can have access to that section. Further, during transactions, the price and volume can be discussed, but the identity of the companies is not revealed until an agreement is reached to conclude the transaction.

Q: How have you addressed the issue of quality?

A: Quality is a big issue in the industry. The first thing we do to address it is provide quality assurance/quality control services. We have a signed agreement with two major laboratories to do sample and other testing for our sellers and buyers. They can get those services through us for less than if they don't go through our platform. More than half the companies are usingthis service.

NutraBid

67 Walnut Ave., Ste. 205
Clark, NJ 07066
Phone: (732) 382-6565
Fax: (732) 382-6363
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.nutrabid.com
CEO: Subhash Makhija
COO/CTO: Jagadish Turimella
President: Roopa Makhija
Founded 1999, live launch April 2000
Mission Statement: To help the nutraceutical industry profitably participate in the B2B e-commerce revolution through state-of-the-art digital infrastructure.

INSIDER talked with Roopa Makhija, president, about the strategy of NutraBid.

Q: What are the main services you offer?

A: We have three main service offerings--the electronic marketplace, electronic procurement, and a private electronic catalog. The electronic marketplace encompasses a range of services. In that area, companies can buy and sell ingredients and finished products at a fixed price or using an auction model. We have forward auctions, where the price goes up as buyers bid for products, or reverse auctions, where a buyer will state the top price he will pay and suppliers bid downward. We also have a negotiated e-commerce offering where buyers and sellers can negotiate on multiple parameters to come to an agreement on terms. The electronic marketplace also includes our storefronts, where companies can advertise services, as well as a Product Launch Center. This allows companies to launch ingredients and get feedback from test marketing. In the second service offering, electronic procurement, we conduct private auctions for companies that might not be comfortable opening their buying process to unqualified suppliers. We combine our offline expertise with an online tool to determine the buyer's criteria, create RFPs, pre-select qualified suppliers, and conduct a Web-based live auction. Our $7.5 million auction of 27 products for procurement of raw materials by a large buyer was the first online auction in the nutraceutical industry. Our third service offering is the private electronic catalog. This allows companies to sell products on their own Website using NutraBid's back end technology.

Q: In an increasingly competitive marketplace, what sets you apart?

A: Other companies with electronic, nutraceutical marketplaces commonly focus on just one area. We target the entire value chain in the nutraceutical industry from the suppliers to the manufacturers and distributors all the way to retailers. We offer a range of services for each type of company. This is a neutral forum and we supply services based on the needs of our customers. We also provide in-depth news that is updated two to three times a week in the financial, research, and regulatory areas. Our senior management team is also very strong. Our people have expertise in procurement, in raw materials, in finished products,in e-commerce.

Q: How have you dealt with the issue of security on your site?

A: Our site has very tight security. We are hosted by one of the top web hosting companies, which provides a layer of security and a firewall. All transactions are protected, and there are password requirements and encryption. We conduct due diligence on the companies that register on our site. We have about a 20 percent rejection rate, because we have to ensure the quality of these companies. Our credibility is on the line.

Q: How have you addressed the issue of quality?

A: On our site, we are working with third-party testing labs; in time, we hope to have a rating system for suppliers based on both quality testing issues and reliability. For example, we'll find out whether a supplier is delivering product on time and in the quantity and quality ordered. In our electronic marketplace, companies can post whether they have a certificate of analysis (CofA); many buyers are insisting on that information. We are also working to educate both buyers and sellers about the capabilities of e-commerce. Education will be a key component of the adoption of this technology, and the companies that take advantage of this and are proactive will make progress.

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