Proforma IdeaPress Gains Edge with Ariba Discovery

For years, Pratt Pande watched as companies move the manufacturing of products that his Atlanta-based company could produce overseas to take advantage of favorable exchange rates and lower labor costs. Now, he’s seeing things come back. His company, Proforma IdeaPress, a leading provider of promotional products, printing services, business documents and eCommerce solutions, recently won over $500,000 in new business that had previously been awarded to a foreign competitor. And the best part is he didn’t have to go looking for it. It came to him through Ariba Discovery, the premier service for matching business buyers and sellers globally delivered by Ariba, Inc., the world’s business commerce network.

“We are extremely price competitive, but the trend among companies has been to outsource to China and other regions where they could manufacture cheaply,” Pande said. “We registered with Ariba Discovery to improve our visibility among decision makers, and it has really opened up the market for us.”

Delivered via the Ariba Network, Ariba Discovery provides selling organizations with access to real decision-makers in the world’s leading buying organizations and allows buyers to tap into a high-quality supply base. Using the service, sellers can identify valid buying opportunities faster and more cost-effectively than other marketing methods, boosting overall sales and marketing success. And in the case of Proforma, convert them into hard dollar results.

By simply responding to a Request for Proposal for iron-on transfers posted to Ariba Discovery, Proforma was able to connect with a buyer in an active purchasing cycle and ultimately win a contract worth over $500,000.

“Before, we used to use more traditional marketing strategies, like attending networking events, to try and get to the right decision makers and it took several touches and lots of gate keepers,” Pande said. “With Ariba, you can connect with the right people much faster.”

Proforma was able to go from response to contract in just two weeks using Ariba Discovery. “A lead like that would have taken us a good two months to secure before,” Pande said.

As a result of the new business that Proforma has won, the company is expanding both its operations and its competitive advantage. “We are actively hiring and growing our operations. Plus we were able to add a new capability in terms of product line, which we can now market to other customers,” Pande said.

This is what Ariba Discovery is all about, says Rob Mihalko, Vice President of the service. “When you get right down to it, we live in a networked world – one that connects us to communities that help us learn, share, and do business better. By tapping into digital communities like the Ariba Network and leveraging services like Ariba Discovery, companies like Proforma can spend less time finding business and more time growing it.”

In the past 12 months, more than $3 billion in new business opportunities were offered through Ariba Discovery, over 15 million leads distributed, and more than 15,000 matches between buyers and sellers made.