Today at Petfood Forum 2000 in Europe, SourcingDirect.com and Format International, Ltd. announced their New Century Exchange(TM) (NCE). Format has integrated SourcingDirect.com's advanced online e-hub Digital Trading Pit(TM) software with their formulation and optimization software and will offer it as a module on all of their products. The module will be made available to Format's current installation base of 1200 accounts in 80 countries, as well as future customers.

The New Century Exchange offers a seamless data flow for
  • Access to current market pricing for additives and ingredients during the formulation processing

  • The transfer of information from the formulation software directly to the digital marketplace where products can be bought and/or sold

  • Online access to current logistics and transportation pricing and fees
"We believe that the New Century Exchange will provide feed mills and manufacturers of petfood products with the most significant, fully integrated optimization and procurement system available on the market today. The integration of these two products allows an organization to dramatically reduce the time and labor associated with actively buying or selling product in today's competitive market space," said Donald C. Lies, SourcingDirect.com's CEO. "Any Format customer who has access to the Internet will immediately be able to take advantage of the NCE, including all the features and capabilities of SourcingDirect.com's current site," said Lies.

The ability to exchange prices and, very soon, post bids on the exchange for the purchase of ingredients whose demand has been generated through Format's optimization engine, will provide companies with the opportunity to gain maximum economic benefit.

"By aligning with SourcingDirect.com, Format is maintaining its product offering at the leading edge of technology," said Merryl Webster, Format's CEO. "Format's clients have always enjoyed an extra competitive edge as a result of Format being first with significant advances and innovations, and this is set to continue with the links to SDc's e-hub exchange software system. Timing is the key, and where Format's economic models indicate ingredients are in surplus, opportunities can be taken to trade out of one commodity into another, immediately on-line. In addition, market intelligence is absolutely critical and for those companies who have the capability to use it in a timely manner, it will ensure economic success. And this system can help ensure economic success," continued Webster.

SourcingDirect.com's advanced Digital Training Pit software allows customers the ability to buy and sell up to 1000 additives and ingredients online in a worldwide market or in confidential mini-markets, which the system allows users to create. The overall economic benefits of this type of trading are a reduction in the cost of the traditional labor expense of over 50%; as much as an 80% reduction in the procurement fees and commissions; and the elimination of traditional errors caused by the rekeying of data.

Companies will be able to implement the first release of the New Century Exchange during the fourth quarter of F/Y 2000.

SourcingDirect.com is the leading independent online agribusiness e-hub exchange and communications network for producers, processors, mills and manufacturers of animal feed additives and food/petfood ingredients. Since the site's introduction in May 2000, SourcingDirect.com has continued to enroll new members in the poultry, beef, pork, grain and petfood marketplaces. The company's headquarters are located at 11800 Singletree Lane, Suite 300, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344. For further information, please contact Donald C. Lies at 952.983.4100 or dlies@sourcingdirect.com.

Format International, Ltd. is a world leader in the provision of formulation and optimization software tools to the animal feed, petfood and premix blending industries. Format is headquartered in the United Kingdom and the United States and has local representation through an international network of Format Agents across the globe. For more information, contact Steve Fountain at 952.943.3902 or via email at format_international@compuserve.com.