Following years of tight financial margins at its predecessor organizations, the retail industry Internet-based trading exchange Agentrics LLC has been profitable since it was formed last fall through the merger of GlobalNetXchange and the WorldWide Retail Exchange, CEO Chris Sellers tells Internet Retailer.
“We’ve been profitable since the merger,” Sellers says. The financial turnaround stems from having a critical mass of large retailers as well as manufacturers as users of its products and services, and from having a broader range of offerings, he adds.
Agentrics, with dual headquarters in Chicago and Alexandria, VA, now has 250 paying customers, including 17 of the 25 largest retailers worldwide, but it also works with thousands of other companies that don’t pay for its services, Sellers says. The latter include manufacturers that it helps to source for retailers, he adds.
Bill Swanton, an analyst who follows b2b e-commerce at AMR Research Inc., says Agentrics has found profits because it has focused more on services that bring value to retailers and manufacturers. “It’s profitable because it has finally gotten core competencies up and running,” he says.
Agentrics is operating with three major business lines, each of which has strong growth potential, Sellers says. They are:
• Sourcing. Initially offered purely as a technology-based service, where retailers and suppliers could find one another on the web, the sourcing offered by Agentrics now also includes more direct assistance. “We’re seeing a lot of demand for this,” Sellers says. “More retailers are asking us if we can help find a source of supply for a specific product or to add competition among their vendors.”
• Product lifecycle management. “This is one of our areas of fastest growth potential,” says Cedric Guyot, vice president of strategy and marketing. Driving demand for Agentrics’s web-based PLM application is growth in retailers’ private label programs, he adds.
• Supply chain collaboration. Rather than develop collaboration based on strict interpretations of collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment, or CPFR, Agentrics is working with retailers and manufacturers on customized versions of collaboration, Guyot says. In a related service, Agentrics has worked with VeriSign, the provider of online data authentication and security tools, to create a promotions web portal where retailers and suppliers can share sales data.