TradingPartners Bankruptcy Confirmed — Exploring Customer "Full-Service" E-Sourcing Alternatives

Earlier this morning, Chirag Shah, a former CEO and founder of TradingPartners, posted a comment on Spend Matters confirming our report last week that Trading Partners was bankrupt. Here is what he had to say:

I'm sorry to confirm that TradingPartners is bankrupt after all. As a former CEO of the company and now running a competing company called MarketMaker4, I had attempted to contact the Board of Directors in recent months to explore an acquisition of the business but to no avail. It seems Kennet Venture Capital (who controls the Board these days) has preferred to 'scuttle the ship' rather than sell the company as a 'going concern' to a former board member's competing business. This is an incredibly irresponsible step, which has resulted in the unnecessary loss of many jobs and left customers without access to their information. In the past week, together with my colleagues at MarketMaker4, we have attempted to piece things back together but regrettably certain critical information has been mothballed making the recovery of services to customers very challenging.

Aside from what appears to be politics involved in the winding down or potential sale of the business according to Chirag's comment, the more important question for any customers who may remain (or those who already left and are looking for alternatives) is who else to turn to for sourcing services and related spend analysis technology (for those early users of the TradingPartners Spend Science platform). From our perspective, there are a number of alternatives to TradingPartners for e-sourcing sourcing management and software (including supplier recruitment, training, RFX creation, category templates, event management/hosting, proxy bidding, etc).

Many of the software firms in the sector have comprehensive services practices to support reverse auction and strategic sourcing programs. These include BravoSolution (which has been a beneficiary of the decline of TradingPartners already), Iasta, Zycus, Ariba (through partners) and numerous other providers that can deliver fully managed services overlaid on top of software. Some of these providers have capabilities that extend significantly past what TradingPartners was capable of. SAP and Oracle also have significantly developed e-sourcing tools and partner ecosystems as well. As Chirag points out, his own new firm, MarketMaker4, is also a suitable replacement. Companies looking for a TradingPartners alternative may also wish to consider a range of new low-cost e-sourcing providers including MarketDojo that offer varying event support services as well.

Spend Matters will continue to report on any information pertaining to TradingPartner's bankruptcy as it becomes available.

- Jason Busch

Voices (5)

  1. Denise Bergh:

    I contacted Barbara Milns at Baker Tilly, this is her response: "I am afraid I am unable to help you. The US entity is not in any formal insolvency process at the moment and so I would suggest that you contact Ginger Gorden. Ginger.gorden@tradingpartners.com"

    Ginger Gorden will not respond. So now what.

  2. Peter Smith:

    Denise
    I would contact the administrators of the firm also – Baker Tilly. It is "Trading parts.com" that is the official name. Here’s the link http://www.bakertilly.co.uk/media/news/trading-parts-ltd.aspx and I think the email address is graham.bushby@bakertilly.co.uk
    Good luck.

  3. Anonymous:
  4. Jason Busch:

    I am so sorry to hear your story. It is a shame when investors put on their selfish hat for no reason but spite, and the employees are the victims. From Chirag’s comments, it would seem that had the investors allowed a sale of TradingPartners vs. shuttering it, this never would have happened. Our thoughts are with you and your family for a quick resolution on the job front to get your child the care he needs. If you would like to forward your husband’s resume to us, please do so and we’ll see what we can do to get him in front of the right people. jbusch (at) azulpartners (dot) com

    On the topic of the COBRA payments, we are not expert in this … but I am nearly certain their is liability on behalf of the former board/fiduciaries if there was misappropriation of funds (not sure if there was). I would recommend consulting others in a similar position and finding an attorney who can advise you on this.

  5. Denise Bergh:

    My husband is a previous employee of Tradingpartners. We were still members of the group Health plan through COBRA. Tradingpartners collected our Cobra premiums for the months of July & August 2012, failed to pay Blue Cross and now our Health Insurance has been cancelled retroactively to 7/1/2012. Ginger Gorden the CFO at Tradingpartners has refused to respond to our inquiries regarding our premiums. We have a child with special needs that has ongoing behavioral therapies. All of the therapists claims from August have been denied. We have had to suspend all of this therapies until we find coverage that will help pay for them.

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