Exclusive – how is trading at TradingPartners??

TradingPartners was one of the earliest technology firms I was aware of in the e-auction arena.  They were founded in London in 2001 and established a pretty strong profile quickly as far as I can remember. They certainly seemed to have 'early mover' advantage in that market. But last week I understand there were office closures in the US (not the main office) and some immediate staff layoffs; that was quickly followed by issue of consultation notices (the prelude to likely redundancies) in the London office amongst some support and operational staff.

Now this doesn't necessarily mean it is critical for the firm; I also understand there has been investment in front line sales staff in an attempt to drive revenue.   And their new CFO, Ginger Gorden, may be looking to get the cost base aligned with revenues early in her incumbency.  But I wonder if the narrowness of their product range is an issue; there are competitors who are highly capable in running auctions (BravoSolution, Intenda, Emptoris immediately come to mind) but also offer a much wider range of sourcing capabilities.  Clients may be increasingly looking for that broader approach.

What does this mean for customers? Well, if you are a fairly 'tactical' user of TradingPartners products or services, there is no need to worry too much; let's face it, you are likely to be owing them money rather than vice versa, and there are clearly many alternative providers of auction technology services if (and it is a big 'if') things got worse.  But if you have a more strategic relationship or are involved in longer term projects or development with them, it may be worth having a serious discussion with your account person at TradingPartners to establish exactly what is going on in the firm, and what re-assurance they can offer about meeting your needs.

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