Cape Town, South Africa- ValueCard, replacement service provider for the insurance industry, today announced it has teamed up with Clickatell, the leading global messaging gateway, to provide a real-time insurance procurement service. ValueCard has integrated Clickatell's SMS gateway service into its open source TenderSystem software to allow immediate claims quotations on the move. TenderSystem is an Internet-based system that sources, awards and manages the total procurement process. Users request quotes from suppliers who then tender for the business via reverse auction.
The addition of Clickatell's SMS functionality means that quotes can be submitted in real-time, decreasing the tender period to less than two hours, ensuring that suppliers do not miss any opportunities. SMS are sent with each quotation request (RFQ) and purchase order, notifying agents of awaiting quotes or successful transactions. An SMS is also sent to the client informing them of the status of their claim. This alert increases security for the client by preventing fraudulent transactions, known as switch selling. This is when a supplier quotes for a product or service and replaces it with a cheaper or higher-margin item. The introduction of SMS to the system allows relevant information to be delivered quickly to clients and agents, even if they are on the move. In addition to better and faster service, customers also achieve an audited 20% cost savings, due to improved efficiencies and leveraging the age-old principle of supply and demand. "Quick and accurate information is crucial for any procurement system to function correctly," said Christiaan Erasmus, managing director of ValueCard. "Suppliers must be notified immediately when an RFQ has been issued, allowing them to quote before the tender closes to ensure a potential sale.
The real-time nature of SMS makes this possible." "TenderSystem is a great example of a service deploying SMS in a way that maximizes the benefits of the technology," said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. "TenderSystem brings immediate, relevant information to subscribers in a way that saves both them and the insurance agents money and increases the speed and efficiency of the service." ValueCard evaluated a range of SMS providers and selected Clickatell based on its extensive network coverage, low cost, and ease of integration. "TenderSystem is an open source project and we had to integrate an SMS solution that offers international network coverage, at the best possible price, with minimal disruption to our community," said Erasmus. The integration of mobile messaging functionality means that TenderSystem is ideally suited to areas with little telecommunications infrastructure, bringing an effective procurement solution to previously marginalized regions. TenderSystem is available under an open-source license at Sourceforge.net. Since it was open-sourced in July 2005, it has been downloaded over 600 times. The software is currently used by the short-term insurance industry but is also suitable for any procurement process, especially public-sector purchases.
TenderSystem, www.tendersystem.com, is an open source Internet-based solution to source, award and manage the total procurement process. It was developed by ValueCard (Pty) Ltd, in 2002 and is now the de facto procurement system in Southern Africa allowing insurance companies to decrease their largest expense, namely claims payments. ValueCard was selected as a finalist in the 2005 Emerging Technology Top 100 awards for innovation of the procurement process.
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