As Covisint begins operations, suppliers and automakers will have on-site help to ensure that the buying and selling goes smoothly.
The online purchasing exchange will place its employees or contracted personnel on-site to train and assist clients as needed.
'At the beginning we will do hand-holding in order to get this thing started up,' said Peter Weiss, a Covisint co-CEO who is employed by DaimlerChrysler. 'It's a very controlled rollout.'
Covisint conducted a mock transaction on September 29, and went live with real auctions and catalog purchasing last week.
Some suppliers have never used the kind of online tools Covisint provides, Weiss said, so the on-site help will remain for as long as needed.
Training is needed and will be welcomed, said Richard Radecki, director of e-business at Delphi Automotive Systems in Troy, Michigan, USA
'As you start to get into the more elaborate products, like supply chain management and product collaboration tools, there's going to be quite a bit of hand-holding there,' Radecki said.
Delphi is no stranger to online auctions. Through FreeMarkets Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the USA Delphi has conducted 77 online reverse auctions since 1998 with a transaction volume of about $800 million.