SOURCE: ePlus inc.

July 14, 2008 08:30 ET

ePlus Content Services Announces Country of Origin Data Management Solution

Content Portal Software Helps Companies Identify, Manage, and Track Supplier Certification Requirements of Purchased, Manufactured, and Assembled Goods

HERNDON, VA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - ePlus inc. (PINKSHEETS: PLUS) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, ePlus Content Services inc., has released an innovative, patent-pending software solution for country of origin data management for sourced products in the supply chain. The solution is targeted for companies that are required to track the source of supply for governmental or other corporate supply contracts by complying with at least one of the Country of Origin requirements of the Buy Americas Act and/or the Trade Agreement Acts, as well as U.S. Customs' labeling requirements.

"Country of Origin tracking and management can be a daunting task as goods are purchased, distributed, and assembled throughout the world. Our new and innovative Country of Origin solution helps companies show that their sources of supply comply with the Buy Americas Act or the Trade Agreement Acts, both of which have heightened regulatory requirements," said Ken Farber, president of ePlus Content Services.

Many of today's trading agreements contain certification requirements that some percentage of the product must come from a valid trading partner country. To be eligible, companies must be able to provide positive confirmation of supplier compliance and also meet the audit requirements of their Country of Origin programs. Three examples are NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), BAA (Buy Americas Act), and TAA (Trade Agreement Act).

ePlus' Country of Origin solution allows suppliers to identify those percentages for each source of supply. Confirmation of Country of Origin compliance is itself a positive differentiator for companies. Failure to comply with government audit requests can potentially result in costly fines, non-participation in future contract opportunities, or loss of trading privileges.

"In a world made increasingly complex by globalization, outsourcing, and shifting trade policies, regulatory requirements now cascade beyond a single enterprise to include its entire supply chain. Enterprises seeking long-term trading relationships with government institutions and government contractors need a comprehensive understanding of their supply chain and visibility into the flow of goods across it," said Andrew Bartolini, vice president of Global Supply Management Research at the Aberdeen Group.

Traditionally, companies have outsourced the data collection effort or added resources to capture the information by contacting their supply base using spreadsheets or other manual processes. But the data is often un-normalized, lacks valid coding, and requires significant process/version control to manage it properly and make it suitable for compliance to regulations.

The Country of Origin solution is a new component of ePlus' leading Content+ enterprise supply management solution, including:

-- A self-authoring Supplier Portal for suppliers to provide electronic positive confirmation of the Country of Origin for each item. Companies can provide this information to their Accounts Payable and Purchasing systems to provide supplier qualifications.

-- A hosted or enterprise software license for Content+ Advanced that allows the customer to manage the items they sell. This allows them to add product attributes designed to support Country of Origin regulations, such as the Countries of Origin the item can be sourced from, TAA Compliance, BAA Compliance, and percent sourced outside the United States. This information can be stored and tracked with the item through the ordering and invoicing process, providing an audit trail.

-- A supplier certification program that trains the supplier to use the tool and to provide and maintain Country of Origin certification for all items provided.

-- ePlus consultative services to help customers develop appropriate purchase order information and sales documentation to meet their Country of Origin requirements.

-- The ability to track percentage of origin when items are being used to form a final finished product.

In addition to providing a methodology for identifying content percentages, the Country of Origin solution also supports:

-- The relationship between the original manufacturer part number and the selling organization's part number.

-- Multiple sources of origin for a single part number.

-- Tracking of Country of Origin and all changes to the information to support Sarbanes-Oxley and other government audits.

More information on Country of Origin can be found at http://www.eplus.com/country_of_origin.htm.

About ePlus Content Services and ePlus Systems inc.

ePlus Content Services inc. and ePlus Systems inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of ePlus inc. which publishes and markets enterprise supply management software applications and services to meet the needs of spend management and product information management for customers across all industries. The combination of software and services gives customers the choices and tools to optimize their spend, including supplier enablement, catalog content management, eProcurement, spend analytics, document management, and asset management.

About ePlus inc.

ePlus is a leading provider of technology solutions. ePlus enables organizations to optimize their IT infrastructure and supply chain processes by delivering world-class IT products from top manufacturers, professional services, flexible lease financing, proprietary software, and patented business methods. Founded in 1990, ePlus has more than 650 associates in 30+ locations serving more than 2,500 customers. The Company is headquartered in Herndon, VA. For more information, visit http://www.eplus.com, call 888-482-1122, or email info@eplus.com.

ePlus®, Content+® Advanced, Supplier Portal, and other ePlus products referenced herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of ePlus inc. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements". Actual and anticipated future results may vary due to certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the existence of demand for, and acceptance of, our services; our ability to adapt our services to meet changes in market developments; the impact of competition in our markets; a decrease in the capital spending budgets of our customers; the possibility of defects in our products or catalog content data; the possibility that the SAS 70 report may not be accepted as sufficient evidence of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance by our customers' auditors or regulators, or suitability for that purpose; our ability to hire and retain sufficient personnel; our ability to protect our intellectual property; our reliance on our management team; and other risks or uncertainties detailed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information set forth in this release is as of July 14, 2008. ePlus undertakes no duty to update this information.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kleyton Parkhurst
    SVP
    ePlus inc.
    Email Contact
    703-984-8150