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 Instill Purchase Insight(SM) Offers Food Buyers Detailed Purchasing Intelligence
PALO ALTO, Calif - May 18, 1999-- Instill Corporation, the leading provider of e-Business services for the foodservice industry, today announced Instill(R) Purchase Insight(SM), a monthly purchase information service that provides contract compliance and rebate capture for foodservice operators, including restaurant chains, hotels, hospitals and foodservice management companies.

The new service, targeted at the $350 billion foodservice industry, will help operators improve profitability by providing visibility to consolidated and detail purchase information at the headquarter level. Initial customers include foodservice leaders Delaware North, Harrah's and Bon Appetit.

"For multi-unit foodservice operators, purchasing food -- the number-one raw material for their business -- is a critical strategic operation," said Mack Tilling, president and CEO of Instill Corporation. "Because our industry is a low-margin business, reducing food costs by a couple of points can have the same impact on the bottomline and shareholder value as a 20 percent increase in revenue. Instill Purchase Insight is the strategic edge that operators need to improve profitability."

"Instill is a great example of a powerful vertical portal, which functions as an intelligent nexus for business information," said Vernon Keenan, president of Keenan Vision, an e-commerce analyst firm. "Instill's investment in a product database should give it a leading position in e-procurement in the foodservice industry."

Instill Confronts the Foodservice Challenge and Wins With FoodLogic

One of the main challenges the foodservice industry faces in improving profitability is industry-wide product language inconsistency. Unlike the grocery industry -- where a bottle of ketchup, for example, carries a standard UPC code at any point in the supply chain -- the same bottle or case of Heinz ketchup in foodservice may carry a different product description, product number, pack, and size description depending on the distributor. These product naming inconsistencies make it nearly impossible for corporate purchasing managers to accurately view consolidated purchasing information across all units and regions.

Instill Purchase Insight is the first solution to support a seamless flow of data within the foodservice supply chain, through its underlying patent-pending FoodLogic(TM) data warehouse, which acts as a unified, multi-distributor "standardizer" of product and transaction information. Developing a system to standardize product codes across different distributors has long been beyond the means of individual restaurant chains or operators because of the enormous number of products and the frequency of product turnovers.

Foodservice Giants Select Instill

Major national foodservice operators including Bon Appetit, Delaware North Cos., Harrah's and Meristar are already experiencing significant profitability gains through Purchase Insight. Additional companies signed on include Fine Host Corporation, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, and Marie Callenders. Delaware North provides concession service for airports, convention centers, national parks, sports stadiums, and zoos in more than 130 locations across the country. The company, which manages foodservice operations in venues including the St. Louis Cardinal's stadium, Kennedy Space Center and Yosemite National Park, has already used Instill Purchase Insight to uncover significant purchasing issues.

"Purchase Insight gives us, for the first time in history, the ability to accurately assess and leverage our spending patterns and to accurately assess whether we are capturing all of the rebates for which we qualify," said Molly Fine, vice president of information technology for Delaware North. "The Purchase Insight service contributes many dollars directly to our bottom line."

Instill Purchase Insight Benefits
Instill Purchase Insight maximizes negotiated programs. Instill Purchase Insight lets corporate buyers assess company-wide purchases by product, manufacturer, and distributor to increase rebate capture and monitor distributor price compliance. Typically, operators only capture 60 to 70 percent of the available rebates for which they qualify because they cannot track or document their program purchases.
Instill Purchase Insight helps identify new program opportunities. By uncovering purchasing trends and volumes that give added leverage for better pricing and terms, foodservice operators can identify new opportunities for programs, contracts, and rebates.
Instill Purchase Insight improves unit buying compliance. By tracking purchase information down to the individual transaction, Instill Purchase Insight shows which units are making off-contract purchases that cost the company significant dollars.

Pricing and Availability

Instill Purchase Insight is available now. The monthly subscription service starts at $2,000 per month and varies depending on the number of foodservice locations, distributors, distribution centers, and volume of transactions. Most foodservice operators are using the service within 60-90 days.

About Instill's e-Business Suite

Today, there are thousands of foodservice operators using Instill's services to bring efficiency, control, and intelligence to the procurement process. Corporate buyers use Instill Purchase Insight to analyze consolidated views of enterprise purchases and buying patterns to capture more rebates, reduce off-contract purchases, and leverage purchasing power.

Individual unit operators use Instill(R) Purchase Web(SM), an innovative e-procurement service for fast, easy, and controlled purchasing to replenish their supplies quickly and accurately. The underlying technology for Instill services is FoodLogic, a data warehouse that explicitly maps hundreds of thousands of unique product codes from major foodservice distributors around the country to a single, standard catalog.

About Instill Corporation

Instill is the leader in e-Business services for members of the foodservice supply chain, including operators, distributors and manufacturers. The company's suite of e-Business services brings more efficient procurement processes and business intelligence to its customers. Instill's service offerings are supplier independent and consolidate industry-wide data -- providing capabilities that are otherwise impossible today -- for improving the profitability and market positions of its customers.

Instill services over 6,500 operators and distributors including Delaware North, Edward Don, Fine Host, Harrah's, Marriott Distribution Services, Meristar, Pizza Hut, PYA/Monarch, and US Foodservice. Founded in 1993, Instill is privately held and backed by Altos Ventures, Aspen Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Intel Corporation, The Mayfield Fund, Ohio Partners and Piper Jaffray Ventures. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, with offices in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Southern California. Instill won the 1998 Microsoft Retail Application Developer Award for best electronic commerce solution. 

Instill Corporation
Amy Bauer, 650/687-3204
Also See: TECHNOLOGY: Foodservice Software / HMM / Barbara A. Worcester/ May 1998 

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