by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | March 01, 2005

Santa Clara, Calif.-based OnVantage, a technology provider serving both planners and suppliers in the meetings industry, was created last August from the merger of PlanSoft and seeUthere Technologies. M&C recently spoke with CEO John Chang about ways planners could deal more efficiently with suppliers.

M&C: What is your advice on buying meeting services?
Chang: It’s a three-step approach. First, the key thing is to be consistent in your use of suppliers and preferred suppliers. If you work with 50 different hotels or other providers, narrow it down to 15. You will get better service and pricing.
    The second step is to utilize your procurement department. Get the people who really know how to purchase and tell them what you are looking for in a property star ratings, location, etc. See what they come up with.
    Third, as best as you can, try to eliminate or consolidate outsourcing.

M&C: What do hope to accomplish with OnVantage?
Chang: PlanSoft connected suppliers to meeting planners. Now we want to focus on the transaction process. We want to close the deal.