LA QUINTA, Calif. -- It helps to have the G Man on your side.
Torrential rains soaked the desert moonscape surrounding the
La Quinta Resort & Club
overnight, but Tuesday morning
CEO Glen Meakem offered a sunny view of things in his presentation at the
Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium
He was especially buoyed by the comments by
Chairman Alan Greenspan, who mentioned both business-to-business and supply-chain software in
remarks Tuesday morning to the
Senate Banking Committee
. Because Meakem runs a company that is both in the B2B and supply-chain software sectors, he took those comments and ran with them.
Greenspan "mentioned supply-chain technology and B2B e-commerce as having driven the productivity and the vision that people are seeing in changing business processes," Meakem said. "So B2B has been out of favor, but it's clearly not out of favor with Alan Greenspan."
But Greenspan stopped short of calling these economic saviors.
"A recent survey of purchasing managers suggests that the wave of new online business-to-business activities is far from cresting," Greenspan said. "New technologies for supply-chain management and flexible manufacturing imply that businesses can perceive imbalances in inventories at a very early stage -- virtually in real time -- and can cut production promptly in response to the developing signs of unintended inventory building.
"Our most recent experience with some inventory backup, of course, suggests that surprises can still occur and that this process is still evolving."
Last week, FreeMarkets announced that it will acquire
, a privately held supply-chain management company. Investor reaction to that deal was generally positive because Adexa's software can help manage the materials that companies buy using FreeMarket's core Internet auction software.
Analysts have shown renewed interest in the stock lately, which at $24.25, is off 90% from its 52-week high of $240. Of course, it's also up 52% from its more recent low of $16.
Meakem said that the Adexa addition will give his company a leg up to compete in B2B and supply-chain software in the future because FreeMarkets will be able to save its customers more money.
"Globalization is creating more competition, and in manufacturing, it's not acceptable to raise prices," Meakem said. "We have shorter product life cycles and
development cycles. Given all these demands, people are outsourcing more and more, which makes managing the supply chain and having the strategic sourcing that much more critical."
Critical enough, anyway, to catch the attention of Mr. G.