PALO ALTO, Calif. - Cephren Inc., an online workplace for the $3.6 trillion global construction industry, announced an industry partnership with the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Alexandria, Va., a national trade association with more than 6,500 member companies, predominantly specialty subcontractors. This alliance expands Cephren's existing relationship with ASA as part of a joint effort to deliver powerful, online e-commerce, procurement and project management services to ASA members through Cephren's online workplace, recently named among Forbes.com's "Best-of-the-Web B2B." ASA members will be able to access Cephren's suite of Web-based services directly from the ASA Web site at www.asaonline.com, as well as from Cephren's Web site at www.cephren.com.

Cephren's offers an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of construction products and services.

"At Cephren, we are building a comprehensive online workplace that enables everyone involved in a project to work together seamlessly from a single online location," said Rob Majteles, president and CEO of Cephren. "By working closely with ASA, Cephren will be able to provide valuable e-commerce and collaboration services to the specialty subcontractor community, enabling them to do business with general contractors and suppliers faster, smarter and cheaper."

Through Cephren MarketNet's existing bidding service, ASA members will be able to enhance existing trade relationships by dramatically speeding up the entire procurement process, eliminating paperwork and redundancies, and reducing processing times from weeks or months to days and hours.

Using Cephren MarketNet, ASA members can create and manage new projects online, seamlessly import bills of materials from estimating systems to create bid packages and generate and issue Requests for Quotations (RFQs) to selected preferred vendors.

Members can also respond to electronic Invitations to Bid (ITBs) from general contractors and compare and analyze bids that are imported directly into a comparison worksheet. They are able to access and view electronic plans and specifications from Cephren ProjectNet, the company's project management and collaboration service.

WAVERLY, Pa. - Specialty Contractor Press (SCP), the bookstore that sells publications of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), is redefining its relationship with specialty trade contractors with a new series of topic-specific color catalogs, a Web site and a videocassette presentation offering suggestions on how to avoid financial troubles. Three catalogs make up SCP's new catalog series. Each focuses on an area of interest to specialty trade contractors. One catalog focuses on subcontracts and payment publications, including the best-selling, "Lien & Bond Claims in the 50 States," "Mastering Subcontracts Reference Guide," and American Institute of Architects contract documents A201 and A401. The business management catalog features publications such as the "Series on Subcontracting Overhead" and the "Claims & Change Orders Kit." The safety and health catalog includes "CompliancePlus Safety Management CD-ROM" and "Hazard Communication: A Compliance Kit for the Construction Industry." Specialty trade contractors can receive the catalogs by calling SCP's at (800)221-0415 or visiting www.contractorpress.com/catalog/main.htm. To help contractors take control of their financial future, Specialty Contractor Press created the videocassette, "Business Management and the Specialty Trade Contractor." In the video presentation, financial expert M. Scott Hursh, CPA and principal of the CPA/consulting firm Stambaugh-Ness, P.C., York, Pa., presents strategies that specialty trade contractors have successfully used to prevent or overcome financial difficulty. Hursh addresses such questions as, "How do overhead costs factor in job costs? What kind of bank is right for my company? What is the best way of ensuring adequate cash flow?" This videocassette is available free to organizations serving the construction industry. National, regional and local trade associations can obtain a copy to show at member meetings by calling SCP's toll-free customer service line. Individual contractors interested in the tape should encourage their association to request the free copy. SCP's products include workshops, manuals, safety kits, training videos, specialized software and other educational materials. American Subcontractors Association, 1004 Duke St., Alexandria, Va., 22314