The Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange initiative has launched APEX Powershop, a hosted software application designed to help meeting planners submit RFPs more efficiently.

The Windows-based application was developed through a partnership with DataApp, a Los Angeles–based provider of meetings industry–specific software, and is the culmination of two years of development and testing. It combines the basic functions of the APEX Toolbox (first launched in July 2005) with the ability to transfer RFPs electronically and auto-populate information throughout the application.

“Powershop will enable people and organizations—on both the planner and supplier side—to easily implement and integrate the APEX standards, which will ultimately change the way we do business,” said Terri Breining, APEX commission chair, in a statement.

The solution streamlines the RFP process for planners by tracking data from past meetings (e.g. actual number of hotel rooms used per night). In addition, the solution auto-fills forms, eliminating the need for planners to retype the same information into multiple forms.

Planners can also transmit data electronically to vendors that support the APEX standards using an Internet portal, which both parties access via passwords. (Forms can also be sent to vendors via fax or e-mail.)

APEX is now accepting pre-orders of Powershop via its Web site, www.apex.us, for delivery September 15. The Standard Edition solution (a one-user license) retails for $49 per month; the Enterprise Edition (multiple users on a hosted server) retails for $69 per month, per user. Volume discounts are available.