25 September 2000 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Eastman Chemical Company is embracing virtually the entire gamut of e-commerce. Although it is not participating in industry consortia, the company is building features for its customers and offering direct customer solutions. To that end, Eastman has adopted a four-dimensional, interdependent approach.
The first dimension entails digitizing the company's entire business process and adopting a web-centric culture. "We want all employees within our company to see that e-business is the way business is going to be done in the future," Mr. Deavenport says.
Eastman.com represents the second dimension. In July 1999, Eastman became the first chemical company to offer e-commerce transactions on the Internet to its customers in the US and Canada. Registered customers may place and revise orders, review purchase summaries and track shipments. In March, Eastman launched a new version of its website powered by Eprise Participant Server, which provides a more robust product and market connection.
The third dimension is Eastman's integrated direct effort, or system-to-system connections with trading partners.
As its fourth dimension, Eastman is participating in a range of digital business ventures, such as ChemConnect.com, a neutral market for chemicals buyers and sellers to conduct real-time, online transactions.
Among its holdings, Eastman maintains a majority stake in a joint venture with Global Logistics Tech, shipchem.com, a virtual logistics provider. It also has a majority stake in paintandcoatings.com, a joint venture with VerticalNet.
Last April, e-Chemicals reported that Eastman wants up to $60 million of its combined chemical purchases and sales to flow through its e-supply chain solution. Eastman has also made an equity investment in e-Chemicals.
In the longer term, Mr. Deavenport expects the integrated direct system to account for roughly 50 percent of Eastman's business. "We see about half of our digital business really being integrated direct long-term," he says.
He expects the company to conduct 20 to 25 percent of its business over its website, and another 20 to 25 percent through third-party exchanges such as ChemConnect and e-chemicals, which the company may use for both buying and selling.
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