Canadian Plastics

Internet sites and business issues relevant to Canadian processors and moldmakers (September 01, 2002)

Future unclear for Plasticnet.comPlasticsnet.com (1) and 58 other online marketplaces have been sold to Corry Publishing (2), a publisher of various products concerning supply chain management, wareho...

September 1, 2002   By Cindy Macdonald



Future unclear for Plasticnet.com

Plasticsnet.com (1) and 58 other online marketplaces have been sold to Corry Publishing (2), a publisher of various products concerning supply chain management, warehousing and e-business. The new owners will not comment on their plans for the 59 sites purchased from Verticalnet (3). The sites are now operating under the banner Vertmarkets (4). VerticalNet is now positioning itself as a supplier of collaborative supply chain solutions and private trading hubs. Sounds similar to the path of Commerx (5), which founded Plasticsnet.com in 1995 and later sold the marketplace to Verticalnet. Commerx’s web site now says the company is a provider of business process automation to extend business processes to trading partners. I’m getting the feeling that public marketplaces aren’t a lucrative business.

1. www.plasticsnet.com

2. www.corrypub.com

3. www.verticalnet.com

4. www.vertmarkets.com

5. www.commerx.com

Users still convinced collaborative design has merit

The collaborative design web site Conferos.com has shut down, but collaborative design is not a lost cause. Software supplier PTC (of Pro-E fame) (6) has compiled positive statistics on the benefits of collaborative project management initiatives, and resin supplier Ticona (7) is still committed to the concept despite the fact that its collaborative design vendor has tanked.

“PTC’s Windchill ProjectLink enables us to take control of our projects for developing automotive communication systems,” reports Joachim Kobinger, vice-president product engineering, Harman/Becker Automotive Systems. “We have improved communication with a significant reduction in e-mail data exchange and data redundancy by implementing Windchill ProjectLink. Each project member – internal and external – now has up-to-the-minute access to the most current project data. This improvement helps us avoid costly delays in product development, and has enabled us to get our products to market faster.”

Conferos’ aim was to provide collaborative product development systems on an as-needed basis, to spare users from buying and implementing complex systems. But it appears the idea was ahead of its time, and the company shut down during the summer.

Ticona was an investor in Conferos, and used its collaborative design tools on the Ticona web site.

Kevin Cronin, a business director with Ticona and formerly the company’s global e-business director, is quoted in Plastics News saying Conferos helped push the envelop for product development. “Within the next several years, everyone involved in the plastics business will be doing collaborative development of one type or another,” he predicts.

6. www.ptc.com

7. www.ticona.com

On-line sourcing is also still trying to gain a foothold in the plastics and moldmaking industries. In June, First Index (8), a sourcing service for custom manufactured components, signed an agreement with the U.S.-based National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA)(9) to help its members get more business on-line. The two will create a co-branded web site for NTMA members to access request for quotes (RFQs), and NTMA members will receive discounted membership in the First Index supplier notework.

First Index does say that 25,000 RFQs were posted on the findFAST plastform in the last 12 months.

8. www.firstindex.com

9. www.ntma.org


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