CHICAGO (May 24, 1:40 p.m. EDT) — Fob.com Inc. expects to look out for the little guy with a new plastics purchasing hub.
The Chicago-based company plans in mid-June to begin buying thermoplastic resins, sheet, film and profiles for groupings of small and medium-size processors.
Those processors generally do not command the purchasing power on their own to gain the best material prices, or cannot afford the time to seek out the best prices, said Waverly Deutsch, executive vice president for marketing strategy. Fob — which stands for `free on board´ — plans to do that in a systematic fashion, Deutsch said.
"Customers come to our site to order raw materials," Deutsch said. "We do the work checking across a variety of suppliers. We come back with quotes, fulfill the orders and take title on the material."
That buyers-side model was initiated in February 1999, when Fob started its Web site. During the past year, the company has accumulated a database of 37,000 plastic materials and 300,000 raw chemicals, Deutsch said. The company currently trades in chemicals and paper goods.
The firm has also joined the trading networks of Houston-based CheMatch.com and San Francisco-based ChemConnect Inc. The companies sell chemicals and thermoplastic resins in spot markets over their Internet sites.
"We can use their sourcing engine on behalf of small to medium-size buyers," said Jeff Piper, product manager for FOB´s new Web site, fobplastics.com.
The company will continue to seek other sources, both through resin companies and with exchanges, to find the best prices, Deutsch said.
The company estimated that the bulk-buying methods used by Fob not only can save material costs but can cut $75-$150 from a processor´s administrative fees to order materials, Deutsch said.