ATLANTA (Sept. 28, 5:40 p.m. EDT) — Omnexus, a new global electronic marketplace for the plastics industry, is fulfilling a company mission to go live by October.
The Atlanta-based company — backed by five founding resin companies and a raft of other suppliers — will take the Web site live on Oct. 2, said Duane Priddy, vice president of global marketing.
The site, focusing initially on injection and blow molders, will offer information about Omnexus and a news service. Later that week, processors will be able to search material grades and properties through an online catalog, with data provided by the resin companies.
By mid-to-late November, the site (www.omnexus.com) plans to start offering the ability to process transactions and requests for quotes, Priddy said. Shortly thereafter, customers will have the option to pay for orders electronically using technology from partner Citibank.
A group of more than 20 molders will test the process, said Omnexus interim Chief Executive Officer Yaarit Silverstone. Omnexus plans to make changes in the initial product based on feedback, she said.
The company is talking to equipment suppliers, toolmakers and other industry vendors and plans to include those services in the near future, Silverstone said.
"It´s the first time a Web site will offer an aggregated catalog for the injection and blow molding industry," Silverstone said. "They´ll be able to see everything, and it gives customers a nice opportunity to search and compare and purchase."
Meanwhile, the emerging company, founded in April, is hiring permanent employees. About 50 people will be hired in North America and 40 at its office in Zurich, Switzerland, by year´s end, Priddy said. More employees will join in Asia next year.
The company is searching for a permanent CEO, preferably one with both e-commerce and plastics-industry experience, Silverstone said. Andersen Consulting is managing the company´s start while the transition to a permanent staff takes place.
Five resin companies — BASF AG, Bayer AG, Dow Chemical Co., DuPont and Ticona/Celanese AG — invested $50 million in April to fuel the company´s launch.
Including the founding members, more than 20 suppliers have signed letters of intent to join Omnexus. The company is limiting equity positions in Omnexus to 15 suppliers.