Resin distribution Web site getPlastic.com Inc. has hired industry veteran Robert E. Kennedy as its new president and chief executive officer.
Already, Kennedy is talking about moving the Burlington, Mass.-based firm beyond resin trading and into software licensing. If so, the company would follow a new trail cut by several other early business-to-business Web pioneers.
Kennedy left Houston-based Chevron Chemical Co. LLC in late October, after helping Chevron Corp. engineer a merger of its plastics and chemicals business with Phillips Petroleum Co. The 30-year industry veteran had been general manager of supply, logistics and procurement for Chevron.
Since launching in June, getPlastic has offered services as an online resin distributor. The company takes title of material before reselling it over its Web site (www.getplastic.com).
But getPlastic also offers a proprietary software package, Resinate, that helps companies evaluate materials and make technical and buying decisions. That's where future revenue growth could lie, Kennedy said.
"We want to take a dual strategic thrust," Kennedy said in a Jan. 3 telephone interview. "We'll still offer plastics distribution, as well as customizing Resinate to the unique needs of our growing OEM customer base."
Providing technology now drives several former plastics Web traders, including Commerx Inc. and FOB Inc.
Some of those early companies faltered by not offering enough value to potential customers, Kennedy said. In a sense, companies could not just open Web sites and expect customers to come.
"Too many companies felt it was going to be easy," he said. "You have to offer something of value or risk going out of business. The companies that do a lot of things right, using traditional business values and principles, will be the future successful giants."
GetPlastic has started showcasing Resinate to end users, working with several unnamed firms during the last quarter of 2000. Internally, former president and co-founder Chris Poirier will continue as board chairman and senior vice president for strategic development. The company plans to become more global, with the next big push into Europe and then to Asia and Latin America, Kennedy said. GetPlastic has a sales office in Brussels, Belgium.
Kennedy's move comes on the heels of several resin-company executive defections to Internet companies. Former officials with BP Amoco plc and GE Plastics are now helming ChemConnect Inc. and Conferos Inc., respectively.
Atlanta-based portal Omnexus has gone a different direction, naming Peter Dunning its chief executive officer. Dunning was president of an Internet site for the commercial real estate industry.
Going with the flow: Moldflow Corp., a supplier of mold-simulation software, knows the value of the Internet. Since early November, Moldflow quietly has signed distribution agreements to offer its Part Adviser software over five outside Web sites: GE Plastics, resin distributor GE Polymerland, design firm Conferos Inc., resin trader getPlastic.com and build-to-order portal myB2O.com.
"This just broadens our exposure," said Ken Welch, Moldflow vice president of marketing.
Users pay a fee for use with each computer-aided-design model.
Pryweller, an Akron, Ohio-based senior reporter for Plastics News, covers e-business and mold making.