MIDLAND, MICH. — Dipping further into electronic commerce, Dow Chemical Co. has launched a trading Web site to sell high-volume epoxy resins and related products.
The site, www.e-epoxy.com, was launched Jan. 29. Midland-based Dow invested less than $2 million to start the site and is talking to 10 other companies with complementary products to join the site, said e-epoxy project leader Ian Telford.
The site, a separate Dow business unit, keeps costs low by borrowing software from Dow's direct e-commerce purchasing portal, [email protected], and only employing three people, Telford said. The company hopes to compete on price in the spot market against foreign importers, he said.
"The epoxy industry lends itself to this," Telford said. "We can offer a competitive price with importers from Asia or Eastern Europe. You don't need all the frills or to put up with eight-week lead times from them."
The site will focus on spot epoxy buys — estimated by Dow to represent 20-30 percent of the $4 billion to $5 billion epoxy market — and sell both structural resins and coatings.
E-epoxy customers must follow specific business practices, including fixed payment terms, penalties for order changes and buying in full- or half-load quantities. Any changes after a sale raises the price, Telford said.
Dow competes on a variety of e-business fronts, including investments in plastics and chemical consortia Omnexus and Elemica. The epoxy site gives Dow customers multiple options for Web buying, said Andy Dupont, Dow global director of electronic channels, in a news release.
The site initially will be offered in the continental United States and Western Europe. It will expand globally in phase two, the date of which has not been announced.