DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Oct. 31, 3 p.m. EST) — After a lengthy search for an appropriate partner, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has agreed in principle to an alliance with Omnexus to educate its members about e-business and the Internet.
SPI President Donald Duncan said the alliance is in response to repeated requests by SPI members for help in comprehending the complexities of doing business online.
“We're brokering an environment,” he said at the K 2001 show in Dusseldorf. “Eventually, the contact will be directly between our members and Omnexus.”
Omnexus is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has a U.S. base in Atlanta. The two groups have agreed in principle to proceed, but still need to work out the technical and financial details of the pact — probably before year's end.
David Jukes, Omnexus senior vice president, added, “One of our challenges is to bring some order to the e-business chaos, which has swung from the hype of a year ago to the despondency of today.”
He said the aim is to foster understanding among plastics processors about how to drive down costs by applying Internet technology.
Jukes acknowledged the potential commercial advantage to Omnexus to being a favored partner to SPI's many processor members, but stressed that the focus of the joint effort will be educational, with Omnexus hoping to benefit from increased exposure in that community.
Omnexus was born last year out of an alliance of major resin producers BASF AG, Bayer AG, Dow Chemical Co., DuPont and Ticona/Celanese AG. It now features more than 20 supplier members, including a few machinery makers — but no plastics processors.
“Given who our founders are,” Jukes said, “it would be easy to have a complete sell-side perspective [of the market]. It's important that we have buy-side input. SPI can provide feedback to us about what they want to see in our portal.”
Duncan noted that Omnexus targets all three of SPI's key membership segments — processors, machinery and equipment manufacturers, and materials suppliers. He said Omnexus will be present at many SPI conferences and events next year, either as a presenter, or perhaps running concurrent educational seminars for attendees.
He added that Washington-based SPI, which has nearly 1,400 member companies, has been searching for some time for an appropriate e-commerce mentor. Some of the companies it initially spoke with no longer are in business.
“We've been talking for a number of months,” Jukes added. “This was not an overnight decision.”