UK debut for heavy industry exchange

An online exchange claiming to be the first of its kind for European heavy industry plans to begin UK trading by Easter.

IndustrySuppliers.com is an independent exchange aimed at heavy industrial sectors such as steel, chemicals, plastics, energy, and the companies that supply them.The marketplace was founded in 1999 in France, and is already trading there. Last year it secured $6m in funding from a number of venture capital groups including 3i. It has also signed technology partnerships with software giant Oracle and online catalogue content specialist Requisite.

IndustrySuppliers now aims to sign up users in the UK and Germany, offering e-procurement services with an initial focus on areas such as measurement and control, electrical equipment, machinery, pumps and valves.

Peter Reed, general manager for IndustrySuppliers’ UK operation, said the exchange was aware of the reluctance of some companies to commit themselves to trading relationships with unfamiliar partners via the internet.

In response to this fear, it intends to develop a system of accredited standards which businesses trading on the exchange will have to meet.

‘This will be particularly important as areas of Eastern Europe, which potentially offer commercial opportunities but also some risk, become more active in trading online,’ said Reed.

‘The accreditation will also cover areas of corporate ethics, such as dealing with companies which employ child labour,’ Reed added.

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