Lafarge announces that together with Hanson, Heidelberger and RMC - four of the world's biggest suppliers of heavy building materials - it intends to create an independent, customer-focused, online B2B marketplace to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within the $1 trillion global building materials industry.
The online marketplace, which is planned to serve a wide variety of industry customers, suppliers and distributors, will operate for the trading of bulk cement, aggregates, ready mixed concrete and asphalt.
Once operational in 2001, and subject to regulatory approval, the exchange will initially operate in Europe, starting in Benelux, France, Germany and the UK. In recognition of the regional nature of sales of heavy building materials, the exchange will focus on serving local markets within these countries. The business will be set up as a separate company, with the objective of providing best in class services to its customers across the supply chain.
In planning and developing the exchange, the founding partners are determined to fulfill customer expectations by creating the best online market place in the sector. The new company would seek to offer the following benefits to its customers:
- Significantly lower transaction costs;
- Increased provision of on-line product information;
- Provision of value-added services;
- State-of-the-art e-commerce technology; and,
- Guaranteed confidentiality of all transactions.
The founding partners are among the world leaders in each of the exchange's planned product areas and will bring together the necessary volume to 'jump start' trading. However, the exchange will be open for a variety of other partners to join and several discussions have already been initiated.