Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. recently demonstrated online purchasing of welding and plasma cutting products at the 2001 MAX International Show in Cleveland. To shop online, web site visitors simply browse at www.MillerWelds.com and put their selections into the "shopping cart" which links to a local distributor's online store.

"Sixty percent of our web site visitors said they wanted to purchase online," said Sue Feldkamp, Miller Electric electronic communications manager. "As a result, we crafted a 'virtual weld' between the MillerWelds.com web site and the web sites of distributors. This fulfills the needs of customers while supporting the distributors committed to Miller."

In cases where a market is served by more than one distributor, the customer is presented with a list of distributors to choose from.

In addition, the site offers customers resources to quickly answer questions, resolve problems and improve productivity, including access to Miller's welding experts, the ability to download owner's manuals and more.

  • MachineTools.com, a leading business-to-business e-commerce site for the machine tool industry, recently launched its "New Machinery" section. The section provides prospective buyers with the ability to search by builder, distributor (in North America and abroad) and machine type. The company plans to also offer complete specifications and model information online in the near future.

    MachineTools.com launched in August 1999. The site has thousands of machine listings provided by more than 500 dealers, an auction area and a forum that allows for industry professionals to exchange information and discuss equipment.

    Visit the site at www.machinetools.com.

  • AirwaysSupply.Com bills itself as "the hardware store for the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Industry." They offer products from many different IAQ and IAQ-related companies, including Ductmate Industries, HealthWay, Permatron, Uplook, Oxine, MediFirst and more.

    Everything from robots and testing equipment to first aid supplies are available, all with a satisfaction guarantee. Company officials boast they have more than 58 years of experience and hand-pick every product they sell and often test them personally. The web site offers color photos and extensive descriptions of many available items.

    The company is currently running a contact to name its mascot, an owl. The winner will receive a $100 credit on his or her next purchase. To enter, visit the site at www.airwayssupply.com.

  • Copper is experiencing something of a renaissance as a building material (although I'm sure many people in the industry will say it never went away). Taking advantage of this renewed interest, eCopper Inc. operates an online portal for buying and selling, and content delivery. The site also supports an interactive copper industry community and information exchange.

    Visit the site at www.ecopper.com.

  • Watts Regulator Co., makers of pressure and temperature valves, backflow preventors, ball valves and more, has expanded its Watts Rewards program. Watts Rewards offers prizes to contractors that purchase Watts Regulator products. In addition, points are now awarded for buying products from the Ames Co., Watts Brass and Tubular, Watts Heatway and Watts Spacemaker.

    To find out more go to www.wattsreg.com.

George Spilka has developed a web site explaining his company's approach to the often rough-and-tumble world of negotiations, mergers and acquisitions. Spilka has more than 15 years of experience advising clients throughout the entire company acquisition process and helps plan and time the sale. All aspects of the process are explained, including business valuation, prospectus development and more. Spilka's company slogan is "There is a difference." See if you agree. Go to www.georgespilka.com.

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