Through newly-established alliances with Dell Computer Corporation and MCI/WorldCom subsidiary UUNET, Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) will attempt to foster e-commerce in the chemical industry by offering hardware and Internet access to its customers.
“This is not about technology, this is about customer service, said Fred Buehler, Eastman’s director of electronic business. “Through our relationships with Dell and UUNET, as well as our Customer Help Desk, we’re providing solutions to the barriers some of our customers face in doing business electronically.”
What Dell Brings to the Party
Dell’s affiliation with Eastman will offer customers the ability to purchase hardware at discounted prices. The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker will provide an inside sales representative to service all Eastman customers who inquire about the Customer Enabling Program.
According to new research released by International Data Corporation (IDC), Dell claimed more than 23 percent of the market in small and medium businesses in the second quarter of 1999.
“Like Dell, Eastman wants to make it as easy as possible for its customers to do business with them, and for business-to-business e-commerce, that means leveraging the power of the Internet,” said Brian Wood, vice-president and general manager of Dell’s Enterprise segment.
Purchase Credits for ISP Fees
Once up and running, customers will receive a purchase credit for their UUNET ISP connection fees and the first six months of service. UUNET has established a toll-free telephone number for Eastman customers to call for Internet access. For its part, Eastman has set up a customer help desk for customers who need assistance with hardware, software and telecommunications.
Eastman’s Web site allows customers to order online, verify orders, check order histories and gain access to the full Eastman product catalog.
Safety in Online Purchasing
In advance of the new alliance among Eastman, Dell and UUNET, Eastman forged a relationship last summer with WorldWideTesting.com, an Atlanta, Georgia-based third party facilitator of sampling and testing for industrial commodities. The company works to make Internet-based trading of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals easier and safer for buyers and sellers. The new association with both a hardware company and Internet service provider will serve to advance online sales of these and related products.
Eastman, with more than 16,000 employees in 30 countries, manufactures and markets plastics, chemicals and fibers. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, the company reported sales in 1998 of $4.48 billion (US$).