If you’re not yet acquainted with “e-commerce” or “e-business,” the separately bound supplement mailed with this issue will give you an idea of what you’re missing.

If you’re not yet acquainted with “e-commerce” or “e-business,” the separately bound supplement mailed with this issue will give you an idea of what you’re missing. Who’s Who in E-Commerce: A Plastics Processors’ Guide is unlike any other Internet directory you may have seen. Not just a listing of Web addresses, this is an easy-to-use reference guide that gives you brief descriptions of what types of products you can buy, sell, or trade on a particular e-commerce site, as well as other features or services offered there. A glance at the graphical “icons” with each listing help you spot what you’re looking for.

What you will find in this directory is a wide and varied selection of “third-party” e-commerce websites devoted to helping you locate resins, additives, molds, equipment (new and used), surplus and scrap materials, prototyping services, and OEMs looking for quotes on processing jobs. You can even find sites where you can post job openings and review resumes of candidates. Probably the largest category of entries in this directory are familiar suppliers that will let you order products or at least machinery spare parts, with a few mouse clicks. A much smaller category of e-business sites are devoted not to buying or selling but to providing processors with the equivalent of an electronic conference room for on-line collaboration with suppliers and customers.

We hope our directory will be worth keeping for a few months. Even so, by the time it reaches your desk, at least one or two new third-party sites will have popped up somewhere on the Internet, and a dozen more suppliers will have started offering commercial transactions on their websites. It won’t be long before a directory like this would have to include virtually every supplier to the plastics market.