A little more than a year after its founding, supplyFORCE.com (King of Prussia, Pa.) announced that it will target virtually all its sales and marketing activities and technology development at national accounts and integrated supply. The decision represents a change from the company's original plan to simultaneously attack the small-customer, Web-based procurement market.
The company said it expects this shift to serve its customer base and stakeholders better, as well permit faster revenue growth and cost reduction.
As a result of supplyFORCE.com's decision to adjust its focus, the company has laid off 20% of its staff and reassigned another 10% to support national accounts, which is now the focus of the company's business plan, said Rob Bennett, director of marketing and communications.
"This reflects focusing on what supplyFORCE.com was really successful at in 2000," Bennett told Supply House Times. "We really learned the viability of an open-platform marketplace wasn't really what we thought it would be.
"We discovered the small-customer segment wasn't adopting procurement of MRO goods through that platform."
SupplyFORCE.com will continue to support its participating distributors in their services to local customers, Bennett added.
"We don't see this as a change in strategy as much as a narrowing to where we were getting the most traction," he said. "We feel very positive going forward. We have a very solid cash position, and we'll time our expenditures in technology with increases we see in revenue."
SupplyFORCE.com's 345 participating distributors are wholesalers of industrial pipe, valves and fittings; electrical; industrial tools; power transmission and bearings; safety; plumbing; and industrial gases and welding supplies. These wholesalers represent more than $24 billion in annual sales and 4,600 stocking locations.