BuildPoint launched a new online catalog that allows contractors to purchase job materials online. They can search for a product, verify its availability from a product database and create an electronic product list, which they can use to submit a request for quote or a purchase order direct to the selected distributor. The catalog also allows for customized pricing.

"Using this catalog will result in greater accuracy for contractors and distributors," said Peter Daley, BuildPoint's founder and vice president/strategic planning. "The catalog uses standard product descriptions and forms, so miscommunications between buyer and seller are eliminated. We're tailoring the solution to the trades to do business more efficiently."

BuildPoint has about 2,400 registered users representing more than 1,900 companies operating in the plumbing and HVACR segments of the market.

The next step will be to integrate the catalog into distributor's back-office systems. Carl Wilson of BuildPoint's integration services said that the company is working with the industry's largest software vendors to tie in BuildPoint's software to distributors' accounting and shipping systems.