A recent survey points to rapid growth in Internet commerce over the next two years in the industrial-supply business. The study, E-Commerce Study: an Industry Baseline for E-commerce and Supply Chain Integration, was sponsored jointly by the American Supply & Machinery Manufacturers' Association and the Industrial Distribution Association.

The study indicates that companies in the industry are adopting more technological innovations and are becoming more responsive to both suppliers and customers.

Other findings include the following:

  • Almost 90% of firms now have Web sites;

  • About two-thirds of ASMMA firms offer a catalog on the Internet; that percentage will increase to 90% within the next year;

  • More than a quarter of all companies surveyed accept orders over the Internet, a rate that will double by the end of 2001;

  • More than 90% of IDA members cite reaching a broader market as a primary motivation for establishing a Web site, while nearly three-fourths of ASMMA members mention the same reason.

  • Larger companies are further along the technology curve than smaller firms.

The complete report is available through IDA's Web site, www.ida-assoc.org.