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News   May 14, 2002   by Auto Service World

CarParts Technologies Acquires Network E-Commerce Company


CarParts Technologies Inc., a provider of e-commerce software for the automotive aftermarket, has acquired the assets and property of OpenWebs Corp.
The acquisition provides CarParts Technologies with the opportunity to revolutionize supply-chain management for the $20 billion tire segment of the automotive aftermarket through OpenWebs peer-to-peer (P2P) Intelligent Trading Network software. Through this acquisition, CarParts Technologies has entered a technology supplier relationship with tire manufacturer Michelin North America, Inc. CarParts Technologies will deliver the Intelligent Trading Network software as part of Michelin’s larger e-commerce strategy in North America.
Built on Microsoft’s .NET platform, Intelligent Trading Network software creates a virtual inventory across the entire distribution channel, enabling product requests to be fulfilled while reducing inventory needs.
"CarParts Technologies was founded with a vision of revolutionizing the automotive aftermarket extended supply chain," said CarParts Technologies’ Executive Chairman, Alan Bennett. "The addition of OpenWebs’ Intelligent Trading Network software to our solutions portfolio underscores our belief that P2P-based e-business solutions are a tremendous area of growth in the aftermarket industry."
The OpenWebs Intelligent Trading Network is a software platform that provides a complete, integrated Internet-ready application suite used to build P2P trading networks of retailers, distributors and manufacturers to let them locate, buy and sell products with each other.
These "trading communities" will dramatically increase profitability and bring real business benefits to both Michelin and CarParts Technologies’ customers, according to the company. The software also integrates and complements the company’s existing portfolio of e-commerce solutions.
The majority of OpenWebs’ former staff, consisting of 20 employees with specific expertise in the tire industry, have joined the team at CarParts Technologies and will continue to operate from the Pittsburgh-based R&D Center. Their focus will be to maintain development of the Intelligent Trading Network software and to support CarParts Technologies’ initiatives to help businesses in the automotive aftermarket reap the benefits of e-commerce technology. CarParts Technologies’ will also supplement the new R&D facility with four support centers and a large national sales network.
"We are excited about the potential these combined companies will now offer our customers," said Pete Selleck, COO of Michelin Americas Small Tires. "We recognize the added value of this technology to our distribution channel customers and look forward to working with CarParts Technologies to continue our leadership in this segment."


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