Online future for Beacon’s business

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Name: Steve Moellers
Title: President-CEO
Company: Beacon E-commerce
Goal:"Incremental revenue gain of 25% or $20 million in first year of running an e-commerce marketplace."
Four years ago, when his company was busy rolling up more than a dozen regional distributors of industrial filtration equipment, Steve Moellers wasn’t necessarily thinking about the Internet.

Now the CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Beacon Industrial Distribution’s Beacon

E-commerce business says the future of his entire business lies in recently launched sites, and an upcoming, undisclosed third site.

"The sites enable our salespeople to concentrate on getting contracts from major customers,” Moellers said. "The customers we are calling on are Fortune 500. Those customers are looking at Web sites that provide a centralized mall for purchasing commodity products and research. We’ve done that and built a national Web-enabled distribution company."

The Internet commerce initiative came up almost by accident, Moellers explained. Beacon needed to take the legacy systems from each of the companies it acquired and make it work with the data of other acquisitions.

When it became clear a new system would have to be developed to replace all of the back-office equipment it inherited, Beacon made Internet commerce a high priority. When up and running, all three of Beacon’s portals will share the same customer database, product catalog database and ordering database, Moellers said.

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