RealTime IT News

National Network of Regional B2B Hubs Planned

Andersen Consulting is teaming up with energyLeader.com to help build a national network of 20 regional horizontal hubs, each anchored by a regional utility, and aimed at establishing a new paradigm in B2B e-procurement marketplaces.

The cross-industry "horizontals" will be modeled after the plans for the first regional hub announced by Potomac Electric Power Co. May 10, which will facilitate the buying and selling of everything from paper clips to temporary labor services in the Washington-Baltimore region.

"With our extensive knowledge of the regional business community, we will be able to facilitate e-commerce in the region, helping local businesses lower their operating costs and making our region more competitive," said Dennis Wraase, Potomac Electric president and chief financial officer.

energyLeader.com founder and Chief Executive Officer Steven A. Mitnick said he envisions as many as 40 U.S. markets eventually will be served by regional hubs. Andersen Consulting said it will draw upon its experience in B2B implementation to make each hub function smoothly from the start. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

"Every regional hub in the energyLeader.com network represents an attractive opportunity for Andersen Consulting and the regional utility partner," said John Bladon, a senior partner in the firm's supply-chain management practice.

The regional horizontal hubs will enable regional universities, hospitals, school districts and businesses of all types and sizes to buy all the kinds of goods and services they need to operate using the efficiency and buying power of e-procurement, Mitnick said.

energyLeader.com said it expects to announce the second regional hub in the network by mid-July.