Dow Corning launches 'Cash 'N' Carry' web site

Dow Corning Corp, one of the world's biggest makers of silicone products, on Tuesday launched a new Internet trading platform for selling to bulk clients in a move it said would revolutionize the market.

Dow Corning -- a joint venture between chemicals maker Dow Chemical Co. and glass producer Corning Inc. -- said the new business, Xiameter, would allow clients to keep purchasing costs to a minimum through increased automation.

But Xiameter would not offer extra services such as research and intellectual property management.

"We have realized that the most critical thing to our customers is where they are in their life-cycle," Executive Vice President Stephanie Burns told Reuters.

"If a customer is in the more mature phase of its product lifecycle, their focus is really on getting costs down."

Dow Corning has invested around $450 million in expanding its global manufacturing capacity, information technology systems and new business processes to establish the foundations of the new venture and to improve its core business.

It said the launch of Xiameter would allow it to take full advantage of that investment.

"We can take an order from a customer, schedule it, make it and guarantee on-time shipment with no human intervention," Xiameter commercial director K. Michael Lanham told Reuters.

"I don't think there's anyone else in the specialty chemicals industry that can make that claim."

The firm reported a fourth-quarter net loss in early February, pulled lower by the global economic downturn and restructuring expenses from job cuts.

It is now operating under bankruptcy protection after thousands of women sued the company, alleging injuries from the company's silicone-based breast implants.

600450 Dow Corning launches 'Cash 'N' Carry' web site glassonweb.com

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