CSR Limited and Boral Limited have joined forces to investigate the viability of an online exchange for the Australian building and construction industry.
The joint venture will seek opportunities to establish a joint e-commerce selling hub. The companies also said in a joint statement that they intend to play a lead role in the establishment of an e-business standard, to help drive efficiency improvements across the industry.
The construction giants said the initiative was receiving a high level of interest from suppliers, builders, contractors and tradespeople, with whom they both have existing relationships.
Peter Kirby, managing director and CEO for CSR said the first stage of the joint venture will be to research customer needs and attitudes towards the use of e-business, and to develop a business plan for the future.
"Boral and CSR plan to assess a range of e-business tools from Australia, the US and Europe to determine which will deliver the greatest value to the industry. There is a need to ensure that the tools for Australia reflect the nature of our industry here, whereby materials suppliers and customers deal directly with one another."
The companies said they would talk to a large cross section of people across all sectors of the building and construction industry to ensure industry-wide adoption of the new business tools. These could include project collaboration and management, communication, technical product information, calculating and estimating tools, and standardised transaction tools.