Eastman Chemical Co. is starting a business-to-business e-commerce pilot program that will provide a direct Internet link from its back-end systems to the information technology infrastructures of customer Albemarle Corp. and supplier Rayonier. The open architecture of Eastman's webMethods B2B enables the connection between the company's SAP R/2 system and SAP R/3 systems used at Albemarle and Rayonier. "Though we're initially testing simple purchase order transactions, this pilot is significant because it demonstrates our ability to conduct e-business using a Web-enabled platform capable of linking separate systems not originally developed to communicate with one another," says Fred Buehler, Eastman director of e-business. Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman makes chemicals, fibers, and plastics. Baton Rouge, La.-based Albemarle is a supplier of specialty chemicals. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Rayonier is a supplier of timber products.