SAP Erects Homebuilders' Exchange

By Doug Bartholomew SAP AG is leaving no stone -- er, concrete block -- unturned in its effort to expand the market for enterprise software. In the software giant's latest vertical-market initiative, SAP is launching, a joint venture dedicated to serving the online supply-chain needs of the $200 billion U.S. home-building industry. Working with partners Hovnanian Enterprises Inc.; Del Webb Corp.; Washington Homes Inc.; Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co.; and private home builders Shea Homes, Kimball Hill Homes, and Mercedes Homes, SAP will operate as an online marketplace to serve the supply-chain needs of small and large builders and their suppliers, as well as construction companies. The goal is to "link real-time information from all supply-chain partners throughout all phases of the building process," explains Mayur Shah, president of SAPMarkets Inc., an SAP subsidiary dedicated to creating and managing B2B marketplaces. "Builders choosing to implement's enterprisewide system will be able to link their entire supply-chain network and work in one virtual business environment." Says Ara K. Hovnanian, president and CEO of Hovnanian, a maker of single-family homes and condominiums in the U.S. and Poland, "Industry experts have estimated that one-third of every dollar spent in the residential construction industry is the result of scheduling errors and related construction delays. The power of's e-commerce capabilities will enable a leap forward in minimizing wasted costs and improving the financial performance of its participants."

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