Dec. 21, 2004

With e-commerce expected to top $3.2 trillion in sales in 2003 -- 40% from business-to-business trade alone -- few manufacturing company CEOs are ignoring the call of the Internet. In the most recent IndustryWeek CEO Survey, 76% of respondents cite e-commerce as a key manufacturing strategy. In fact, nearly half of surveyed CEOs say Internet-based commerce is one of their most important growth drivers. A premier example is Dell Computer Corp. During the first quarter of 1999, Dell's online sales averaged $18 million per day, accounting for 30% of the company's first-quarter revenues. Dell expects e-commerce to contribute half of its overall revenues this year. The fast pace of e-commerce is forcing a change in supply chains as well. Package-delivery companies are working at breakneck speeds to reshape themselves as masters of logistics, supply-chain management, and even warehousing. In fact, logistics and transportation companies spent 11% more than last year on technology to support e-commerce -- totaling upward of $700 million for United Parcel Service of America Inc. and $1 billion for the U.S. Postal Service. Carriers are becoming full-blown partners with e-businesses -- companies that depend on third parties to deliver product to customers. Leading Software Manufacturers Leading U.S. Long-Distance Providers World's Largest Steel Producers Top U.S. Power Marketers International Electricity Costs Top 25 Investor-Owned Electric Utility Companies Largest IT Companies Air Travel And Transport World's Best Hotels Largest Waste Management Firms Top 25 U.S. Motor Carriers Leading Third-Party Logistics Suppliers International Freight And Passenger Transport

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