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NAW proposes standards for e-market agreements
August 10, 2001
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), Washington, DC, has released a set of proposed standards for participation agreements for e-marketplaces. The standards were developed by an NAW task force composed of several distributors of supplies for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), including Applied Industrial Technologies, McJunkin Corporation, WESCO Distribution, Wilson Supply, Cameron & Barkley (a Hagemeyer North America company), and Vallen Corporation (a Hagemeyer North America company). NAW is making these voluntary standards available to all suppliers and marketplaces so they may be adopted rapidly by individual suppliers and marketplaces.
During the past year, a number of e-marketplaces have been established to bring together sellers and buyers of products and services, including MRO supplies. However, actual operations of these e-marketplaces have been delayed and many distributors, manufacturers and other sellers have not agreed to provide their products for sale on the e-marketplaces. There are a number of reasons for this delay, but one substantial roadblock to implementation has been the multiple, individual agreement forms for supplier participation developed by the e-marketplaces. These forms frequently contain terms that are ill-suited for commerce. Moreover, because of the fragmentation of these e-marketplaces, individual negotiations of these participation agreements have been expensive and time-consuming.
Therefore, the NAW task force was formed to develop standards for supplier participation agreements for e-marketplaces that would promote adoption of non-price terms that would be acceptable to both the participants and the e-marketplaces. NAW said it hopes these standards will be adopted rapidly by individual suppliers and marketplaces ' each acting in its own self-interest ' without the need for expensive and protracted individual negotiations.
A complete copy of the standards is available on NAW's website at naw.com The standards set forth provisions concerning:
restrictions on use of content and data made available to the e-marketplace,
intellectual property rights of the supplier and the e-marketplace,
individual authorizations of customers for each supplier and
standard confidentiality and security protections for suppliers and their customers, including protection of confidential transaction data.
The standards also provide a balanced approach to common issues such as warranty, liability, amendments and termination that is intended to promote the rapid negotiation and execution of participation agreements for e-marketplaces.