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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RailMarketplace contracts consultant to help build business

advertisement in late June added a specialist to its marketing scheme.
The Class I e-marketplace signed a six-month contract with Mercer Management Consulting Inc., a New York-based corporate strategy firm, to help the fledging site attract capital. The contract is renewable by either party after 180 days.
"Mercer Management should help RailMarketplace get over the hump in back office functions and extend the site's marketing capabilities," says Mark Davis, Union Pacific Railroad assistant vice president of e-business, who continues to act as RailMarketplace's interim chief executive officer six months after the site's January launch.
And Davis' executive role might last a while longer: RailMarketplace now plans to take its time locating and recommending candidates — along with Mercer Management's assistance — for chief executive officer and/or chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief marketing officer and chief sourcing officer. Exchange officials previously planned to name a top executive by late June.
"That's not a real high priority right now," says Davis. "Attracting equity and running the company are the priorities."
Although RailMarketplace planned to launch a suite of functions in August, the site has rolled out a few features early — such as online auctions — available to invited suppliers.
"Our launch plan actually was accelerated," says Davis. "Rolling out functions isn't really a technology concern, but a matter of building processes and developing relationships."
Those relationships would help RailMarketplace offer supply-chain buyers reduced sourcing costs through improved spending controls, lower purchasing cycle times and a larger supplier base; in return, suppliers using the exchange could increase their customer base and reduce costs tied to sales, managing orders, and standardizing inventory and products.
Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/11/2001