Web-related industry news

PermitsNOW Expands Partners, Services

PermitsNOW Inc. and the Plumbing and Mechanical Professionals of Virginia have formed an alliance that will bring the two together for trade shows, public relations and mutual Web site links. PMPV members can use the site's automated permit process to collect and deliver permit applications and pay and track charges online.

In other PermitsNOW news, services have spread to the Richmond region from the Washington and Baltimore areas already served. Customers in six additional jurisdictions now can access the permitting services online.

Three executives from utilities and telecommunications have been appointed to the company's board of advisers. The newest board members include Luletha Cheatham, vice president of sales and marketing for the Group Fiber Optics Subsidiary at Florida Power and Light; Marie Johns, president of Verizon Washington, D.C.; and Gregory Martin, who serves as president, general services and CIO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s Constellation Energy Group.

Internet Appliances Making Gains

Internet appliances - stripped down computers containing only a chip, modem and screen - are offering consumers another way to log onto the Web, according to a report from Reuters. Devices can access Internet and e-mail without all of the technical difficulties, such as crashes and delays, caused by more advanced computer systems. Startups introduced the concept of Internet appliances more than a year ago, but now Compaq Computer Corp., America Online Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are a few of the power players introducing these simplified units.

Rentmaker, Hard Dollar Union Simplifies Rentals

Rentmaker and Hard Dollar Corp. have agreed to a partnership that will bring the construction marketplace a new hub for online rental quote access 24 hours a day. HardDollar.com users can source, compare, and examine and negotiate rental opportunities by providing basic information, such as what equipment is needed and where and when it will be used.

TradePower Announces Partnership

TradePower will join with DH Supply Co. to bring its customers instant access to DH Supply's electrical products catalog and Atlanta, Ga., branch locations. Other partnerships TradePower has announced in recent months include ones with BuildNet, PHCC, Dexter+Chaney, Timberline and Dealer's Electric.

Bricsnet Partners
With Online Recruiter

A new alliance between Bricsnet and JobOptions.com will bring Bricsnet users access to job and resume postings and other services. JobOptions is able to target industry-specific job openings, and the site's CareerZone will provide Bricsnet users with employment resources, information and advice.

Sears, Excara Form Alliance

Sears Industrial Sales and Excara Inc. will join forces to bring Sears Industrial products to an online marketplace, representing the first and only time Sears Industrial has allowed third-party distribution of its product line. Excara's site, PurchasingCenter.com, will carry about 10,000 of Sears Industrial's products, including custom tool sets, storage units and safety equipment. The Sears Industrial product lineup includes Craftsman, DeWalt and Armstrong.

BuildPoint Introduces
Direct-Purchase Online Catalog

BuildPoint Corp. has announced it will provide an online, direct-purchase catalog for the construction industry, featuring more than 1.6 million items in the mechanical, HVAC and electrical product divisions, and more than 35,000 concrete mixes. Major manufacturers and suppliers nationwide, including Wesco, Turtle & Hughes and Electric Supply Co., will help support the industry's first transactional catalog from an online marketplace.

NetClerk Adds Services, Coverage

NetClerk Inc. announced the introduction of CityCentral, which allows interaction between local building departments and contractors who submit building permit applications online through PermitCentral. City officials now can manage securely the permit application process online in real-time.

In other NetClerk news, PermitCentral now covers Dallas and 28 surrounding cities, boosting the NetClerk-City-Builder-Network coverage to more than 1,100 cities in the United States.

Roto-Rooter Snags Home Service Opportunity

Roto-Rooter has joined OurHouse.com, an online home service provider, which places it in front of the site's 2.7 million registered users. Consumers visit the site, specify their needs, and, if Roto-Rooter has a local branch near their location, its logo, phone number and information pops up. An appointment can be scheduled within 48 hours of the customer's initial request.

Rheem Maximizes e-Commerce Service

Rheem Water Heaters announced it now will subscribe to ASA ASINET for its full-service EDI system. The EDI system is through Management Information Systems Group Inc. and the ASA Center for Advancing Technology.

Rheem also has released a CD-ROM cataloging almost all product information for Rheem and Ruud water heaters. The Comprehensive Product Reference CD-ROM comes in the midst of Rheem's Web site redevelopment.