GE Appliances will give builders a chance to purchase its products online through a planned link with BuildNet, a new Internet-based provider to the home-building industry.
GE Appliances and GE Capital are among several firms that recently invested $35.7 million in BuildNet, designed to allow builders to purchase online a wide variety of construction materials in addition to appliances.
GE will begin selling appliances via BuildNet later this year.
"GE is strengthening its commitment to the entire builder market by making it easier to do business with GE Appliances," says Dave Cote, the appliance operations’ president. "We believe the BuildNet e-business system will become the most efficient way for builders to order all their materials, including appliances, whether they are constructing one custom house or an entire subdivision."
Two years ago GE Appliances launched an Internet program called CustomerNet for its entire distribution, allowing dealers and builders to buy product as well as check on deliveries and monitor their billing online. That program is skewed more toward retail than builder channels, however.