Smith & Associates Launches B2B eCommerce Website.

March 13, 2000
Smith & Associates Launches B2B eCommerce Website.

Houston, Texas - Smith & Associates, the #1 ranked Independent Distributor of semiconductors and electronic components, is pleased to announce the launch of SmithMart.com, a business-to-business eCommerce Internet site serving the electronics distribution industry.

SmithMart.com was created as part of the consolidation of Smith & Associates' Express and ExStock divisions which merged to form SmithMart - a leading redistributor of excess inventory for high-tech manufacturers, distributors, brokers and resellers worldwide.

SmithMart.com features real time auctions of excess OEM inventories as well as a dynamic commerce application for real-time component trading called Open Market Messenger. The site also incorporates Smith Market Watch, Smith & Associates' popular open-market pricing service that first debuted in 1997.

"SmithMart.com was created as the online extension of our SmithMart division," said Lee Ackerley, Smith & Associates Executive Vice President. "We are very excited by the launch of SmithMart.com as Smith's first eCommerce enabled Internet site and, over the course of this year, we anticipate expansion into other Internet offerings and services."

The auction area of SmithMart.com can host hundreds of auctions simultaneously and offers three different types of auctions: Live Auctions, Ultra Auctions, and Dutch or "Reverse" Auctions. SmithMart.com auctions tap into SmithMart's warehouse of OEM excess and consignment program inventories.

"Many people are already familiar with auction formats because of consumer sites such as eBay or Amazon.com," said Scott Willey, General Manager of SmithMart. "As a business-to-business site focused on the electronics industry, we anticipate consistently high levels of participation in our auctions of OEM inventories over the course of the year."

SmithMart.com also features Open Market Messenger (OMM) a real-time instant commerce application that enables online communication with a Smith & Associates representative. Using OMM, Smith customers can submit requirements, negotiate terms, inquire about availability, receive offers, and consummate a deal via the Internet. Downloaded directly from SmithMart.com, OMM installs onto a user's computer desktop and functions similarly to instant messaging applications from Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), and AOL (NYSE:AOL).

"OMM lets our customers submit their requirements directly into our database and is available 24-hours a day," said Todd Burke, Sales Manager of SmithMart. "It eliminates the 'call-fax-wait' cycle that has become the standard way of doing business on the open-market. Plus, it saves time and money by eliminating long distance calls and constant faxing."

Smith Market Watch is an online benefit that Smith & Associates has provided since 1997. It tracks open-market prices of the industry's most in-demand components and is available both via the SmithMart.com website and e-mail subscription. Smith Market Watch also provides price history graphs for each listed component. Currently, the service has over 4,500 subscribers.

"Smith Market Watch has been surprisingly popular," said Aric Hooverson, Smith & Associates Vice President of Marketing. "Its to-the-penny averages give buyers and analysts a good overview of open-market conditions which, in turn, helps them make critical decisions."

A division of Smith & Associates, SmithMart purchases and resells electronic components and products and provides Custom Consignment and Excess Stock Management programs. It is a major supplier of hard-to-find products on the open market and a leading distributor of semiconductors, integrated circuits and computer products. SmithMart conducts business both via traditional methods as well as over the Internet.

About Smith
Smith & Associates is the #1 ranked Independent Distributor of electronic components in North America according to 1998 and 1999 surveys by Electronic Buyers' News and Purchasing Magazine. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Smith & Associates has offices in Hong Kong and Amsterdam and 1998 sales of $470+ million. Founded in 1984, Smith & Associates buys, sells, stocks, imports and exports semiconductors, electronic components and computer products to manufacturers and resellers of high-technology and computer equipment.

About SmithMart
A division of Smith & Associates, SmithMart purchases and resells electronic components and products and provides Custom Consignment and Excess Stock Management programs. It is a major supplier of hard-to-find products on the open market and a leading distributor of semiconductors, integrated circuits and computer products. SmithMart conducts business both via traditional methods as well as over the Internet.

For more information, please call 1-800-HOUSTON or 713-430-3000.

Marketing Department
Tel (713) 430.3000
Fax (713) 430.3099

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