Making a Point About Web Site Construction

Behind every dot-com enterprise, there are obviously one or more individuals who were the creators of the concept. The media often features backgrounds on the founders of e-bay, Yahoo, and other successful Internet startups, but I personally had never met one of these entrepreneurs…until last month.

Several months ago, the city fathers of Louisville declared their intention to put their city on the “e-commerce map.” Two local businessmen that are on the leading edge of this plan are Daniel Perrone, and his partner Chris Carmicle, the founders of ABCpoint.com, a buying and selling portal designed to serve the trillion-dollar construction industry. I was curious to discover the path that led these two to the point where they are today.

StationPoint.com increased the number of hits to the Kentucky Lottery’s Web site by 100 percent.
After a successful sales and marketing career at McCaw Communications-Cellular One, Infinity Electronics Corporation and Ameritech Cellular, Perrone founded Creative Marketing Alternatives Inc. In 1997 he developed his CouponsNOW software using an online editor and tracking software that makes it easy for business owners to readily participate and make changes to any of their coupons or banner ads. Additionally, the program produced one of the first Advertising Tracking Programs in the country. With CouponsNOW growing at a rapid pace, Creative Marketing Alliance is one of the largest online coupon Web sites in the country.

In 1998, Perrone developed and launched a Web site, StationPoint.com in partnership with Clear Channel Communications. StationPoint.com and Clear Channel signed a one year agreement, valued at $1.5 million, to create a beta test site market in exchange for 21,900, 30-second commercials which aired on eight radio stations in Louisville, Ky. The site became a portal that attracted net surfers who returned often for links to each radio station’s specific site, CouponsNOW.net, as well as other news, weather, and information locales. StationPoint.com increased the number of hits to the Kentucky Lottery’s Web site by 100 percent—from one million to two million in the first month. Hits to StationPoint.com had reached 3,000,000 when the Clear Channel/StationPoint.com agreement concluded in January 2000.

In late 1999, Dan Perrone and Chris Carmicle created ABCPoint.com and in January 2000 secured a 20-year, exclusive contract with the Associated Builders and Contractors—hence the name ABCPoint—to market the portal to the organization’s 22,000 members. The Associated Builders and Contractors, the only non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the merit shop concept of awarding jobs to low bidders regardless of union affiliation, will receive a royalty from every transaction conducted on the portal.

The site will launch May 31 in connection with the organization's 50th-anniversary celebration in Baltimore. ABCpoint.com will receive various fees from manufacturers, suppliers and advertisers for bringing the buying community to their doorsteps. Laura Johnston, the corporation’s marketing director notes, “There are nearly 180 e-commerce sites for the construction industry, but ABCpoint.com will be among those still standing when the market shakes out. We have a built-in community of 22,000 members who have a vested interest in trading on the site.”

ABC members include seven of the top 10 contractors in the United States, accounting for $140 billion in revenues and $40 billion in material purchases, Johnston says. Members using ABCpoint.com will receive preferred pricing from suppliers in exchange for access to the site.

In February Kentucky’s state economic-development officials announced $2.6 million in tax-credit incentives for ABCpoint.com based on the promise of creating 140 jobs with average pay of $43,000. The company currently has 20 employees.

All of this was accomplished, from concept to launch, in just under six months! For those of us that have thought that we should be promoting our own dot.com idea, this should bring some inspiration.

Bob Lewis is vice president of IT at United Foodservice Purchasing Cooperative (Louisville, Ky.). bob_lewis@ufpc.com

Related Information:

  • StationPoint.com (new window)
  • ABCPoint.com (new window)
  • CouponsNow.net (new window)