Directions is a new e-commerce consulting company that claims it can help firms with development of their e-commerce vision, overall roadmap and tactical implementation.

The president of the Vancouver, WA-based company is Dan Herman, former marketing vice president at automotive e-commerce company Chrome Data Corp.

Chrome Data Corp. and Excel Sports Science Inc. are on the company's initial client list. Both companies are traditional businesses that have now launched e-commerce products and operations.

"Our goal is to help traditional businesses really use the Internet to create a positive experience for their customers", says Mr. Herman. "We focus on the front-end of the business, including marketing, sales and customer service. Our clients only need to have made the choice to embrace the benefits of the Internet as a business tool."

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Software firm Talus Solutions Inc. launches Target Pricing, a pricing and revenue management software designed to help companies in the business-to-business arena increase revenues and maximize profit.

Target Pricing assists companies in determining the optimal price for a competitive bid or account by predicting customer response to a number of price scenarios and then determining the best, most likely to win, offer.

It's designed to help companies become more customer focused by integrating critical factors - cost, price sensitivity and competition - when determining the optimal price for an offer.

Ford Motor Co., which has been using revenue management solutions to enhance customer relationships for over five years, is currently installing Target Pricing to assist its fleet sales operations. Ford plans to use the system to optimize pricing for each contract being bid., an e-procurement site for automotive dealerships and their supply partners, has launched its strategic alliance program with two technology partners.

OpenSite and are among the first companies to support the net market maker in providing an on-line exchange for dealers to purchase a broad range of products, parts and services.

"BBCN views partnerships as the cornerstone to achieving success," says Robert Dowlearn, CEO of Atlanta-based BBCN. "Overall, partners are important to the delivery of a beneficial e-commerce site - but they will be especially critical in serving the auto dealer community and its suppliers, since it is relatively new to conducting business on-line."

The strategic alliances will grow significantly, according to E.J. Simonsen, BBCN's director of strategic partnerships. "We are establishing relationships and securing interest from an impressive cross section of industry leaders, service providers and OEMs."