EssentialMarkets(TM) Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. have joined forces to enable Caterpillar's small- and medium-sized suppliers to integrate into the international manufacturer's e-procurement system.

EssentialMarkets is initially working with Caterpillar's suppliers to upload their product catalogs to the Internet, allowing both Caterpillar and its suppliers to interact through Caterpillar's WECAP e-procurement system.

"We're pleased to be working with Caterpillar on this project," said Todd Ostrander, EssentialMarkets president and CEO. "Caterpillar recognized the importance of completely enabling its e-supply chain, and EssentialMarkets provides an affordable supply-side solution to integrate small- and medium-sized suppliers."

Ostrander said approximately 25 Global 2000 companies with more than 125,000 small- and mid-sized businesses in their supply chains are in discussions with EssentialMarkets about integrating these smaller companies into their e-procurement management systems by using EssentialMarkets' EM Transact(TM) solution. EM Transact quickly enables smaller suppliers to transact electronically, regardless of the e-procurement platform being used.

"Large companies like Caterpillar have pondered how to integrate their smaller suppliers into their e-supply chains for the last two years," Ostrander said. "One of the big questions has been how to bring these companies online without asking them to spend significant dollars and time to become Web enabled. We have the answer."