Networld Exchange Inc., the leader in business-to-business e-commerce service for foodservice and hospitality suppliers, Tuesday announced Maines Paper & Food Service Inc. has chosen Networld Exchange as its exclusive e-commerce service provider.

The 11th largest broadline foodservice distributor in the nation, Maines plans to deploy Networld Exchange's online services to customers throughout the Northeastern and Midwestern United States.

More than 14,000 products in categories such as dairy, cooler, frozen, dry, chemical, produce, fresh poultry, fresh meat, beverage, and equipment & smallwares will be available for Maines' customers to purchase online via a Web browser. Large buyers can choose to have purchasing/accounting systems integrated by Networld Exchange to automate all ordering functions.

"Burger King® will be the first group of customers to use the Networld Exchange ordering service by early summer. About 1,600 Burger King restaurants are expected to be online this year," said Bill Maines, chief executive officer of Maines Paper and Foodservice Inc. "Online access to products and pricing will significantly reduce the time and cost of ordering on both sides. We think this improves customer satisfaction," he said.

Maines recently built a state of the art facility which is "wired to take it well into the 21st century," and designed to expand its business operations by 100 percent.

"Maines is growing rapidly. We have taken up the challenge of adding many new customers while maintaining our commitment to top quality service. The key is providing state of the art communications between Maines and our customers at all times. We wanted real-time ordering without delays," he said.

"Networld Exchange has proven its technology in the foodservice market. The integration between Networld Exchange servers and our systems will eliminate daily data entry in our ordering processes," said Christopher Mellon, chief financial officer of Maines.

"We looked at all the major e-commerce solutions, and concluded that Networld Exchange understands our market. They have significant experience in rapidly implementing online purchasing for small, medium and large operators," said Mellon. "Networld Exchange expects to have our first group of customers using the service in three weeks. That's fast."

Networld Exchange Inc. is an online e-commerce service linking suppliers and their buyers into active trading communities on the Internet, via Web-browser. Networld Exchange hosts the WorldCommerce(SM) trading infrastructure and provides immediate, full-service online trading capability for small, medium and large members of the supply chain. Networld Exchange also offers integration to backoffice systems of suppliers and buyers via EDI, XML and legacy communications.

Maines Paper & Foodservice Inc. has been serving restaurants, hospitals, schools & universities, business & industry, camps, and multi-unit groups throughout the East Coast since 1919. With 848 employees, Maines is the 11th largest broadline distributor in the United States.