While still in its infancy in the insurance industry, Web-based business-to-business communication is gaining recognition among carriers and agents on everything from procuring goods to settling claims.When many of the rural-based agents of the Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico needed to obtain products essential to running their businesses, they often had to travel many miles to Albuquerque to acquire such items as notepads and stationery.

Recognizing this practice as inconvenient to its members, the association struck a deal last February with Indianapolis-based office supplier Office Members Only whereby the New Mexico association's 175-member agent network could acquire products at an average discount of 20% and receive same-day delivery to their businesses.

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