The Builders Merchants Federation is set to launch an Internet database of materials and products.

Suppliers will pay to have their product ranges, including prices, descriptions and specifications, listed on e-Xact, which can be updated by the suppliers.

The cost of subscribing to the database will depend on the firm's turnover. Builders merchants' subscriptions range from £600 to £6000 a year. Suppliers will pay between £2000 and £4000 a year to have their products included.

Subscribers will use a password to access the site and then use a menu to call up the required product.

BMF secretary Peter Matthews said the idea was prompted by the number of materials producers setting up web sites: "It is a Babel situation at the moment, with a fair old amount of clicking between one site and another."

So far, 65% of the BMF's members have signed up to access e-Xact, which will go live on 1 July.