The Project: Set up an online showroom to sell off slow-growth businesses. Interested buyers can pore over digital balance sheets and P&Ls.

The Payoff: So far, Alcoa has sold three businesses via the Web and expects to save $200,000 in travel, hotel, and meeting expenses.

When Alcoa decided it was time for a serious spring cleaning, it turned to the Web for some ingenious help. Alcoa needed to sell a raft of underperforming properties, so it created virtual showrooms on the Web. Once prospective buyers sign on to the Web sites, they can pore over balance sheets, profit and loss statements, schematics, even photos of the production lines. Alcoa employees walk through the documents with them online, replying to questions through instant messaging or over the phone. The result: So far, Alcoa has sold three businesses and expects to save time and $200,000 on travel expenses.

By Heather Green

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.