Cataloging Access

Program provides electronic product information to distributor networks at no cost

New York  July 25, 2002  Thomas Regional, a company that connects industrial buyers and sellers in local markets across the country, this week announced its Manufacturer Alliance Program (MAP) to the industrial community. MAP enables industrial manufacturers to provide detailed electronic product information to their authorized distributor networks at no cost.

Thomas Regional explained that as industrial distributors work to add an online arm to their existing businesses, many are faced with the difficult prospect of building a cohesive Web site using disparate content from multiple manufacturers. For distributors, the process can be costly, error-ridden and time consuming.

The result, according to Thomas Regional, is that many abandon the process and have little, if any, product information on their site, thus limiting its value to potential customers who are left with no place to go for accurate, current product specs and pricing information. The Manufacturer Alliance Program was developed to address this particular problem.

Thomas Regional said MAP is designed to provide benefit to both manufacturers and their distributors. Once a manufacturer joins MAP, Thomas Regional gathers the company's online content and creates an e-commerce enabled catalog that is made available to the individual companies within that manufacturer's network of distributors. Then Thomas Regional works directly with the individual distributors, improving their sites with the new e-commerce enabled catalog and complimentary product lines.

"The aggregation and dissemination of product data has typically fallen on manufacturers, but many have failed to get the information in the hands of buyers through their distributor network," said Kevin Burke, director of e-commerce at Thomas Regional. "This new program enables product distributors to quickly develop an online presence while providing manufacturers with a much wider audience of potential customers, all in the ultimate service of the end-user."