It's Customary

Thomas Regional study shows big increase in industrial purchasers' use of RFQs for custom manufactured products

NEW YORK, NY  November 17, 2001  Nearly seven out of 10 industrial purchasers (69%) find it difficult to identify appropriate suppliers of custom manufactured products. This according to a recently completed survey by Thomas Regional, an industrial information resource company that connects industrial buyers and sellers across the country. The company's study further indicates that more and more buyers are turning to the online request for quotation (RFQ) as a means of overcoming this hurdle.

Some 16,000 professionals responded to the online survey, which was conducted in August and examines the sourcing and buying habits of industrial professionals nationwide.

In other findings, nearly one out of every three industrial buyers surveyed (32%) reported having posted an online RFQ in the past. What's more, the market appears poised for quick growth, as 77% of the survey's respondents said they are likely to post an RFQ online in the coming year.

"Buyers have been searching for a tool to help them cut down the amount of time they spend searching for what can be very specific, hard to find materials," said Eileen Markowitz, president of Thomas Regional. "Custom manufactured products and services are notoriously difficult to source, and the process bears a clear impact on an organization's bottom line. The online RFQ presents buyers with an extremely powerful tool, and one that the market is telling us will only continue to grow in popularity."

The industrial market is now seen widely leveraging the Internet's procurement advantages, but Thomas Regional's survey also confirmed that there remains an extensive market for other, more traditional buying tools. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents who buy custom-manufactured products indicated they also consult traditional print industrial directories.

"We've seen tremendous growth in the Internet's use among industrial buyers," Markowitz continued. "The Internet's popularity, though, has had little affect on the extensive market that also exists for Thomas Regional's print directories and CD-ROM; we've seen minimal, if any decline in their use."

Thomas Regional's survey was conducted online in August 2001 by an independent organization. All 15,800 of the survey's respondents are industrial buyers and registered users of Thomas Regional's Web site.