Free Supplier Discovery and Product Sourcing Platform

ThomasNet.com is a database of more than 700,000 North American manufacturers, distributors and service providers

New York CityApril 24, 2015ThomasNet.com is a free supplier discovery and product sourcing platform. Some of you may recall its predecessor, the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, which began publishing in 1914. This 34-volume buying guide offered detailed information on hundreds of thousands of manufacturers and their products. Today, the site is indexed into 67,000 supplier categories and features millions of industrial parts.

The backbone of ThomasNet.com is a huge database of more than 700,000 North American manufacturers, distributors and service providers. The platform has several applications and productivity tools to make users’ jobs easier.

Supplier Discovery

Supplier Discovery is an application that allows buyers and engineers to quickly come up with a shortlist of viable suppliers. It’s smart in that it is organized as a technician, engineer or purchasing professional would think. For instance, a search box lets users define important qualifiers from the start, such as product/service category, location, ownership type (for meeting diversity requirements), certifications (ISO, ANSI, etc.) and company type.

Suppliers have in-depth profiles on ThomasNet.com, with information on their capabilities, equipment, product lines, brand names carried, demographics, certifications, product news and more. Many offer videos, which give engineers a chance to see these suppliers' facilities.

This content helps users narrow their shortlists and decide which companies to contact for bids. In fact, they can even send requests for proposals (RFPs) right from ThomasNet.com.

Product Sourcing

When a technician needs to replace a flange that’s failed or an engineer needs new mounting brackets, he or she can turn to ThomasNet.com’s Product Sourcing application. Users can find more than 100 million items here, including raw materials; equipment; maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies; and finished products. These are featured in line-item detail and can be sourced by multiple specifications. Some products come with user manuals, which can be a real help when making repairs. Other listings are accompanied by exploded-view diagrams to help engineers ensure that a part will meet their exact needs.

Through the Product Sourcing application, users have access to millions of downloadable 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and models. These provide engineers with proof that the parts they’re considering will fit into the products they’re designing. Engineers can download the models from ThomasNet.com and insert them directly into their designs, since their underlying technology is compatible with virtually all CAD systems. They can also email the drawings and specifications to colleagues.

Custom Quotes

ThomasNet.com’s Custom Quotes application makes it easy to find local shops that provide welding, cutting, finishing, fabricating and other services. Engineers can submit request for quotations (RFQs) to ThomasNet.com’s team of engineers who will recommend up to five qualified shops.

Need a Demo?

As a one-stop-platform, ThomasNet.com offers a wealth of resources for users. To learn more, users can sign up for ThomasNet Onsite. This is a free, customized training service, available on premise or via webinar, to introduce users to all the free services and help them solve their sourcing challenges. 

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