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Thomas Industrial Network Helps Manufacturers and Distributors Increase Sales Opportunities, Improve Efficiency

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(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)

Thomas Industrial Network
5 Penn Plaza
New York, NY, 10001
USA



Press release date: December 19, 2012

Product Data Syndication Closes the Manufacturer-Distributor Disconnect

New York, NY - When it comes to manufacturers' relationships with their distributors, perception and reality don't always match. For example, manufacturers often believe that their distributors are representing their full range of products, when they're actually promoting as few as 20 percent.

"I recently watched the blood drain from a manager's face when she realized that her manufacturing company had missed out on untold sales opportunities with an important distribution partner," said Michael Sprague, Director eBusiness Development, Enterprise Solutions, Thomas Industrial Network. "Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common."

For distributors to properly represent manufacturers' products, they need detailed product data, including attributes (e.g., hp, rpms, torque), dimensions, pricing, part numbers, and often 2D/3D CAD models and drawings. But providing that information is only part of the picture, as Mr. Sprague's client learned the hard way. Even if these distributors receive complete product information, it's virtually useless to them unless it's formatted correctly.

Each distributor has its own data and structure requirements, which manufacturers also need to match. For example, power transmission distributors prefer a .PPIF (Product and Price Information Format) file. Other distributors may require more technical detail in their own formats to fit their internal business systems. Many manufacturers are hard-pressed to locate and update all their product information, much less provide it in customized formats. In response, Thomas recently introduced its Product Data Syndication service to help manufacturers "close the gap."

Thomas' team of engineers develops a master set of accurate and validated product data for each manufacturer, and provides a formatted file, ready to be loaded into the distributor's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or other internal system. From there, distributors can share the data within their organizations, to their websites, and directly with prospects and customers.

"This solution has helped us on so many levels, from increasing internal efficiencies, to improving distributor relationships, and it frees up our time to focus on new business strategies," said Chris Curran, President, Climax Metal Products Company, a leading source of shaft locking solutions, which is providing data on 5,000 products and CAD models/drawings to several major distributors. Customers can even download the models from distributors' websites, and insert them into their own designs, helping them to ensure an exact fit as they make a purchasing decision.

The new service helps manufacturers and their distributors increase sales opportunities, work more efficiently, and be more responsive to their customers. Manufacturing companies can contact Mr. Sprague at msprague@thomasnet.com for more information.

About Thomas Industrial Network®

Thomas Industrial Network is an information and technology company. For over a century we've led the way in connecting manufacturing and industrial buyers and sellers.

Buyers worldwide, including engineers, purchasing agents, facilities managers and more, rely on ThomasNet.com for product sourcing and supplier discovery. This free online platform combines semantic product search technology with information rich company profiles enabling educated supplier selection. ThomasNet News is a family of online publications and electronic newsletters delivering the latest news and trends affecting manufacturing and industry. ThomasNet News' goal is to give manufacturers the market intelligence they need to run their businesses effectively, and includes the flagship Industry Market Trends (IMT) along with several market-specific journals, including Machining Journal.

For suppliers (manufacturers, distributors and service providers) we provide strategic website development, tools and technology to help them better manage and share product and service data internally and externally. Thomas' suite of Enterprise Solutions enables companies to effectively manage digital product data for syndication across a variety of enterprise-wide systems and sales channels to meet their strategic business needs.

The Navigator Platform, our proprietary technology, is the central place through which we help our clients manage their information. The Platform enables CAD publishing, online catalogs, and syndication of detailed product data to channel partners. We offer Custom SPEC for the unique needs of custom manufacturers. Through our Digital Media Group we help companies build brand awareness and generate leads with our social media, email marketing and SEO programs.
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