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About Supplier Identification & Sourcing
Despite the proliferation of available supplier information on the internet, identifying potential suppliers worldwide who provide a product or service meeting required specifications remains a challenge.
- While Kresge Library business directories such as D&B Hoovers, Orbis or the below mentioned manufacturer identifiers provide initial leads, their business descriptions or assigned industry codes are frequently too broad and fail to accurately capture company offerings.
- Trade publication buyer guides and company rankings, trade show exhibitor lists, association member directories, and marketing reports often provide better on-target supplier descriptions since they focus on a more narrower, manageable market. Foreign country investment and trade office company databases are also good for identifying real, existing companies ready to do global business.
- U.S. Customs import and export maritime shipping records provided to fee-based vendors such as Datamyne, IHS Piers and others are frequently used to identify competitor suppliers. These tools however frequently provide inadequate product identification and companies can petition the government not to disclose the information.
- In some industry sectors or world regions, supplier capabilities are not well documented and can only be obtained through personal networking. Fee based sourcing agents can also provide information.
Major U.S. and Global Companies
Identify specialized suppliers by examining association member lists and directory offerings
Industry Identification Codes
Major Manufacturer Identifiers
China focused. Over 40 product categories ranging including industrial and electronic components, apparel and food products
Engineering 360 (formerly Global Spec)
More than 122 million parts from suppliers across the industrial sector, searchable by specification. Registration required and expect sale calls
Over 2.5 million companies mainly in Europe but other regions as well. Multiple industry sectors including food
Covers 14 world regions with strong focus on China. Information on over 5.7 million products and 260,000 suppliers
Manufacturers in over 180 industrial categories operating in the US and Canadian OEM marketplaces. Lists industry trade shows & manufacturing associations. Provides articles covering industry trends.
MacRae’s Blue Book – North America
Over 1,200,000 industrial companies & 50,000 product headings. Established in 1893 - America's original industrial directory
Made In China
Consumer goods, industrial supplies, raw materials and services from China
MFG Contract Manufacturers
Contract manufacturers for assembly, CNC, investment casting, injection molding & other sectors
ThomasNet - United States
Since 1898 Thomas has been identifying manufacturers in North America. Currently provides info for over 500,000 businesses listing over 65,000 detailed industrial product categories
Wer Liefert Was?
Uncovers over 620,000 suppliers in 64 industries operating in Germany (wlw.de), Austria (wlw.at) and Switzerland (wlw.ch). WLW purchased Europages and formed Visable.com
Specialized Product Manufacturers
Contact Librarian for additional information about specialized buyers guides and specific directories
IBIS World Procurement Reports
IBISWorld Industry Reports
Reports on hundreds of indirect spend categories such as MRO, healthcare, and financial services. Provide difficult to find price benchmarks, top vendor lists, market analysis and even suggested negotiation questions.
Company Supply Chains
Many companies do not reveal their suppliers because they consider them confidential but there are exceptions. Some companies disclose their suppliers for promotional purposes or in compliance with a U.S. SEC requirement requiring publicly traded companies to list clients or suppliers representing over 10% of revenue
Bloomberg ( Tozzi Center or onsite Kresge Library only)
Locate company profile. Type SPLC to obtain a map of supplier and client relationships