This article appeared in the January 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
Imagine this: with the simple click of a button, your business is suddenly connected to thousands of other manufacturers across the United States, each one a potential new partner. Manufacturers looking to expand and diversify their supply chains; manufacturers looking to source locally; manufacturers looking for a partner just like you. Welcome to the world of the Manufacturers Marketplace.
Born in response to requests made by hundreds of small to mid-sized manufacturers, having membership in the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and many state associations, the Manufacturers Marketplace was soft launched in Fall 2017. The collective appeal from the group being that engagement would be greatly enhanced if members could connect to the larger manufacturing industry. The Marketplace is a place to “be found” — a place to expand visibility and improve your bottom-line — a community of your peers.
At its core, the Manufacturers Marketplace operates like most digital buyer-to-buyer platforms and is available to manufacturers — not consultants or third-party vendors — with primary headquarter operations in the United States, including Puerto Rico, with no limits on company size or industry sector. The Manufacturers Marketplace freely welcomes all and embraces the diversity of its subscription holders. Most of all, the Manufacturers Marketplace values those with a commitment to NAM and its state affiliates: members of these associations save nearly 80 percent off the non-member subscription rate.
All initial users of the Marketplace are given a complimentary 30-day period to try before they buy, and experience all of its benefits before being charged. During this period, they are encouraged to fill out their company profile completely, including social media links and graphics.
The Manufacturers Marketplace may be searched by the following areas:
- Product offerings
- Various code components
Once logged-in, a dashboard feature allows subscribers to keep track of profile views. Because the Manufacturers Marketplace was not only built for manufacturers, but by manufacturers using regular feedback and guidance, the platform is fluid and flexible. Many enhancements are based directly on manufacturers’ demand.
The road map for the future includes an augmented focus on establishing community. Through planned enhancements like a chat feature and search notification alerts, the Manufacturers Marketplace is poised to take its users along a journey that serves to connect the entire industry, bridging geographical gaps to improve fiscal bottom-lines and share best practices.
Whether a business is in year one or year 100; whether owned by a veteran or family-run; whether steel drums or ball bearings are produced — the Manufacturers Marketplace looks to continue to drive the growth of manufacturing, not as individual companies but as an industry of partners.