The fastener products industry is complex, involving a myriad of out-of-stock products, custom requests, and specific test reporting and compliance documentation.
Along with that, there’s the added challenge of finding what you need. Buyers often find themselves visiting a dozen different websites to find the right nuts, bolts, washers, screws and other products, sending one-on-one emails to potential sources or sending requests for quotations (RFQs) via their enterprise resource planning systems.
After that, no more emails for additional information – then compiling quotes (and even printing them out) so superiors can approve purchases.
“It’s an antiquated process that everyone does and is used to,” Michael Eichinger, chief operating officer at Bay Supply, told PYMNTS. “End users, depending on their ingenuity, are kind of stuck with whatever this distributor they know brings to them or goes into the same field and does the same research and tries to build a network of contacts.”
Enabling Successful Transactions
In an effort to streamline these processes, Bay Supply announced the launch of a new business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform on January 6. Eichinger said the platform will make it easier for buyers to access available products, distributors to respond to tenders and manufacturers to sell directly to customers.
Distributors who sell fixing products can register for free, then Bay Supply receives a 9% commission for each successful transaction.
“It’s called a ‘success fee’ because it’s really only when everyone has a successful transaction and everyone gets what they’re supposed to get,” Eichinger said. “If we charged an upfront cost, it would just put a gatekeeper on how much stake we would get at the start.”
Provide easier access to comprehensive information
The Marketplace offers other features that can simplify procurement. For example, it may recommend substitute products from other manufacturers and brands that meet buyers’ specifications and render results based on availability.
It also automates the bidding process by allowing chat between buyers and sellers, color coding by status to allow team members to manage the bidding without duplicating someone’s efforts else and automatically populate information in the RFQ, saving buyers and sellers time and improving accuracy.
By providing these features and bringing buyers and sellers together in one place, the marketplace provides greater visibility for sellers and easier access to all alternatives for buyers.
“I believe consumers just want convenience,” Eichinger said. “These are jobs – these are not people buying for fun – they have to take it out of their desks. They’re looking to say, “What’s the fastest source I can go to and be done with this, get out there, get my results, and see what these manufacturers have to offer me in unique value that I’m looking for, then I can take a decision ? “