Doug Hradek, OEM sales manager at Tring Corp., Orrville, Ohio, isn't criss-crossing the state as much as he once did. Instead of making cold-call visits to develop business for the 35-person fabrication and machine shop he uses First Index, a business-to-business e-marketplace for custom-manufactured industrial components.
First Index lets buyers reduce procurement costs by quickly finding the right suppliers for their needs. In turn, the service helps suppliers find profitable work while cutting sales and marketing costs. First Index's database covers machining, casting, forging, sheetmetal, medium and heavy fabrication, plastic molding, and electronics.
Initially, Hradek was skeptical of First Index. "I didn't believe it could do what the salesperson said it would do, but after making contact on some of the first RFQs it provided, I was amazed by the responses I received."
First Index has 7,000 active buyers, to date, posting work and more than 2,000 new RFQs and RFIs each month. "It's a numbers game," says First Index U.S. President Bill Burke, "and we're generating the numbers needed for shops to be successful."
Now when Hradek travels, it's to visit with the buyers he's made contact with through First Index's services. "We've added 24 new customers through First Index", he says, "and the amount of money I spend on the service doesn't come close to what I spent on hotels, gas, entertainment, and long-distance calls. I can't even calculate the savings."