The Thomas Blog

Female distributor worker - digital marketing idea
Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing Ideas For Industrial Distributors

As major corporations reshore and bring manufacturing work back to the U.S., industrial distributors are moving to create more value by building on commercial and operational excellence and digitizing to create omnichannel experiences customers are looking for. 

So with B2C expectations driving change in B2B, here are some digital marketing ideas industrial distributors can implement to foster customer loyalty and increase revenue growth.

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CNC machining industrial website design example
Website Design

Industrial Website Design Examples For CNC Machining

According to Thomas’ latest industrial buying habits survey, 73% of those surveyed pay attention to your website. One respondent said, “You MUST have a website. On it, be very clear and detailed about your supply capabilities and lower limits. Include all public contact and social media channels, locations and areas served, your business structure, history, and mission/vision.”

As more manufacturers shift toward traditional growth methods to digital marketing tactics, here are some industrial website design examples to get your CNC machining website geared for more leads.

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Solar energy equipment farm - opportunities for manufacturers
Manufacturing and Industrial

Opportunities For Manufacturers In Solar Energy Equipment

In September 2020, Thomas reported sourcing for solar energy equipment on the Thomasnet.com platform had grown by 125% year-over-year and a substantial 171% over Q2 averages. In related category searching on the platform, solar collector panels were up by 157% year-over-year in Q3 2020 and 11% over Q2 2020 figures, and searches for inverters on the Thomasnet.com platform have grown 172% year-over-year and are currently up 88% over Q4 2020 averages.

More recently, searches for solar energy equipment on the Thomasnet.com platform were up 650% week-over-week. 

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SEO example for manufacturer
SEO

Top 5 SEO Examples For Manufacturers

Maintaining a helpful, informative website is critical for reaching your targeted audience and positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. But if your website is out of date or isn’t properly optimized for end users, you’re likely missing out on a lot of valuable lead opportunities and repeat business.

Thomas connects buyers, engineers, and MRO professionals to more than 500,000 North American manufacturers daily — and we’ve created thousands of lead generating websites for manufacturers so we know a thing or two about the industrial space.

According to Pew Research & Merit, millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, with 73% involved in purchasing products or services for their companies. Why does this matter to manufacturers? Millennials’ involvement in purchasing decisions will continue to grow as they age, and because they are digitally native, they’re doing business online. The strategies you invest in today to maintain your website will either make or break your next new business deal.

To ensure your website stands out from your competitors, and helps you pull in the leads you need, we’ve gathered our top 5 SEO website examples.

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Defense production act - U.S. manufacturers
Manufacturing and Industrial

What Manufacturers Need To Know About The Defense Production Act

On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed a series of executive orders including invoking the Defense Production Act to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The order directs federal agencies to make use of the act to increase production of materials needed for vaccines, masks, and testing kits. 

Many manufacturers and engineers have volunteered to address the shortage of supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic throughout last year but some supplies are taking a long time to produce. Invoking the Defense Product Act (DPA) allows the federal government to direct U.S. manufacturers to ramp up production of emergency medical supplies immediately.

Last year, FEMA confirmed using the DPA for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic to order about 60,000 test kits and 500 million personal protective masks. However, FEMA then announced later that same day, “At the last minute, we were able to procure the test kits from the private market without evoking the DPA.”

The uncertainties of today's crisis coupled with manufacturers' exempt status from state-wide closures signal that the industry should remain prepared for the enactment of the DPA. Here’s what it means for U.S. manufacturers and how they can prepare.

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3d printing and additive manufacturing challenges and opportunities
Manufacturing and Industrial

3D Printing And Additive Manufacturing Challenges And Opportunities

The outlook for additive manufacturing and 3D printing is promising. Back in 2017, Thomas reported on the increased sourcing activity for additive manufacturing. Although the base technology of additive manufacturing was developed in the 1980s, its use has become more prevalent in the last few years as advancements grow and prices drop. Sourcing activity sessions for additive manufacturing systems in 2020 was up 37.8% compared to 2019. And according to Statista, the global market for 3D printing and services is expected to grow to almost 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

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steel and metal manufacturing
Manufacturing and Industrial

How To Grow Your Steel And Metals Manufacturing Business

Recently, “steel” was one of the most sourced products on the Thomasnet.com platform. Sheet metal and metal stamping facilities are rising and contributing to the growth of this market. But it also comes as no surprise when steel and metals represent an important supply source to the aerospace, aviation, and medical industries — timely to today’s global pandemic of COVID-19.

So how can steel and metal manufacturing businesses continue the momentum of their business growth? First, make sure you have a clear business plan. Some manufacturers try to grow their manufacturing business by doing everything possible. Choose business goals that are realistic and document them so you can see your milestones and track your growth along the way. You may overwhelm yourself and your employees if you don’t have a clear plan first.

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How to grow your packaging company online
Trends

How To Grow Your Packaging Company Online

The packaging industry is expected to continue growing through the new year. In early October 2020, we reported the following major sourcing KPIs for packaging materials seeing a YoY increase vs. 2019:

  • The number of sourcing sessions for packaging materials has grown by 25% 
  • The number of RFIs submitted directly to suppliers through Thomasnet.com grew 140% 
  • The number of supplier evaluations taking place on the Thomasnet.com company profiles of packaging material suppliers grew by 55% 

Here are some ways to ensure your packaging company’s growth plans remain on track.

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COVID-19 Response Suppliers COVID-19 Response:
Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies?

We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek SuitsPlease let us know.

COVID-19 Response Suppliers