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The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

By Shawn Fitzgerald |  September 14, 2017

To help buyers and suppliers stay ahead of the latest shifts and emerging trends, we constantly analyze the industrial/B2B buying activity taking place at Thomasnet.com, where every 2 seconds a buyer evaluates a supplier. This powerful, proprietary data fuels our Thomas Industrial Index.

This week we take a look at sourcing in and around the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with our data adding some insight into the sheer magnitude of the disaster. Here’s what we’re seeing:

It’s no surprise we’re seeing huge increases in the sourcing of products and services related to recovering from the effects of Harvey. While the trends we cover here are specific to the Houston area, our early data is showing similar results in Florida in the wake of hurricane Irma.

To capture the data for this week’s Index, we looked at sourcing activity on Thomasnet.com from users within a 250 mile radius of Houston zip code 77001. We analyzed the data from the two weeks immediately preceding Harvey’s landfall, and compared it with the data from the two weeks immediately following the storm. The contrast was striking.

Pre-landfall, the top categories being searched by users in and around Houston were:

  • Machining
  • Contract Manufacturing – Military
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Steel
  • ASME Code Pressure Vessels
  • Contract Manufacturing
  • Stainless Steel

After the storm, sourcing trends changed dramatically, with huge spikes in product/service categories related to dealing with the devastation of the area’s infrastructure:

Chart 1.jpgOur data also showed huge upward trends in sourcing related to cleanup efforts in the Houston region:

Chart 2.jpg

With so much of the region’s homes and buildings needing repair and/or replacement, we also saw significant sourcing increases for building supplies: 

Chart 3.jpgResources for Affected Suppliers

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the hurricane, including the nearly 60,000 industrial suppliers in Texas and Louisiana who are listed on the Thomasnet.com platform.

If you’re a supplier in that area, and your facilities, machinery or equipment have suffered from flooding or other damage, there are a number of resources that may be available to you, as listed here by Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity, or here by the SBA’s Louisiana District Office.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Industrial, Trends, Supply Chain, Thomas Index

Shawn Fitzgerald

Shawn Fitzgerald

Shawn Fitzgerald is Vice President of Marketing at Thomas. He is responsible for leading all marketing efforts for the Thomas family of companies, including THOMASNET.com, Thomas Marketing and Thomas Enterprise.

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