The Thomas Blog

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

Becoming BIM Ready: The Risk Of Doing Nothing

Building Product Manufacturers (BPM) were hit particularly hard during the Great Recession that struck the U.S. economy in 2008. With the economy spiraling downward, commercial building projects were either de-funded or put on indefinite hold. Because of this setback, many BPMs became extremely conservative financially and very insular in their sales & marketing.

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Don’t Get Left B2Behind: Why Product Manufacturers Need to Embrace A B2C Mentality

When industrial buyers aren’t at work, they behave as everyday consumers; they shop online, they compare products for deals that best balance quality and value, and they shop independently, relying on freely available resources rather than salespeople to help them in their decision-making processes.

These business-to-consumer (B2C) buying preferences and experiences are also influencing the way buyers shop for products and equipment in the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace; industrial specifiers and buyers now expect to have the same experience as they specify or source bearings as they have shopping for a camera. The lines between B2B and B2C — once considered disparate markets — are beginning to blur. And not only are end users’ habits changing and evolving, but so are distributors and original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs).

To stay ahead of the curve, manufacturers should now be focusing on offering rich, discoverable, and manipulable product data. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the main reasons why this is so important.

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Building Product Manufacturers: Don't Miss The Building Content Summit

The commercial building industry has been undergoing immense change over the past 5-10 years largely driven by the adoption of BIM. 

BCS brings Architects, Engineers and Contractors together with Building Product Manufacturers (BPM’s) and Solution Providers to discuss changes in the way content is developed, distributed, selected and specified within the global BIM workflow. The needs of Design professionals are constantly evolving toward richer, data driven, multi-format product information.

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Over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that the phone doesn’t ring as often in the Sales Engineer bullpen.

There are still prospects out there, though — they’re just now seeking the information they need online rather than calling manufacturers directly.

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Millennials In Manufacturing, And The Problem With PDFs

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials have overtaken baby boomers to become the largest living population.

Inevitably, this shift is reflected in the B2B sector. As half of all product researchers are now millennials, industrial manufacturers must reconsider their current marketing methods and retool to appeal to a new set of digital demands.

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3 Reasons ISO Standards Aren't Enough To Get Specified

International standards like ISO, ANSI, NEMA are well-established across businesses in the industrial market.

These standards, developed by technical experts in national and international trade associations, influence market requirements and have become the benchmark for quality among manufacturers.

However, the standards must be broad enough to apply to different businesses and applications, and thus define form, fit and function at only generic levels.

Because ISO and other standards merely establish a baseline, we’ve seen manufacturers lose bids by relying on standards alone.

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BIM Vs. CAD Files: What's The Difference?

Our team receives the “BIM vs. CAD” question a lot — many people mistake a BIM file as simply a 3D CAD file.

However, BIM files and CAD files serve unique industries and involve different software tools utilized by their users. BIM (Building Information Modeling) has significantly changed the way the construction community designs, documents and builds a commercial building. It is not just a 3D CAD file, as the information in a BIM file includes key performance characteristics, specifications and connections that are important to building design and construction.

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"The Phone Doesn’t Ring Anymore"

Your phone used to ring off the hook with sales opportunities. But there’s a problem — it isn’t ringing anymore.

This doesn’t mean sales opportunities are dwindling. It’s a sign that phones have been replaced by a new tool — your website — and other dynamic sales tools like eCatalogs.

It’s also a reflection of our times where younger millennials look to self-service, digital sources to drive their workflows.

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Manufacturers: Are You Targeting Your Audience With The Right Content?

In the industrial space, marketing and sales leaders target three common personas: Engineers, Procurement Managers, and Plant MRO Managers.

Each of these personas has different primary concerns based around their job focus and function within their company. Let’s take a look at these three personas in detail, so you can better understand your audiences and how to reach them.

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