A powerful new request-for-quote feature in our online Supplier Search directory should spur even more traffic to Plastics News On the Web (www.plasticsnews.com), which has seen user activity rise sharply in the past year.
News remains the site's bread and butter: We post on average more than eight breaking news stories per day, and the site's archives now boast more than 10,000 full-text stories dating back to January 1994.
Those are two reasons why visitors to our Web site now request an average of 2,800 pages per business day, up some 75 percent since January 1997.
Interest in Supplier Search, launched Jan. 1, also is driving traffic to the site. Supplier Search's newly introduced RFQ capability offers a free, time-saving business tool to users trying to obtain apples-to-apples product or project quotations from qualified suppliers.
The first categories in the interactive Supplier Search directory to offer the RFQ feature are injection molding, mold making and plastic resins. Next up will be thermoforming, model making and prototyping, custom compounds and recycled plastics, followed by blow molding, extrusion, rotational molding, compression molding and film and sheet.
This is how it works: Users enter the Plastics News site at no cost and click on the Supplier Search navigational button. Users then can identify and qualify potential suppliers based on geography, experience, production, equipment or technology capabilities.
The detailed request-for-quote form then guides the user to enter the critical information needed for an accurate quote. Submitting the RFQ to one or multiple suppliers takes the same amount of time and is free to the user. Identical forms are submitted electronically and confidentially to suppliers through blind-carbon-copy distribution — and arrive in minutes.
The profiled companies that pay to participate in the centralized database stand to receive RFQs from any number of sources, since Supplier Search is part of a broader network. That network includes DeveloPages (www.developages.com), recently honored as one of PC Magazine's Top 100 Web sites, and I.D. Magazine's directory for design professionals (www.idsourcebook.com). Leading Internet search engines, such as Yahoo and Alta Vista, also are potential sources.
Future plans include a feature that will allow the transfer of files using the file transfer protocol (FTP) application. Additionally, Plastics News' partner in this venture, San Francisco's SupplyBase Inc., plans to deliver a product that enables large original equipment manufacturers to customize the RFQ tool and supplier qualification criteria, according to SupplyBase Vice President Christopher Golec.