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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 43 No 4

14 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

14 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK FCH SOURCING NETWORK Sourcing Network for the Fastener Industry TEL 1-877-332-7836 EMAIL eric@fastenersclearinghouse.com WEB www.fastenersclearinghouse.com SALES INQUIRIES vs FCH SOURCEFINDER INQUIRIES by Eric Dudas A brief explanation of a sometimes confusing aspect of the FCH Sourcing Network. For many fastener industry professionals, FCH is known as the go-to place to locate hard to find items or to make quick spot buys. We’re called “Screwgle” by some because of the vast amount of material you can find in our database, all at no charge. (www. fastenersclearinghouse.com) The other side of the equation is the huge number of sales inquiries we send to FCH members. And that’s where a bit of confusion sometimes comes in. The most misunderstood aspect of the FCH Sourcing Network is the SourceFinder RFQ system. To clear up the confusion, SourceFinder Inquiries are RFQs that are sent to all FCH members who are set up to receive them. They are NOT based on a member’s inventory listings. Inventory Inquiries, in contrast, are sent to an individual FCH member when someone searching the network finds the member’s part during a search, and then inquires about that part directly to the member. The SourceFinder RFQ system has been included with membership since FCH first began operating, to add extra value to being a member of the network. Since there are times when people come to FCH in urgent need of a part, and that part isn’t listed in the database (As giant as it is!), the system guides the user to create an RFQ which is then broadcast to all participating FCH members. That’s a SourceFinder Inquiry! Some FCH members join the network just to receive BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE SourceFinder RFQs! They make spot sales and pick up new customers in the process. Other companies do not participate in the SourceFinder system, and turn off the feature using their FCH member account settings. Members who login to the network can view the inquiries they have received, both Inventory Inquiries and SourceFinder Inquiries, from the Inquiries tab on the toolbar. The inquiries are archived there for 90 days by default. Going forward, FCH is developing the SourceFinder RFQ system to improve the overall quality of the process. For example, members will be able to define more precisely the kinds of inquires they want to receive. The system will then shift to a pay per use model, which will be a change from the “all-included” but less focused model offered currently. Inventory Inquiries generated from FCH member listings are the vast majority of inquires that come through FCH, but SourceFinder Inquiries are also a lucrative benefit for many FCH members. Still, some members have not been fully utilizing the RFQ system because they don’t recognize the difference from Inventory Inquiries, or they simply don’t see the potential value. If that sounds like your company, then you should have a better idea after reading this information. We’re always glad to speak to fastener distributors! Contact FCH for assistance in configuring your account settings to take full advantage of this growing part of the FCH Sourcing Network, or if you have questions about getting your company on board the network. FCH SOURCING NETWORK

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