Thomas Teams with Ariba to Expand Commerce Options

posted on 1/19/2012 4:23:07 PM

The new partnership provides manufacturers with a larger collaborative B2B community for procurement and supplier relationship management.

Two prominent players in the supplier relationship management arena have joined forces in an attempt to connect more industrial buyers and sellers through collaborative e-commerce services.

Thomas Industrial Network (ThomasNet), a provider of online product sourcing and supplier discovery tools, is teaming up with commerce technology vendor Ariba. The partnership will enable ThomasNet to offer its procurement services through the Ariba Network, a collaborative B2B trading community.

Ariba, in turn, will match the capabilities of the 650,000 or so suppliers that rely on ThomasNet to the requirements of Ariba buyers, providing a common platform through which they can do business and enhance supplier relationship management (SRM) , the companies said.

While ThomasNet is a unique resource for finding industrial products and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, the competitive global landscape is requiring that suppliers and buyers find new ways to connect.

“Companies today are looking beyond the four walls of the enterprise to connect and collaborate more efficiently with their customers, suppliers and trading partners across the street and around the world,” said Jason Kurtz, vice president of Ariba Network, in a statement. “And, increasingly, they are finding that business commerce networks are the fastest, most efficient way to do this.”

According to Ariba, global companies use the Ariba Network to transact more than $200 billion in commerce each year. By joining forces with ThomasNet, Ariba can expand this community and the value it delivers.

In addition, buying organizations on the Ariba Network will have access to ThomasNet’s comprehensive private catalogs, the companies said, which they can integrate with their own procurement solutions, including ERP systems, to enhance and accelerate the purchasing decision.

“Finding and qualifying leads for new business requires significant time and effort,” said Thomas Industrial Network Vice President George Short. “Connecting ThomasNet suppliers to a network through which they can automatically receive and respond to RFPs from buyers in active purchasing cycles allows for increased speed and better business opportunities.”

Ariba will distribute leads to ThomasNet’s suppliers through its Ariba Discovery service for matching business buyers and sellers globally. According to Ariba, in the past 12 months, more than $3 billion in new business opportunities have been offered through Ariba Discovery, over 15 million leads distributed, and more than 15,000 matches between buyers and sellers made.

This, Kurtz said in a statement, is what the ThomasNet alliance is all about: “By offering services to enable its suppliers to participate in this unique community, Thomas is providing them with ready access to an expanded set of opportunities with buyers around the world which they can leverage to grow their businesses.”

[Thomas Industrial Network is an online division of Thomas Publishing Company, LLC, which also owns TechMATCH Pro.]