’s Ed Edwards on providing free product sourcing and supplier discovery
Building relationships with reliable, high-quality suppliers is critical to the success of the engineers, maintenance and operations professionals, and others in the pumping industry. Ed Edwards, manager, audience outreach with, offered a tour of their free supplier discovery and product sourcing platform for Modern Pumping Today readers. He can be reached at or 212.629.2177.
Modern Pumping Today: How long has ThomasNet been serving engineers and other buyers?
Ed Edwards: We’ve been in business for nearly 120 years, and have always had the same mission—to connect buyers and suppliers. Many of your readers will remember the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, or the “Big Green Books,” but about twenty years ago, the Thomas Register migrated online as Being online, it can provide more resources than the printed Thomas Register could.
MPT: What are the main features that our readers should know about?
Ed Edwards: Two applications are particularly relevant for Modern Pumping Today readers: The first is Supplier Discovery, which provides a gateway to suppliers of everything from centrifugal pumps to brushless pump motors. It features over 700,000 North American manufacturers, distributors and service providers, indexed according to 67,000 product/service categories. The application has guided search capabilities; once users type in what they need, they’re prompted to add qualifiers like location (i.e., within 50 miles) and quality certifications (i.e., ISO, ANSI, etc.). This helps them build a list that’s targeted to their individual requirements. In-depth supplier profiles let them dig deeper and research companies of interest. The profiles include capabilities, equipment, product lines, brand names carried, product news, and more.
Second is Product Sourcing, an entry point for searching millions of products, including raw materials, equipment, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) supplies and finished products. Items are featured in line-item detail, and user manuals and exploded view diagrams are provided for many products. Engineers can search for pumps according to specifications such as maximum discharge head height, port type, or pump media.
MPT: Can engineers also access CAD drawings through the platform?
Ed Edwards: Yes; we provide access to millions of 2-D and 3-D CAD drawings and models right from Product Sourcing. Users can download a 3-D model and insert it directly into their designs. The underlying technology works with all major CAD systems, so this is a seamless process.
MPT: What if a company is seeking suppliers with particular certifications or registrations?
Ed Edwards: This is something that many of our users asked about, and we’ve updated our platform in response. Our new Certification/Quality application includes more than 80 certifications/registrations that are important to engineers and buyers, such as ISO, ANSI, Nadcap, ITAR, FDA and C-TPAT. We’re listing thousands of companies with these credentials, and many offer downloadable certificates.
MPT: What else is new on the platform?
Ed Edwards: We recently launched a Custom Quotes application to help users locate the right job shop. It works like a matchmaking service. Users indicate what they need, such as casting, fabrication or finishing, and our engineers identify up to five shops that can help them.
MPT: Speaking of suppliers: How do they get listed? Do they have to pay?
Ed Edwards: We make listings available for free to all suppliers. I’d also encourage engineers and buyers to go to and check out the Video Tour. They can also sign up for ThomasNet Onsite—a free, customized service, available on-premise or via webinar, to help users address their sourcing challenges. ◆
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