Global industrial results by default
By default, the Bridge platform gives you global provider results unless you filter them with a local or regional tag (eg. ny, usa), for cases when you're only looking for local suppliers. Let's look at the different methods you have to discover specific types of providers.
Searchig for providers with tags
Finding industrial suppliers or service providers can be a lenghty process if you need to filter your selection by more than just the type of product or business service they supply.
Gladly, using tags allows you to focus your search right from the beginning of the sourcing process. For example, you may be looking for valve suppliers from a company that specializes only in the oil/energy industry. You're not interested in results for local hardware stores that carry small household valves. Think of your requirements first to help with your search. Is it a particular technology, industry knowledge, a specific skill or industry certifications?
Going back to our example, we need valve suppliers for oil pipelines from someone with industry knowledge. We'd search for terms like "valves", "oil industry" and "pipelines", for example. If you're looking for a supplier that also offers a maintenence service, you can add a "maintenance" tag to your query. That will give you all the companies that sell and maintain valves for the oil industry.
You can use tags to hone in on your exact target providers. Find by type of products or services, industries, expertise, or location.
Basic provider selection criteria
You found the right providers, but you also need a way to narrow down the search to only companies that satisfy some basic requirements. Experience, size, how long they're been in business, number of customers, etc. are all standard criteria to have in mind when selecting potential providers.
Look for providers that have a decent amount of customer ratings for their type of business, have been in business for at least some time, and are of an adequate size to be able to complete your type of project. You can then evaluate them in more detail in a scorecard.
Establishing your basic search criteria
Note the search settings on the left for number of customer ratings, size, age, and minimum amount of countries where the company has customers.
Remember, only companies with customer ratings can be evaluated later. Companies without customer ratings should raise some flags right away. Maybe they didn't get them yet? Are they hiding their performance with current customers from the market? Do they have any customers at all? You don't know, so unless you want to call each to confirm, they're better being left out of your online evaluation. We couldn't help you evaluate them anyway.
Once you identify a group of suppliers that fit your basic criteria, it's time to find the best companies to do business with.
We allow customers to evaluate their experience with providers on the most important standard criteria used for provider evaluation.
When creating a scorecard (ie. a decision matrix), you can evaluate companies using 3 common methods and even specify how important a particular criteria is for your project by assigning it a weight.
You can choose if product or service quality is the only important criteria, or price, experience, customer support, or a particular mix of all. You decide how to rank providers based on your own business requirements.
Identifying the best companies, products, or services
The weights you assign to each criteria determine the score of the provider. A scorecard gives you the top 30 results matching your evaluation criteria. These are the best providers for your business requirements based on past customer experiences with each company. Any scorecard can be shared with co-workers or management if needed.
Assigning weights to score companies based on individual criteria.
The resulting scorecard
The list of the top-scored providers according to your own criteria.
Congratulations, you were able to find the extact providers you needed, evaluate them according to basic business requirements, and find the top matches allowing you to complete the first step of your due-diligence.
You can now contact industrial suppliers or providers individually to move to the next step of your sourcing.
If you're aiming to get a Certified Provider only and get additional risk management guarantees with international suppliers, remember to activate your included services after you sign a contract or place an order.