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Thirty months since our team members first learned about Coronavirus (remember calling it that!) there is a lot we have learned. It is sobering to think about over half a billion people around the world have contracted Covid and we have over 6.35 million recorded deaths (excluding China, which has stopped publishing its counts). According to the National Institute of Health Covid has averaged over three million deaths and is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. 

 

We count ourselves lucky to be here after having so much concern about ourselves, our families, friends, and co-workers back then. While we have learned and adapted, there are many things we got wrong. Most people or teams will not want to think about what they got wrong, but at MESH and MES we discuss our failures from the earlier year, tabulate them and frame them for our “Failure Wall”.  We celebrate learning from them and vouch never to repeat them. As the world gets ready to turn the Covid page, we feel compelled to write about what we got wrong! 

 

We take pride in these failures like an athlete boasting about football injuries (kidding) – but we do show off scars like a proud soldier who fought a wisely chosen war! 

 

We thought vaccinations would move people past Covid
Well, it hasn’t. Just ask the 25+ million residents of Shanghai who are in partial lockdown after almost 10 weeks (The first six were lockdowns similar to those the world experienced back in March-May 2020). China’s stand for zero Covid appears over the top for almost any western citizen as well as most Asian countries such as India. It’s unclear why China is acting the way they are, but we are not here to judge what countries and people do. The Zero Covid stand and impact on millions of lives were totally unexpected and are among the top things which we got wrong! 

 

We thought vaccinations would fix Covid
Vaccines were developed at a record pace and early doses were made available to medical professionals in less than 10 months of initial virus breakout (December 2020). They were freely available around the world by the summer of 2021. But the Omicron variant in December 2021 and January 2022 brought the world down to a crawl with lockdowns, shutdowns, and travel restrictions mimicking those experienced in 2020. Experts widely believe that we might have new variants which can bring us back to our knees. Let’s hope not. But Omicron was not widely expected and our efforts for normalcy took a backseat almost 12 weeks earlier in 2022. 

 

Stock Market Movement
While experts expected S&P to seriously lose value, after a two-week dip in March 2020 it came roaring back climbing 18.4% in 2020 and another 28.71% in 2021 (on top of 31.5% in 2019). Most of the movement was in technology companies, driven by the wider adoption of software and larger market share wins by large companies.

 

The Real Estate Bubble
Demand for housing went up driven by people wanting to have privacy and seclusion away from exposure to Covid. Supply, on the other hand, was lower due to labor shortages and supply chain disruptions (below) causing large increases in real estate prices around the nation and world, at large.  

Real estate increases in midsize markets like Columbus, Ohio saw an almost 100% increase in median house prices (from $150,000 in 2019 to $285,000 in May 2022). This pattern has duplicated itself in most parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world rendering house purchases unaffordable for many.

 

Supply Chain Disruptions
There will be a book written about supply chain disruptions during COVID in the near future and we will be sure to get an advanced copy to brush up!
 

Container Rates
Nobody expected the container shortages, which started in the summer of 2021 – a full 18 months after Covid and after vaccinations were fully available. For many reasons which have been noted are that during Covid, carriers left containers wherever they will never need them back after the Covid apocalypse!

Well, they were wrong. The opposite happened.

People spent less during Covid and saved more. Businesses adapted and digitized their processes faster and kept working expecting their needs for goods and services to be met at an almost normal level. Vessel carriers and transportation companies got it totally wrong and instead of solving the problem, they decided to make it worse by blank sailing and halting ships. At the same time, they also got this totally right as it is visible from record revenues and earnings (3X-6X) of their normal operations. 

We also got it wrong that retailers and importers will be able to move their rates back within a quarter or two. The Drewry Index sits at 7600 in June 2022 (the 10-year average was 1800). Vessel carriers and politicians will point out a reduction from 9100 in January but don’t listen to them as they are just ignoring the 2021 data!
 

Port Closures
Ports around the world followed their political and country-specific protocols shutting down for long periods or operating with skeleton crews with the majority affected by Covid causing serious delays and shortages. 

 

Seafarers
Most of us in industry and laymen outside expected the countries and port authorities and vessel carriers to act rationally, allow seafarers to get yearly vaccinations, and allow safe transport to their home countries. We are afraid it didn’t work out that way. Thirty percent of seafarers (people working on ships) were stranded in the fall of 2021 (a full 21 hours after the Covid hit) causing serious shortages of people available to move goods and ships further disrupting the supply chains. 

 

The Great Resignation
Nobody had heard about this term until it was coined in 2021. It describes the record number of people leaving their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. After an extended period of working from home with no commute, many people have decided their work-life balance has become more important to them. According to World Economic Forum publications, one in five workers globally is planning to quit in 2022. So, we are not done with labor issues! 

Companies succeeding in the future will include some type of hybrid remote work and more importantly, flexibility in their policies. 

Key drivers behind this are: 

  • People who experienced spending more time with their families at home are cherishing that and want to have that as a permanent fixture in their lives 
  • Companies that digitized various jobs and roles are ok with working from anywhere and having similar productivity levels 

Unfortunately, 45% of the global workforce CANNOT work from home – they must show up to stores, factories, and warehouses to do their jobs and there is likely to be continued friction in this labor force as they educate themselves and try to move up into hybrid-type work roles. 

 

Incredibly different reactions to Covid
In the U.S. (much like many other countries), reactions to Covid ranged from deeply fearful to rightfully careful to outright denial of the disease. This was spectacular to see and experience. Many groups were widely discarding medical opinions and rejecting the basic use of masks and sanitizers while others are still wearing masks after 30 months. We are not vouching for one or the other, but it has been spectacular to see how disparately people around the world and within our small team have reacted to Coronavirus and the Covid epidemic. 

 

Political handling of Covid
We have been surprised by how countries reacted to Covid. From initial lockdowns and rational handling by many countries (Singapore, Korea, New Zealand, and a few European countries) to apathetic handling by many others (India after the first 10 weeks, some states in the U.S.) politicians and the public at large have reacted to this crisis in their own unique way. It is fascinating to watch and learn from! 

 

Overall, 30 months after Covid started in China, we continue to be surprised by the impact it is having on people, families, and countries. We got much of it wrong, but we learned that the best way to deal with issues like this is to over-communicate within your teams as well as your suppliers and customers, improve engagement between managers and their staff, and introduce agility in all facets of your business and finally have a strong balance sheet to weather the financial storm. Successful companies emerge stronger from weak markets like this and this time, it won’t be any different. While we got a lot about Covid wrong, we were able to learn the correct way to react and that will stay with us as new challenges will inevitably emerge.


 


The History of CRM
The term “CRM” customer relationship management is now a commonly used term, and the emergence of companies like Salesforce CRM offerings have contributed both to its growth and popularity.

The origin of CRM dates to the 1980s; however it wasn’t even called a CRM. It was called a CMS, a contact management system that was a glorified contact book for all your customer’s information such as emails, locations, contacts, etc.

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that CRM became a more widely accepted business system. This was also when salesforce automation (SFA) began to emerge because this was essentially automating all presale activities in conjunction with the contact information stored in the CMS.

This CRM boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to a highly diluted and over-saturated market. This forced CRM vendors to diversify product offerings and led to the creation of different suites for different departments involved in the sales relationship journey.

Over the last three decades, the CRM market size was valued at $41.93 billion in 2019, projected to reach $96.39 billion by 2027.

 

Evolution of SRM
The term “SRM,” supplier relationship management, is still not nearly as well-known as CRM. While many tools and technologies have been made available for the customer side of enterprises to manage sales, supplier management lacks advancement. According to the Deloitte 2021 CPO Survey, about half the organizations are not using SRM tools for supplier collaboration. However, digital transformation is one of the most critical priorities among CPOs, so it’s just a matter of time before more organizations realize the value of adopting these types of systems.

Over the last few years, our industry has seen significant tariffs on global trade, pandemics, and war that have had global ripple effects. If we have learned anything, we must be even more conscious of where we get our product from and how we get it. Supply Chains have been challenged over the last 2-3 years, but companies must find ways to understand, engage, track, and manage their supply bases.

The reality is that any company selling a finished good or product must devote attention and time to this problem that has been forced by macro-global issues entirely out of our control.

 

Advancements in SRM
MESH SRM is a combination of 3 products that allow organizations to do everything across sourcing, purchasing, and procurement workflows:

  1. MESH Sourcing: Find suppliers around the world across a range of manufacturing processes, materials, and commodities + qualifying suppliers through supplier profile which includes a 45-question sourcing audit, production capabilities, manufacturing equipment, factory photos & videos. MESH Audit is a global standard to evaluate a variety of manufacturing factories, processes, and technologies on one rating system.
  2. MESH RFQ: Engage in quoting activity with suppliers throughout the entire process, from creating and sending the RFQ, receiving supplier quotations, to comparing and awarding projects
  3. MESH Supplier Management: Allow organizations to manage ongoing supplier relationships – segment and classify suppliers while also tracking certifications, agreements, audits, and documents to maintain compliance

 

Visit www.meshworks.com to learn how MESH can digitize your supplier management, supplier compliance, RFQ, and quality management processes.

 


References

https://www.kodiakhub.com/blog/srm-is-in-for-the-same-ride-that-crm-took-10-years-ago

https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/crm-software-market

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/operations/chief-procurement-officer-cpo-survey.html


RFQ (request for quote) is a business process in which a company or public entity requests a quote from a supplier for the purchase of specific products or services. RFQ generally means the same thing as Call for bids (CfB) and Invitation for bid (IfB). 

Up until the 1990s, these kinds of requests were issued on paper, over the phone, by fax or by email, which made apples-to-apples comparisons among different suppliers difficult and time consuming. 

Various terminologies used in sourcing and purchasing/procurement world are as follows:

ERFx –  Electronic Request For (x) – “x” can be a proposal, Quotation or Information. 

RFI – Request for Information – An RFI is commonly used to collect information about products, services, or suppliers. It typically precedes the other RFx processes listed below and is used to help a buyer to shortlist potential suppliers to evaluate. An RFI can be used with any of the RFx processes. This is generally used when a primary buying entity uses consulting firms or third party resources to collect information BEFORE they put together official RFP/RFQ.

RFP – Request for Proposal  – This document’s purpose is intended to collect a third-party provider’s products, solutions, pricing, and capabilities in the form of a pricing proposal. An RFP should include the guidelines, instructions, and forms necessary for the applicant to submit a proposal. The end goal of this document is to invite suppliers to make a bid. Many of the services industries including IT, Banks and others tend to use RFP for their sourcing processes.

RFQ – Request for Quotation – After a shortlist of qualified suppliers is determined, an RFQ is issued to a subset of suppliers for a quote on the products or services and is typically used to make an award decision. Most Engineering and manufacturing companies tend to use RFQ

RFT – Request for Tender – A formal request asking for offers from potential suppliers to supply clearly defined goods or services or works. There are often highly technical requirements and a prescriptive solution. Government and Municipalities as well as aerospace companies tend to use RFT. RFT is more rigid in that submissions from suppliers tend to be binding in nature.

About Us
MESH started as a captive solution developed by a fast growing supply chain company, MES for it’s internal use. Initial product was developed in 2013/2014 and has been modified since to be used for almost 4,200 RFQ’s, 400+ suppliers and used by 100+ team members. When customers started to be intrigued by the product and expressed willingness to have access to it, MES spun off this product and team into an independent company in 2020 – MESH Works. 

MESH Works is a state-of-the-art sourcing platform, developed with just buyers and commodity managers in mind, especially for engineering and manufacturing companies. Unlike most of the sourcing products in the market focused on reverse auction and events, MESH aspires to be an enterprise software, which becomes a part of the workflow and daily use system for buyers. Learn more at www.meshworks.com


Are your suppliers’ certifications compliant? Are you buyers being productive? Do you have visibility to your teams sourcing activity? How do you manage all your supplier relationships?

If you are a manufacturer, these are all probably common questions that you ask. In most cases, all this relevant data is scattered across different systems & platforms because managing suppliers has traditionally been done through hundreds of emails, phone calls, PDF’s, and spreadsheets between your organization and the supplier. As time goes by and your company grows, this information becomes significantly more difficult to find, access and use for buyers & sourcing teams.

Sourcing at the core is finding a good supplier, which might sound easy. But, for most companies like yours, you probably have a standard/requirement for your expectations on cost, quality, and delivery from your suppliers. This is where sourcing can become extremely difficult – weighing all those factors into a decision to select the best source/supplier. On top of that, COVID has added a twist to sourcing – inability to travel, the importance of diversification of supply base & emphasis on near sourcing.

What if there was an easier way to manage suppliers and optimize the way your sourcing and procurement teams work?

eSourcing, also known as “electronic sourcing”, allows all those same traditional sourcing tasks to be conducted however on a centralized, web-based platform instead of manual conversations & exchanges. This allows organizations like yours to have a full visibility to quoting history and more importantly, allows sourcing teams to act faster, with more information and make better decisions. The implementation of digital sourcing tools can help in many ways like:

  • COLLABORATION – centralizes the location for different country or functional teams to discuss and collaborate on quoting activity as well as part information that is accessible across all departments/teams within your organization
  • TRANSPARENCY – allows all parts of your organization to have access to a single source of truth for sourcing and supplier information
    STANDARDIZATION – creates more structure around sourcing workflows to ensure consistency across the organization
  • SCALE – allows sourcing departments to more efficiently manage large volumes of data to yield better insights and drive better sourcing decisions

Over the last 2 years, if there is anything we learned – it’s that we must be ready for the unexpected and this just emphasizes the importance of having digital sourcing strategies that can be agile and efficient, which is one of the biggest benefits of eSourcing.


Many of the progressive industrial companies in the world have successfully digitized their CRM processes using software like Salesforce and others. But their Sourcing and Supply chain teams still use archaic excel, email, and PDF tools to engage in communications with their suppliers, conduct commercial exchanges, and manage contracts & certifications through the full life cycle relationship with the suppliers. 

SRM is defined as a Supplier Relationship Management system. Like CRM, SRM can enable the enterprise to manage relationships with their suppliers through their entire life cycle. Various roles that can benefit from having a system like an SRM include Supplier Account Manager (SAM), Commodity Managers, Director of Sourcing, Sourcing Managers, Director of Supply Chain, and, more broadly speaking, any team member engaged in a Buyer/Planner role. For the sake of this paper, we will refer to them as “buyers.”

Buyers conduct activities with suppliers broadly categorized into two forms of activities. The first set of actions is what we refer to as “pre-sourcing” or “pre-award.” The second set of activities comes after the award, “post-sourcing,” and typically involves current or strategic suppliers for an organization. 

A] Pre-Sourcing – Buyers across any industry, vertical, or business unit, spend considerable time evaluating new suppliers. These activities include sending RFQ (Request for Quotes), RFP (Request for Proposals), RFT (Request for Tender) to “potential” suppliers, then receiving their responses, analyzing them, and sharing results & recommendations to management teams for decision making.

Supplier evaluations include a variety of sourcing audits, quality audits, certification verifications, third-party audits, commercial agreements, and other pre-award activities BEFORE the company’s management decides to do business with this specific supplier/partner. In this phase, suppliers are usually referred to as “Prospective” or “Potential” suppliers.

B] Post Sourcing – Once a company has decided to engage in business with a supplier, suppliers are generally grouped into two categories: Current or Strategic suppliers. While pre-sourcing activities can take anywhere from a few months to a year, post-sourcing engagement and relationships between customer & supplier can last for years and often decades. 

The “post-Sourcing” phase is typically divided up into two broad activities:

1] Contracts and Agreements – These include but are not limited to payment terms, location information, contact information, capabilities updates, warranty contracts, performance contracts, stocking agreements, indexed services, and much more. Some of these tasks are included in the “pre-award” activities like adding supplier info into ERP/MRP & supplier management systems. 

2] Once suppliers are added to the system, operational buyers communicate and interact with supplier partners. As months and years go on, there are various activities conducted with suppliers, which may include but are not limited to quarterly business reviews, annual reviews, annual contracts, certification changes and updates, and Supplier performance management reviews (SPR/SPM) and other strategic & tactical reviews. 

Supplier Relationship Management should offer the ability to store a wide array of these contracts and documents. One common lapse for many OEM and Tier 1 suppliers is not having up-to-date certifications from suppliers. An effective SRM should offer an ability to track activities, manage processes and share information between suppliers and customers in a centralized, efficient manner.


MESH is built upon years of experience in buying forgings, fasteners, castings, raw materials in different forms and assemblies.

Automotive, agriculture, aerospace, lighting, and general industrial customers have teams of buyers who communicate with their suppliers sending drawings, specifications, and standard templates to see the cost drivers from supplier quotes.

MESH allows buyers and commodity managers at these companies to build assembly or component level RFQs easily and quickly because of pre-built material tables, quote breakdown sheets, and ready supplier libraries. All communications with suppliers are done within the portal. Buyers can keep all information updated and be assured that all suppliers are working on the same sheet of music!

When specification changes or drawing changes as designs mature and move further into production, buyers can keep refreshing the quote and update supplier quotes to new specifications.

At the time of sourcing, buyers can avail of MESH tools to analyze and break down costs, negotiate with suppliers, or get clarifications from them, saving hundreds of hours of unproductive time emailing and refreshing the quotes.

Most of the systems outside have the same framework of quotes and templates, whether they buy million-dollar machines or forty-cent fasteners. MESH offers custom templates for various commodities and materials to allow more tailored feedback from suppliers, which can be readily analyzed with a high degree of confidence.

MESH also offers the My Parts library and My RFQ, which allows the buyer to send parts for quick pricing reviews.

MESH also offers a supplier management capability where the supplier will be asked to keep their certifications updated – 30 days, five days, and the day before they expire. This feature can save hundreds of hours in follow-ups for buyers and managers to keep their supplier’s information current and compliant.


MES is a metrics driven enterprise using data analytics as the basis for all our decision making activities. Market positioning, strategic planning, financial and budgeting processes improvement, associate and client planning, supply chain and inventory management, supplier performance and pricing, and cost reductions are just a few areas where data analytics driven decision making have made MES an industry leader.  MES has made the great leap from commodity analytics to advanced analytics.  From “that which can be done with commonly available tools without any specialized knowledge of data analytics” to “going beyond what happened, when it happened and what the impact was, (to) identify what caused it to happened and what can be done about it in the future.” (Bill Franks in “Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave)

Trials using several commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications only proved we needed customized tools to support MES’s business model, its growing global presence, and the desire to accommodate the differing cultural and working styles of our employees.  So, MES decided to create in-house, a one-stop progressively integrated suite of solutions comprising stand-alone, intuitive and easy to use applications and platforms called MESH.

MESH CRM—A desktop/mobile platform for sales tracking, reporting and management. This MES Client Relations Management tool offers sales account managers full support in tracking end-to-end client development activities to include task scheduling, account progress status, prospective client status, and business analysis on trends, area coverage, corporate profiles, and several other competitive intelligence items of interest.  And, CRM provides the means to analyze, focus, and improve sales performance.

MESH CRM transitions logically to…

MESH PM—An SQL platform for customer and supplier quotes, for project management from RFQ to APQP through PPAP.  This MES Project Management tool offers MES project managers full interactive end-to-end project management support including customer and criterion-based supplier RFQs and, upon award, Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) through Production Part Approval Process activities.

MESH PM transitions logically to…

MESH QM—A mobile platform for quality reporting.  This MES Quality Management tool offers MES global quality engineers and managers full in the field and on the run quality engineering support including start-to-finish production status and quality assurance monitoring, production and quality process improvement activities, and supply chain and customer support services and coordination.  All are accomplished using 24/7 communication links.

The implementation of MESH allows us to scale up the business and increase our revenues, without the constraints of adding resources (and constantly costs) at the same pace. The benefits are shown by the exponential increases in the business quoted, dollars amount quoted, new customers added to the portfolio and finally, new part projects kicked off.

MES is already planning the development of several more innovative applications and platforms.  Today, MES uses robust data prospecting and mining, statistical methodologies, and modeling techniques to great success.  And, as our resources and inventiveness allow, we look forward to employing machine learning and artificial intelligence to make data analytically based business predictions.


Typical buyer for a small to mid-size CNC machine shop with 30-100 employees likely purchases over 100 types of materials in sizes, shapes, quantities which vary frequently. This buyer mostly uses some older ERP type of software to store “some” of the material quotes. He/she also uses a large array of excel files, PDF files and spends their time doing VLookUp or Pivot tables to evaluate supplier quotes, communicate with them on emails. This hard-working buyer also spends an inordinate time trying to dig up what the material pricing was last month, last year, or two years back to provide to their manager as well as a sales team, why they should be negotiating price increases with their customer.

The manager at this mid-size machine shop is also relying on buyers’ organizational skills to keep information together. At best, he/she might have the information uploaded on SharePoint from time to time.

What happens if this buyer changes jobs?

If he/she leaves the company?

What happens if the manager as well as buyer both leave the company?

Supplier quotes received for their bar stock is also in different formats (some in kg, some in length, some in different lengths) and so on.

MESH offers a simple-to-use RFQ software, which buyers can start to use within 20 minutes to send RFQ for their bar stock in the standard template to multiple vendors. MESH offers a database of hundreds of standard base materials as well as variations and specifications in-built. So when somebody picks Cold Roll Steel bar stock, they will not receive aluminum and iron grades! They can be assured that information coming back from suppliers will have all the required information they need to assess supplier quotes – whether in kg, length, etc. Suppliers can also advise of any variation from the specification when providing quotes. During the quoting process, if something has changed, buyers can communicate with ALL suppliers on changes and be reasonably assured that suppliers have all required and same information to provide relevant and competitive quotes.

After quotes are received, buyers can evaluate quotes within minutes and make sourcing decisions. They can also communicate award or rejection letters with suppliers instantly.

Months or years from now, when the manager or buyer’s replacement wants to review this specific RFQ and history of communication, pricing, and analysis, MESH will have it available instantly.

Oftentimes, bar stock prices are quoted and then evaluated internally for weeks and months. When this material is needed, prices will need to be updated to the latest economics and raw material index, buyer can resend the quote and request an updated quotation keeping all the specifications intact to avoid confusion and errors. Suppliers can update what’s changed and keep all fields unchanged as necessary. This drastically improves the accuracy and timeliness of sourcing decisions at the kickoff of the project. MESH also offers buyers a chance to pick their most common purchasing items in the “My parts” library allowing them to create RFQ for this part frequently and easily.

MESH provides the CNC machine shop buyers a low-cost e-sourcing solution. Typical shops will want two licenses for buyers as well as managers.

Reach out to sales@globalsourcing.com to schedule a demo…[/vc_column_text]

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Ever wondered what all the different purchasing-related acronyms really mean?

You’ve come to the right place.

Using simple terminology, here is an explanation of the often confusing “alphabet soup” acronyms, which are germane to the world of purchasing and procurement.

ERFx

An ERFx is an Electronic Request for (x), where “x” stands for Proposal, Quotation, or Information.

RFI

RFI is the acronym for Request for Information. An RFI is most often used to collect information about products, services, or suppliers. Because it typically precedes other RFx processes, it may be used in conjunction with any of the other RFx processes. An RFI’s purpose is to help buyers shortlist potential suppliers for further evaluation. Typically, a primary purchasing entity will use the RFI when working with a consulting firm and third-party resource to collect information before issuing the official RFP/RFQ.

RFP

The RFP, also known as the Request for Proposal, is a document whose purpose is to collect a third-party provider’s products, solutions, pricing, and capabilities in the form of a pricing proposal. An RFP usually includes any guidelines, instructions, and forms necessary for applicants to submit a proposal. Because the end goal of an RFP is to invite suppliers to bid on a project, it’s used by many services industries, including information technology and financial services organizations, including banks.

RFQ

An RFQ or Request for Quotation is a proven business process that enables companies and public entities of all types and sizes to ask potential suppliers to provide information for the purpose of purchasing specific products of services. RFQ generally means the same thing as CfB or Call for Bids, as well as IfB or Invitation for Bid.

Though the RFQ process dates back many decades, up until the 1990s these requests were issued on paper, over the phone, by fax, or via email. The resulting quotes came into organizations much the same way they went out, which not only created confusion but also made apples-to-apples supplier comparisons both time consuming and difficult.

These days, organizations may shortlist qualified suppliers before issuing an RFQ to this subset. The RFQ usually asks suppliers to provide a price quote along with other information as it relates to a specific set of products or services. Buyers then review the RFQ responses and make a determination as to which supplier or suppliers will be awarded the business. Engineering and manufacturing companies are the most typical users of the RFQ.

RFT

RFT stands for Request for Tender. An RFT is a formal request to potential suppliers asking them to detail how they would supply clearly defined goods, services, or works. RFTs are usually highly technical in nature and, therefore, require a more prescriptive solution. Government and municipalities, as well as aerospace companies, are the most likely users of the RFT. Further, because it is more rigid in nature, supplier submissions via RFT tend to be binding in nature.

About Us
MESH started as a captive solution developed by fast-growing supply chain company, MES, for their internal use. Initially developed in 2013/2014, the solution has since been modified by MES for their use with nearly 4,200 RFQs, 400+ suppliers, and 100+ team members.
In 2020, as MES customers expressed a desire to have the solution for themselves, the company spun off both the product and the team, creating a new, independent company known as MESH Works.

MESH Works is a state-of-the-art sourcing platform for engineering and manufacturing companies, developed specifically with buyers and commodity managers in mind. Unlike most of the sourcing products available in the marketplace (which are focused on reverse auction and events), MESH aspires to be an enterprise software that’s an essential and integral part of the workflow and daily use system for buyers.


Custom injection molding shops and die casting factories purchase different types of material grades – scrap and virgin materials for their use. The buyer spends an inordinate amount of time working with small dealers and large mills procuring what’s needed.

Buyers also work with their sales team to give advanced pricing on projects which will go into production next year or further out.

As these negotiations through their sales team mature and the timing for the project gets closer, the buyer needs to continue to get raw material pricing updated.

All along, they are sending RFQs out in excel format, getting responses in PDF and excel or even word format. They have to spend time putting them together in a format so it’s easy to analyze, break down and make decisions.

The manager for this buyer is often evaluating fragmented pieces of information to help the team make decisions.

MESH offers pre-made templates for this injection molder to order from hundreds of grades of plastics and communicate with vendors in the standard portal. When requoting, it takes less than 4 clicks to submit to vendors for updated pricing.

Key to helping these injection molders, die casters, and forging companies is a pre-built materials library and template to allow breakdowns as well as raw material index assumptions into the quote.

MESH also allows the buyers at these factories to buy all the factory supplies such as boxes, shrink wrap, labels, and hundreds of other items which they need to keep their factories running smoothly!

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