B2B Marketplace Aims to Simplify Nuts-and-Bolts Procurement Processes
January 14, 2022
The fastening products industry is complex, involving myriad back-order products, custom requests and specific documentation about test reports and compliance.

Along with that, there’s the added challenge of finding what you need. Buyers often find themselves visiting a dozen different websites to find the right nuts bolts, washers, screws and other products, emailing potential sources individually or sending broadcast requests for quotes (RFQs) through their enterprise resource planning systems.

After that, more emails to for additional information — then compiling the quotes (and even printing them out) so higher-ups can approve the purchases.

“It’s an antiquated process that everyone is just doing and is used to,” Michael Eichinger, chief operating officer at Bay Supply, told PYMNTS. “The end users, depending on how resourceful they are, are kind of stuck dealing with whatever that distributor that they know of is bringing to them or going about the same business and doing the same search and trying to build a network of contacts.”

Enabling Successful Transactions

With the aim of streamlining those processes, Bay Supply announced its launch of a new business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce platform on Jan. 6. Eichinger said the platform will make it easier for buyers to access available products, for distributors to respond to RFQs and for manufacturers to sell direct to customers.

Distributors that sell fastening products can register for free, and then Bay Supply receives a 9% fee for each successful transaction.

“It’s called a ‘success fee’ because it’s really only when everyone has made a successful transaction and everyone’s receiving what they’re supposed to get,” Eichinger said. “If we charged an upfront cost, it would just put a gatekeeper to the amount of participation we would get in the early onset.”

Providing Easier Access to Comprehensive Information

The marketplace offers other features that can simplify procurement. For instance, it can recommend substitute products from other manufacturers and brands that meet buyers’ specifications and render the results based on availability.

It also automates the RFQ process by enabling chat between buyers and sellers, color codes by status to allow members of a team to manage the RFQ without duplicating someone else’s efforts and auto populates information into the RFQ, saving buyers and sellers time and improving accuracy.

By providing these features, and bringing buyers and sellers together in one place, the marketplace provides greater exposure for sellers and easier access to all the alternatives for buyers.

“I believe that consumers just want ease,” Eichinger said. “These are jobs — these are not people buying for fun — they’ve got to get it off their desks. They’re looking to go, ‘What’s the fastest source that I can go to and get it over with, broadcast it out, get my results and see what these manufacturers have to offer me in unique value that I’m looking for, so I can make a decision?’”

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