The most misunderstood aspect of the FCH Sourcing Network is the SourceFinder RFQ system. To clear up the confusion, SourceFinder Inquiries are RFQs that are sent to all FCH members who are set up to receive them. They are NOT based on a member’s inventory listings.
Inventory Inquiries, in contrast, are sent to an individual FCH member when someone searching the network finds the member’s part during a search, and then inquires about that part directly to the member.
The SourceFinder RFQ system has been included with membership since FCH first began operating, to add extra value to being a member of the network. Since there are times when people come to FCH in urgent need of a part, and that part isn’t listed in the database (As giant as it is!), the system guides the user to create an RFQ which is then broadcast to all participating FCH members. That’s a SourceFinder Inquiry!
Some FCH members join the network just to receive SourceFinder RFQs! They make spot sales and pick up new customers in the process. Other companies do not participate in the SourceFinder system, and turn off the feature using their FCH member account settings.
Members who login to the network can view the inquiries they have received, both Inventory Inquiries and SourceFinder Inquiries, from the Inquiries tab on the toolbar. The inquiries are archived there for 90 days by default.
Going forward, FCH is developing the SourceFinder RFQ system to improve the overall quality of the process. For example, members will be able to define more precisely the kinds of inquires they want to receive. The system will then shift to a pay per use model, which will be a change from the “all-included” but less focused model offered currently.
Inventory Inquiries generated from FCH member listings are the vast majority of inquires that come through FCH, but SourceFinder Inquiries are also a lucrative benefit for many FCH members. Still, some members have not been fully utilizing the RFQ system because they don’t recognize the difference from Inventory Inquiries, or they simply don’t see the potential value. If that sounds like your company, then you should have a better idea after reading this information. Contact FCH for assistance in configuring your account settings to take full advantage of this growing part of the FCH Sourcing Network.