Thomas Enterprise Solutions is an information and technology company connecting industrial buyers and sellers.
A brand of Thomas Publishing Co., Thomas Enterprise's mission is to provide manufacturing companies with technology that effectively delivers a rewarding online experience to their customers while increasing company exposure. By leveraging our innovative Catalog Navigator technology, manufacturers can better create and manage digital product data and streamline end-to-end business processes.
For specialized markets like commercial building and PPM, we also provide design and sourcing platforms that are part of your
organization's daily workflow, from Intergraph SmartPlant 3D for the power, process and marine industries, to Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems for construction of buildings and bridges. We can also work with you to syndicate this powerful data directly to large distributors and OEM channel partners.
With over 110 years of experience working with complex industrial products and manufacturers around the world, Thomas Enterprise has the knowledge and the network to get your products found with the right buyers.
FAQs about Thomas Enterprise Solutions
Thomas Enterprise Solutions receives a number of questions about our dynamic CAD/BIM eCatalog solution. To help you better understand the tools we offer, we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about Thomas’ Navigator Platform.
How does the Thomas Enterprise eCatalog platform help my customers?
The Navigator Platform will quickly turn your website into your company’s greatest asset. Here’s why:
Comprehensive, digitized product data is highly sought after by your customers. This type of data gets your products highly ranked in online search engines and on your distributors’ websites, while simplifying and accelerating the design, specification and purchasing process for your prospects and customers.
Rich CAD and BIM files are such a valuable resource and time-saver to your customers that they are happy to provide their contact information and project details to download them directly into their projects — allowing you to generate high-quality leads and early visibility into the projects your customers are working on.
Who is downloading CAD and BIM models?
Sometimes people assume that its only low level designers and engineers downloading CAD/BIM models after the specifying decision has already been made. However, based on the download activity of our many Navigator clients, project engineers, senior engineers, procurement managers, and even business owners are among the variety of professionals conducting research and downloading detailed product information and specs. We’ve also had many manufacturers tell us that lower level design engineers, who download models, end up being key recommenders in the part sourcing process.
Regardless of a person’s position or title, there’s a reason they are configuring and downloading from your site – they get the data they need, in the right format that works in the software tools they use every day. The Thomas platform provides you with the visibility of who is looking at your products and for what project, so you can provide your sales team with actionable marketing data so they can contact the right person at the right time. This rich marketing intelligence gets your sales and distribution teams focused on quality leads and active projects which leads to real revenue.
How does the Navigator platform work?
Thomas Enterprise’s technology is a cloud-based offering which has become the most common delivery method for Sales & Marketing platforms, such as Salesforce and Hubspot. We have thousands of customers on this platform, many of which are global, Fortune 500 companies who have depended on Thomas’ technology for over many years.
Your dynamic eCatalog is accessed via a web browser and integrated into the look-and-feel or your existing website; you do not have to provide any hosting or IT infrastructure. In addition to reducing your IT requirements and costs, another advantage of a cloud-based solution is that you gain immediate access to new features and improvements driven by our community of manufacturers for no additional cost.
Are annual maintenance and hosting fees required for the platform?
No hosting is required. All technology maintenance is included in your annual technology licensing fee. The Navigator technology platform is modular so you can license only those tools that you need. We also integrate the Navigator platform with your existing business and engineering systems so that you can leverage other data sources and avoid the maintenance challenge of duplicating data in multiple systems.
How do I know the 3D CAD or BIM files will be compatible with my customers’ software?
Thomas Enterprise has been in the CAD and BIM arena for 20+ years. We maintain partnerships as a software developer with most of the key software vendors in CAD and BIM so that we are on top of new software revisions and features long before your customers see them. Our subject matter expertise and extensive knowledge of how your customers commit products to their projects provides our manufacturers with the confidence that their end-users are always getting the best data.
We also monitor customer requests through our Helpdesk support and look out for any CAD/BIM formats that are not part of our platform. This allows us to help our manufacturers respond quickly to new trends and tools in the industry.
We currently generate over 23 different CAD and BIM formats, including the most widely used systems in the industry, from our automated CAD/BIM engine. As a developer partner with the most popular design software manufacturers, like Autodesk, Dassault, Intergraph, or Siemens, we receive pre-release versions of their software before it is ever released to the market. We then make sure that the files created by our automated CAD/BIM are fully compatible and take advantage of the newly introduced features. This provides your customers with a great digital experience and the confidence they are getting the highest quality data from you on every download. Our solutions generate tens of thousands of downloads every working day, and we get feedback directly from users to ensure they love the content and it works well within their systems – when we make your customers happy, you are happy with us.
Engineers do their design work with generic objects based on standards like ANSI or NEMA. Why would providing CAD models of our products help us sell more?
1.It’s true; much design work is still done, at least initially using standard dimensional and spec information published by national and international standards bodies or industry groups. However this trend is changing rapidly. Our research with end-user design engineers confirms that standard product objects are simply not detailed enough to take advantage of the powerful smart-modeling features of 21st century CAD and BIM software tools . Manufacturer specific products offer much more variety than can ever be included within the standard object and can carry performance characteristics and intelligence that is unique to the manufacturer. Parts that behave correctly and support powerful analysis and visualization are used and committed to projects more often because the give the design engineer the power they expect and the confidence to commit a product to their project.
2.The enormous amount of download activity recorded across our base of manufacturers who deliver specific dimensional and performance information via their websites proves definitively that engineers are designing with manufacturer-specific content and the dimensional and meta data provided within a standard (like ANSI) is no longer enough to meet the requirement of their smart-design tools.
How can I get started?
Step 1 is to talk to our team so we can identify the needs of your audience(s) and craft a customized content strategy for your top products.
Once we understand your target markets and the CAD and BIM data needs of each end-user type, we’ll identify the key product lines that drive the highest revenue for your initial project investment. During this Phase 1 project, as we call it, our subject matter experts work with your marketing and engineering teams to consolidate your product information into a rich database of product details, specifications, CAD/BIM geometry and other critical metadata.
The Phase 1 project acts as a ‘trial run’ with our solution so that you can measure the true benefit to your customers, sales team and bottom line to generate a demonstrable ROI.