Tech Industry

Outsourcing trend gets directory

A new Web site called DeveloPages launches with a database that lists 12,000 potential suppliers for companies that want to outsource some aspects of developing or manufacturing new products.

A new Web site called DeveloPages has launched with a database that lists 12,000 potential suppliers for companies that want to outsource some aspects of developing or manufacturing new products.

"One of the biggest challenges facing companies today is locating suppliers," said Chris Golec, DeveloPages vice president of marketing. "DeveloPages helps find new business partners for companies that design, develop, and manufacture products to assist them in that process."

DeveloPages lists vendors by capabilities and geographic location and lets manufacturers search the database to locate potential suppliers anywhere in the world. The service, free to manufacturers, is designed for manufacturers of consumer electronics, computers, telecommunications equipment, plastics, and medical devices.

The services, being built with private financing, seeks to address issues that have emerged with frequently changing product lines and the global nature of manufacturing.

Golec and his two cofounders, Ron Domingue and Dave Mendez, worked in product development for GE Plastics, where they had to create new products quickly without a central source of information on suppliers and their capabilities; thus, they created one.

DeveloPages lists vendors in 40-plus specialties in all phases of the product cycle: business services, design and prototyping, materials and components, manufacturing, sales, and logistics. It targets strategic sourcing specialists, engineers, product designers, and project managers in Fortune 1000 manufacturing firms.

"We are basically connecting manufacturers' needs with suppliers' capabilities," Golec added.

DeveloPages' database of suppliers includes vendor locations, specialties, and phone numbers. For a fuller description of their capabilities, vendors can pay $1,000 to $10,000 annually for listings, depending on the number of locations and services they offer.

Suppliers who pay that fee are notified by email or fax when a manufacturer wants more information; links to suppliers' Web sites are added as well. So far, about 100 vendors have purchased the fuller listings, which comprise the searchable part of the index.

Based on input from manufacturers on what information they need, DeveloPages created templates to format information in each specialty. The templates present information consistently across all supplier categories while making the database easily searched for specific capabilities.

DeveloPages hopes to integrate its database with manufacturers' existing management systems and by making the data available via intranets.

"Manufacturers don't necessarily have all this information in one place for their own supplier base," Golec said, indicating that some manufacturers are urging their suppliers to be listed with DeveloPages.