The Manufacturing Network Search Engine differentiates between "Core" and "Supplementary" processes - this provides a far more useful search profile for buyers looking for specific capabilities.
You'll find processes listed as Core and Supplementary on the Capability tab of a Supplier Profile, as shown below.
Here's a simple example of the difference...
MN Ltd is a machine shop, they have a range of milling, turning and some grinding capability, however for jobs involving a lot of grinding they choose to either subcontract it out to a precision grinder "GN Ltd" or send the customer to GN Ltd direct.
MN Ltd also offer a range of finishes for their machined items, including the usual suspects; Hard Anodising, Nickel Plating, Mechanical Polishing etc. These services are always subcontracted out to a finishing company, "FN Ltd".
MN Ltd therefore offers a range of machining services including CNC Milling and CNC Turning as Core capability - because if the contract involves using these capabilities, they will take on the contract.
The Grinding facilities at MN Ltd would be treated as Supplementary capability in this instance. The acid test being, if a contract involves mostly, or exclusively using the grinding equipment, MN Ltd will either decline the contract or simply not carry out the work themselves anyway.
The range of finishes that MN Ltd offer are clearly Supplementary capability - MN Ltd will not take on a contract which involves mostly, or exclusively these finishing processes. These are offered in addition to the Core services.
What does this mean to you as a Buyer or Engineer?
We use this differentiation as a key part of our ranking algorithm. Unlike other search engines, our ranking doesn't take into account social media or activity on the site. Instead, you get results that are capability driven.
The results closer to the top of the page are more aligned to your requirements, based on the combination of processes you require.
Supplementary doesn't mean subcontracted
It's important to remember, supplementary doesn't mean subcontract. This allows Manufacturers to identify processes which aren't a core part of their offering, without being confusing.
What does the correct combination of processes look like?
It depends on what you've searched for...
The combination of Core and Supplementary processes offered by a supplier means you can place purchase orders on a single supplier. This single order may call upon multiple capabilities that the supplier may have as Core or Supplementary. As a minimum our results seek to deliver suppliers who has at least one core capability that matches your search.
The benefits of finding suppliers who can offer a combined service are significant.
- Less risk / liability - components remain the responsibility of a single supplier
- Less management / organisation time spent by you
- Lower cost - less transport, economies of scale
- Better traceability
- and many more...
So to recap
You would take on a contract as long as it included these capabilities
You would not take on a contract that called on these capabilities exclusively.