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New Tool Makes U.S. Suppliers Searchable For First Time

Panjiva, a search engine connecting global suppliers to global buyers, has added a new feature based on U.S. Customs export data that should make it easier for firms to find U.S.-based suppliers. Josh Green, Panjiva CEO, said, “Previously, global meant everywhere except the U.S.”

The move, which was based on U.S. Customs releasing of export data to the public for the first time, enabled Panjiva to “incorporate active U.S. suppliers.”

“What we’re doing is taking millions of shipping records and dividing them up according to which company they belong to. We now can analyze that data to say that company X specializes in furniture, or chemicals, and we can analyze it to see just how active they are.”

There are around 80,000 companies in the United States that Panjiva has been able to identify and describe. Their database contains information on what products the companies produce, as well as their volumes.

“The really exciting piece here is that now, for the first time, there’s data showing the track records of the suppliers,” says Green.

Suppliers often self-advertise beyond their capability, promoting products and services that they want to grow into. Data based on exports and imports shows what firms have actually been able to achieve.

They also partner with ThomasNet, which has a large database of corporate information about companies in the United States.

Factories that strictly serve the U.S. market will not be captured in this data. However, that group is currently, “outside the scope of what Panjiva specializes in,” according to Green. His product focuses on helping buyers find suppliers across borders.

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Panjiva is capitalizing on the growth of wages in China and the uncertainty it has brought to the sourcing world. Firms can no longer rely on China to answer all their sourcing questions, and, Green says, many U.S. companies are benefiting from this trend.

Production is also moving to Southeast Asia, and South and Central America. Panjiva aims to strip some uncertainty from the process of finding new factories, as firms diversify their sourcing mixes.

The client base is primarily large U.S. companies that are sourcing globally. Many of them are interested in accessing U.S. manufacturers and aim to expand the share of their sourcing that is coming from the U.S. This new release of data will allow those firms to seek U.S. companies that export, but don’t import, dramatically expanding the database.

“This will benefit U.S. suppliers that are interested in getting found by global customers,” says Green. “There is also a higher probability that they will be found by U.S. customers who are using Panjiva to search.”

“We have every U.S. supplier that is of a scale where it is doing business globally,” Green said.