I’ve talked about BearingNet before, it’s our sister/mother/auntie (whatever you want to call it!) company that has been in business since 1996. It’s how we came up with the idea of FPN – it seemed like a good idea to try our luck in another industry, using a slightly adapted platform that we already had all the software for!
But starting a marketplace is hard. We have suffered from the chicken and egg effect. You need the distributors to get the inventory, but you need the inventory to attract the distributors! And when you start with zero users getting both is tricky. Luckily, we had some BearingNet friends who were stocking both bearings and fluid power products to help get things going.
It has been a long time since BearingNet started and our struggles then were different to now. Back in 1996, not everyone had a computer (seems crazy, I know!) so trying to get people to use a web platform with no hardware to use it on made everything quite slow…
We knew that this time round that wouldn’t be an issue for us, well so we thought! The problem now is that everything is so readily available, all this information is at your fingertips, and distributors were thinking ‘why do we need FluidPowerNet when we can use the contacts we already have, and if they don’t have it we can just search for the part on the internet!’
Sure – you can do that, but your local network won’t always have that ‘hard to find’ part that means your customers’ machine stays broken until you find it. How long is it going to take to search for different companies on the web, check if they have it in stock, call them all up, send an inquiry etc (you get the idea)…
The beauty of a marketplace like FPN is that everything is right in front of you. Hundreds of distributors listing their stock (that is on their shelves right now). So you only have to log into one place to get all that information.
Anyway, back to pricing – at first we decided to use the same pricing that we have for BearingNet, the price depends on how much inventory you upload. But we soon realised it was way too soon to have ‘sophisticated pricing’ so early on, and we had to bring things back to basics. One price for all!
Someone said to me the other day ‘€395 can’t be making you much money?’ which is correct! But we have priced it this way for a reason. We are lucky enough to have BearingNet backing what we are doing and to create a successful marketplace we know that you need the distributors, the inventory and the activity to keep everything moving and how do you ever get this if you price everyone out of the game?
So there you have it, the logic behind our pricing!
And if you would like to spend only €395 to access 1.4 million lines of inventory and become part of the FluidPowerNet network, please contact us today!
And if you have any questions get in contact: NicolaB@FluidPowerNet.net