Supplier Discovery

Building a Flexible, Robust Manufacturing Network

The Request For Discovery (RfD) process: A breakthrough technology that significantly improves the Supplier Discovery process.

Supplier Discovery

Over the last decade, computers and the Internet have revolutionized supply chain management. This has resulted in the rise of dynamic supply networks. A great deal of reseach has gone into documenting and modeling successful supply networks as they arise in many manufacturing fields. >>>More

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's) create and manage manufacturing supply networks every day. They select potential suppliers, release requests for qualifications (RFQs) and request for proposals (RFPs), evaluate responses, and grant contracts. As established as this process is, it has systemic inefficiencies. >>>More

Effective suppliers sit at the heart of all successful supply chains. These suppliers need to have the right technology, knowledge, and skills to rapidly and cost-effectively produce products for the OEM’s. >>>More

The challenge then is how to effectively and efficiently identify new potential suppliers for manufacturers. Specifically, this supplier discovery matchmaking must:

  • Support non-proprietary discovery of suppliers by OEM’s that rapidly and effectively move toward working relationships
  • Help Tier 2-4 suppliers find new sources of business when OEM’s leave a local area or shift to other suppliers
  • Help OEM’s find the Tier 2-4 suppliers of parts to their larger volume manufacturing equipment.

RfD Ontology

Author Notes

  • ... A key barrier to achieving automation, therefore, is the absence of a standard method to represent manufacturing service descriptions. That method must produce digital descriptions, called manufacturing service models, which are computer interpretable and take into account the different views of network partners. This project will develop the measurement science that enables such a method to be developed. Once in place, this method will allow creation of standard models and descriptions of manufacturing services that support automated production network creation and increase production network agility.

    From Manufacturing Services Network Models (Ivezic 2112)

Supplier Discovery Map

Currently, there are over 150 suppliers and manufacturers in the Supplier Discovery database. Current Supplier Discovery Participants.

Sourcing in 5 Minutes

There are many reasons to be looking for new suppliers - making the supply chain more local. This video demonstrates how quite and easy the Supplier Discovery platform make the finding qualified candidates. And, this is accomplished without exposing any intellectual property about your part.

Video Demonstration of Supplier Discovery in 5 Minutes.



Beginning in 2009, NVA250, REA250, and SQI,Inc. came together to pilot the RfD process in Nevada. The Nevada Small Business Development Center and the Northern Nevada SCORE Chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno are critical partners in this process. The Department of Commerce provided initial funding. Several corporate partners are now collaborating in the development of the next stages of our Supplier Discovery process.

RfD University

A core concept of the RfD technology is ability to organize the vast array of manufacturing processes into a hierarchy (taxonomy) that classifies the processes into similar groups. The classification starts from the broadest differences in processes - shaping or nonshaping) - and continues through many levels. >>>More

What is a Request for Discovery?

This RfD process takes place prior to the development of non-disclosure agreements. Most importantly, the RfD process complements and augments existing Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quote (RFQ) processes.

The discovery process is conducted at the manufacturing process level. The suppliers present the process they are capable of performing and associated aspects such as max geometry limits within a database. The OEM defines process needed for a particular part.

The system fxpro review then searches for matches and ranks potential suppliers. (Other requirements such as certification and proximity are also addressed within the process.) Benefits are speed, efficiency, and secrecy. The OEM can find potential new suppliers without having to exchange any design data or even let the suppliers know they are looking. >>>More

The RfD supplier discovery process provides an excellent platform to organize and market regional manufacturing bases. This approach is supported by the most recent Brookings Mountain West and SRI, International report, Unify, Regionalize, and Diversify. A recommended target opportunity for economic development is the organizing and marketing of the manufacturing base in Nevada (page 33).

A Thank You to Local Manufacturing Suppliers

Nearly 150 manufacturing suppliers have lent their time and information to our prototyping the RfD and search process within the eResource Center. As we continue the design process, each will have a profile page that will be available to be matched with OEM projects.

A special thank you goes out to the retired executives of the Northern Nevada SCORE Chapter who continue to provide valuable insights and outreach for REA250.

Please click here to view the list of participants. SupplierDiscovery/List of Participating Manufacturing Suppliers.

Social Media

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RfD University

Manufacturing Processes: The RfD Taxonomy

Glossary of Manufacturing Processes within the RfD Taxonomy

Discrete Component Manufacturing in Nevada

Process Cloud

Development APIs

NV Manufacturing Analytics


Javascript API

Premade Widgets

Premade Widget: Process Cloud

Premade Widget: Process Tree Cloud

Premade Widget: Process Similarity

Premade Widget: OpenEnumeration Cloud

Supplier Discovery Individual

A Free, Indivdual Version of Supplier Discovery

Information about Supplier Discovery and Supplier Geo-Maps

JN 1.0 Release

Features in RfD release JN 1.0

Release Notes: Dec 18, 2012 Update

Release Notes: Dec 11, 2012 Update

Release Notes: Dec 4, 2012 Update

Release Notes: Aug 30, 2012 Update

JN 1.0 Overview (OLD)

Lexicon for Discover - Features

Core RfD - Features

Supplier Profile - Features

OEM Profile - Features

Discovery Entities - Features

Data Structures - Features

Public Analytics - Process Tree "Cloud"

Process Tree Cloud: NorCal Mega Region

Process Tree Cloud: SoCal Mega Region

Process Tree Cloud: California Suppliers

Process Tree Cloud: Nevada Suppliers

Public Analytics - Process Cloud

Process Cloud: NorCal Mega Region

Process Cloud: SoCal Mega Region

Process Cloud: California Suppliers

Process Cloud: Nevada Suppliers


Supplier Discovery with the RfD Platform

RfD Vocabulary Manual

Reference Materials

Reference Materials

Manufacturing Processes in RfD Taxonomy

Citation and Core Concept Bibliography


New Supplier Discovery Site

SDI - Supplier Discovery Individual (no-charge Supplier search platform)

Supplier Discovery Web Site

Supplier Discovery Geo-Locations

Greater Sacramento Area

Greater Reno Area

All of Nevada

All of California

NorCal MegaRegion

SoCal MegaRegion

US Additive Manufacturing

| TelescopeExample |

SupplierDiscovery (last edited 2016-07-13 04:30:54 by jeff)