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Online tool compares products from different suppliers

21 December, 2022

RS has launched an online platform that allows visitors to compare components and products from a choice of suppliers, to find the best products for their applications. The service, called RS Think Hub, also has an information area where visitors can watch tutorial videos and find answers to product-related questions. If they have a specific question, they can send it to an RS engineer and receive a reply within 48 week-day hours.

RS has developed the service based on research it conducted into the difficulties faced by its customers. Some of issues the survey uncovered included:
• the time-consuming nature of product selection, with the need to contact multiple vendors;
• the poor usability of many online tools, with users either being overwhelmed, or frustrated by their complexity; and
• inaccurate or absent component and product data.

Another issue is that some suppliers focus their efforts and technical support on their larger customers. This is frustrating for engineers in SMEs, who can account for 30–50% of manufacturers’ sales.

RS Think Hub has been designed to address all of these pain points that are regularly experienced by engineers working across a variety of industrial applications,” says Subhas Patel, senior R&D director for digital innovation at RS. “Our mission is to make their lives easier by providing an advanced digital tool that delivers fast and easy access to a huge amount of accurate information, all in one place.”

The site’s comparison tool lets engineers search for and filter products, as well as giving them access to product details, CAD files, and datasheets. It allows quick, easy comparisons of products from multiple vendors, rather than limited brands, while highlighting differences in specifications between the products.

For example, the site’s multi-supplier database currently contains thousands of proximity and photoelectric sensors. It shows the top 100 sensors best suited for an application.

The new RS Think Hub allows visitors to compare specifications and prices of competing products from different manufacturers

Other types of component that RS is planning to add to the site include contactors/breakers, relays, pushbuttons and switches, and test and measurement devices.

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