Qualified Vendor – Engineering Crowd Sourcing

Qualified Vendor (QV) is a Virginia-based company involved with engineering crowd sourcing by providing a convenient exchange platform for engineering quotes.  Unlike the traditional sourcing route – submitting RFQs to an endless stream of vendors, crowd sourcing reverses the RFQ process.  Instead of you going from supplier-to-supplier, you make a summary of your RFQ and put it in an open marketplace where suppliers come and quote your job.

Company’s Mission

For engineers QV takes the work out of sourcing.  For suppliers, they offer commitment and subscription-free access to new customers through our open RFQ marketplaces.

The company’s mission is to add transparency to make-to-order sourcing and make sourcing easy.  The company strives to make the domestic manufacturing more competitive in the process by promoting the best suppliers and giving engineers tools to take the pain out of the quoting process.

How it all begun

The founder, Matthew Brown used to be a design engineer working for small startup companies in the DC area.  According to Matthew,

Out of engineering school at Virginia Tech I went to work for smaller companies because I wanted to wear a lot of hats and do hands on engineering.  And I did,, unfortunately one of the hats I wore, which was really more of a crown of thorns, was that of a purchasing agent.  I would take a 100 part assembly and go to the directory services and start generating my required five quotes per part.  It wasn’t much fun and it didn’t jive with my attention deficient disorder (self diagnosed but supported by girlfriends).  At the time I was using a 10k cad system and getting requests from suppliers to fax over drawings.  No email, fax.  Then they’d fax back a quote which may or may not reference my part number.  I’d end up with manila folders full of quotes and a spreadsheet that took forever to assemble and manage.

Qualified Vendor started as a means to give other engineers what I wanted at the time – a system that reversed the quoting process.  Instead of going from supplier-to-supplier, you post your request online and suppliers come to you and make the work go away.  That’s crowd sourcing.

Other products offered by Qualified Vendor

The company is developing a suite of RFQ management solutions for engineers and purchasing professionals and  also compiling resources for engineers consisting of topic-specific blogs and organized resources.  The company has recently launched a resource-blog for aluminum extrusions.  It is a compilation of design tips for engineers and industry news.

The Difference between Qualified Vendor and Similar Services

Qualified Vendor’s closest competitors, who have been around considerably longer offer decent services each with their own twist.  However, Qualified Vendor differentiates themselves by restricting RFQ access to five suppliers and by not charging a subscription.  As an engineer you won’t get more than five quotes.  If price shopping, according to Matthew Brown, Qualified Vendor probably isn’t for you, but if you want quick quality domestic quotes it is a great resource.

Additional links

Aluminum Extrusions:


If you have any questions or comments, Matthew Brown welcomes your feedback.  You can contact them directly at http://www.qualifiedvendor.com/Contact

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