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Growing Housing Demands, Focus on Sustainability Will Drive Q4 Industrial Sourcing Trends

Thomas unveils quarterly trends report

Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 11:00

(Thomas: New York) -- Thomas, the leader in product sourcing, supplier selection, and marketing solutions for industry, has released its ‘2021 Q3 Sourcing Activity Snapshot,’ which reveals insights into the top products and services sourced by North American manufacturers, and offers predictions about sourcing trends this business quarter.

The Q3 report identifies cyclical trends within the U.S. manufacturing and industrial economy drawn from the Thomasnet.com platform, which serves more than 1.3 million active registered users and 14 million industrial professionals. The report’s predictions also provide a snapshot into growth categories that will impact both the industrial sector and economy, with the booming construction sector and sustainability initiatives expected to be major factors in the months ahead.

“The topic of supply chain disruptions has been top of mind for everyone from industrial business leaders to consumers in recent months. Between surging housing demand, product shortages, and calls for more sustainable manufacturing practices, consumer demands will continue to shape industry this quarter,” says Thomas president and CEO Tony Uphoff. “'Our Sourcing Activity Snapshot, powered by our proprietary data, provides a real-time window into the trends impacting manufacturing and how the industrial sector is responding to those shifts.”

The full 2021 Q3 Sourcing Activity Snapshot is now available for download. Highlights include:

Top Five 2021 Q3 Manufacturing Trends

Top five products in Q3

1. Printed circuit boards (PCB)
2. Medical equipment and supplies
3. Steel
4. Packaging
5. Food products

Top five services in Q3

1. Manufacturing services
2. CNC machining
3. Metal fabrication
4. Contract manufacturing
5. Plastic injection molding services

Top five products and services sourced Q3 year over year (2020/2021)

1. CNC turning—up 1,769 percent
2. Silicon gaskets—up 1020 percent
3. Fire extinguishers—up 865 percent
4. Cleaners—up 662 percent
5. Ultralow temperature freezers—up 658 percent

2021 Q4 predictions

Machinery rebuilding services: 8–11 percent projected increase
With industrial businesses increasingly prioritizing sustainability and waste reduction, Thomas anticipates sourcing for machinery rebuilding services will increase between 8–11 percent over the next three months as manufacturers opt to refurbish and restore existing equipment rather than purchasing new machinery.

General contractors: 9–12 percent projected increase
Surging demand for new houses combined with other new construction projects nationwide will lead to an increase in sourcing for general contractors, likely between 9–12 percent growth quarter over quarter for Q4 2021.

Click here to download the complete 2021 Q3 Sourcing Activity Snapshot, which contains additional predictions and the top 20 lists of the most sourced products and services on the Thomasnet.com platform.

About Thomas

Thomas provides actionable information, data, analysis, and tools that align with and support today’s industrial buying process. Its solutions include the Thomas Network at Thomasnet.com industry’s largest and most active buyer/supplier network. Through Thomas Marketing Services, the company provides full-service industrial marketing programs and website development. Thomas Product Data Solutions helps manufacturers connect with design engineers through advanced CAD/BIM and data syndication services. Thomas Industrial Data supplies sourcing and supply chain trend data to media, investors, analysts, and researchers to provide market insight and inform decision-making. Thomas WebTrax provides opportunity intelligence on in-market buyers to help marketing and sales teams track, identify, and engage high-value prospects. Thomas Insights delivers original content to help supply chain professionals and business leaders inform their decision-making through leading titles including Inbound Logistics, the Thomas Industry Update, Industrial Equipment News (IEN), and the Thomas Index.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.