ThomasNet has partnered with Source One Management Services LLC, a procurement service provider, to offer free purchasing tools for ThomasNet users. This new feature, ThomasNet's Purchasing Tools, will provide users with free access to request for information/proposal/quote (RFx) and reverse auction tools. This will enable buyers who don't have purchasing software to make their purchasing processes more efficiently. Source One CEO Steven Belli said in a company press release that user efficiency can be increased by 30 percent or more because of the tools.

According to ThomasNet, users can access the desktop tools for free and can incorporate them into their daily purchasing processes without training or the need to support software systems. Buyers who register on the MyThomas section of the ThomasNet site can access the tools.

How it works: Buyers use the tools to create and send requests for quotations and can then review and analyze sellers' information in a pre-set format. Other functionality includes single or multiple line item listings; the ability to upload unlimited attachments including specs, drawings, documents and presentations; multi-currency support; secure online storage of RFx events; and the ability to copy and re-run events in the future.

This announcement is going to make ThomasNet's advertising suppliers very happy. If it works as designed, it will make it even easier for ThomasNet users (buyers) to connect with them and make purchases. By simplifying the purchasing process, ThomasNet will make it a more appealing process as well, thus turning potentially hesitant buyers into actual buyers.

If anything, the improved functionality that these new tools represent will attract more users to the site overall.