The Supplier Management System Product Designers Need to Use

3Diligent prodex

As a product designer, it’s your job to not only come up with cutting-edge designs but also manage your suppliers. Some of us have the benefit of outstanding in-house shops that can make our visions a reality, but inevitably there is the need arises to seek additional help. And that process is painful.

It doesn’t have to be. 3Diligent recently launched a new software offering called ProdEX Connect. This new SaaS solution leverages 3Diligent’s experience acquired in six years of juggling a global supply network. We know a lot about how tough it is to manage dozens of suppliers. With the release of ProdEX, we provide streamlined tools to customers who want to make their lives just a little bit easier.

See for yourself the power of ProdEX. Create an account to get started.

How it Works

ProdEX offers three RFQ types and once logged in, you can choose whichever suits your specific needs best:

  • If you’re looking for Rapid fulfillment and don’t care much about which supplier you’re working with, ProdEX Auto is your best choice.
  • If you want to use the vendor’s engineering team to manage things for you, choose ProdEX PM.
  • If you were interested in managing your own supplier relationships as many of us are, choose ProdEX Connect.

Submit an RFQ

If you choose ProdEX Connect, you will next define the general requirements for your RFQ. This screen is used to help you communicate paperwork that needs to ride along with the parts to be manufactured for you. You also can upload any governance documents as it relates to your suppliers as well as your own requirements or those of any other supplier.

Parts requirements

Continuing through the process, on the next screen you list part requirements. You don’t have to specify materials and technologies but should you choose to, you can query the 3Depot database of about 1,000 materials and 1,000 manufacturing platforms.


In some cases, you may not care what your part is made of or how it’s made so much as that it meets the specs. When you do want to control materials and technologies, the 3Depot material and equipment selection tools enables you to do so. Instead of having to choose from just a handful of options, you can create your RFQ at whatever level of specificity you require.

If you need to specify a branded 17-4 stainless steel, use the 3Depot search feature and select the material from the displayed list. If you only need to specify ferrous metal or non-ferrous metal, you can create your RFQ at that level as well. Whatever your needs, they can be met by the system. 

Vendor selection

Once you’ve defined the high-level RFQ requirements and the specific requirements for your parts, the vendor selection screen will be displayed. The list of preferred vendors is displayed based upon the requirements you chose for the RFQ. If you prefer, you can add qualified users of 3Diligent’s sister product Shopsight to bid on your job as well. 3Diligent Shopsight is a shop-management tool that helps job shop, machine shop, and service bureaus quote and operate more efficiently and with higher quality.  

If you have a cadre of suppliers you want to send this job to directly, just tick boxes next to their company names, and move on to the next screen. For additional supplier diversity, request one or more 3Diligent suppliers for a paid introduction.   

There is no cost to use the service. You don’t have to use any of their suppliers if you don’t want to. If your supplier list includes the same suppliers 3Diligent represents, so long as you have included them in your list, they will be removed from the potential matches. If they are not in the network, you can add your suppliers and they will be granted free trial licenses of Shopsight Connect software.

See for yourself how ProdEX is the best freely available sourcing platform on the web.


You are now ready to check out. Submit your RFP and responses will come in shortly.

ProdEX Connect

ProdEX has integrated video chat tools, another great feature. While coronavirus has put a damper on some product-development efforts, it doesn’t have to rob you of the opportunity to engage with your favorite supplier or be given the opportunity to see great looking parts as they come off of the machine or post-processing system.

ProdEX is an extremely powerful solution that gives you the ability to procure parts like a pro and interact with your favorite suppliers as though COVID-19 never happened. It’s a win all around.

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