Yesterday, I bragged about what makes Global Search awesome. Today, I’ll share why we built Global Search, and tomorrow I’ll wrap up this series of posts by describing how we built it. Comments or questions about Global Search? Email me at email@example.com.
Why Did We Build Global Search?
The short answer is that we wanted to deliver a better experience for people trying to connect with companies around the world. Here’s the longer answer…
We launched Panjiva in an effort to make it easier to do business across borders. Our belief was that global trade was inefficient and opaque, limiting the benefits that resulted from global trade and making it possible for companies to engage in behavior that harmed people and the environment. We believed well-designed technology could make a difference on both of these fronts and that Panjiva could bring this technology to life.
As a first step, we built a search engine that enabled companies to find and evaluate each other based on objective data. When we showed clients the product, we consistently got two responses:
- This is cool.
- Can you bring us even more data?
And so we continued on in our effort to collect and organize objective data about companies engaged in global trade. The result of this effort was the Panjiva that existed before Global Search.
Interestingly, as we learned more about how our clients were using Panjiva, we learned that they were often using the objective information found on Panjiva as a jumping off point — and then heading out to the web in an effort to find additional information. Specifically, they were hunting for product photos and contact information for the companies they found on Panjiva.
This hunt was a pain. There are tons of B2B portals where information about companies involved in global trade can be found. And, of course, lots of companies involved in global trade have their own websites. Search engines can point you to this information, but then you have to piece it together — a jigsaw puzzle of epic proportions.
As we thought about the challenges that our clients were facing, it reminded us of the problems that consumers faced before the rise of travel websites like Kayak. Remember when you had to visit the Delta website and the United website and the Southwest website — and then piece together all the information you found before making a decision?
Well, that’s basically the situation that sourcing executives are faced with… except that they are trying to piece together information, from hundreds of thousands of web domains, in order to make multi-million dollar decisions. Why shouldn’t they have access to the same types of tools that consumers have access to?
We believe they should. That’s why we developed Global Search. To provide easy access to the world’s most comprehensive information — both objective and self-reported information — on companies involved in global trade, regardless of where this information originates.