I’d like to use my column this month to tell you about a new feature we’ve added to the Products Finishing reader service system. Called PF Direct, it is going to allow you—the reader—to go about gathering quality information in faster, more efficient ways.
How does it work? Look for the PFDirect symbol in the pages of Products Finishing magazine. Any time it appears, it will be accompanied by a five-digit code. You’ll find the symbol and code in advertisements and in editorial items (such as product reviews or feature articles), typically at the bottom of the ad or at the end of the item. When you encounter a product or technology that interests you, enter the corresponding symbol in the PF Direct box at the top of the PF Online home page (www.pfonline.com). After you click the “GO” button, you’ll be taken to the supplier’s PF Online Showroom.
Once inside a Showroom, you have many options. You might wish to use the contact information—such as street address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and URL—to contact the supplier directly. You might want to visit some of the related articles that we’ve run about that particular technology. Perhaps you’ll prefer to visit one of our related technology zones to learn more about the process or its applications. Or maybe you'll want to send a web-based inquiry to the supplier about a specific product that it manufacturers. What’s important about the Showroom is that it puts the power to collect information in your hands, and allows you to do so at your own pace. Showrooms also afford you as much anonymity as you’d like, as you investigate suppliers and technologies.
How do we know that the Showroom model is your preferred method of obtaining information? Because you told us so. Products Finishing has spent the last several years examining the issues associated with data gathering in today’s world. We’ve asked you about your preferences by way of surveys, telephone calls, and conversations at trade shows and plant visits. We realized some time ago—as did you—that mailing in a reader service card and waiting 8-10 weeks for a response was less desirable than using some of the more immediate tools (800-numbers, facsimiles, e-mail and the World Wide Web) that are available. Consequently, you’ll notice that there is no reader service card in this issue. One of the goals of PF Direct is to encapsulate all of those tools in a single location, so as to allow you to seek information on YOUR TERMS.