News & Analysis

RS Think Hub soothes procurement pain points

14th December 2022
Mick Elliott

RS has introduced a digital platform, dubbed RS Think Hub, that it says will transform the lives of millions of engineers across a swathe of industries.

RS Think Hub will enable design engineers and procurement specialists to quickly and easily compare a wide range of components and products offered by multiple suppliers of electronic components, saving them time and energy, and allowing them to focus on what they do best.

The initiative follows extensive research by RS to better understand, define and improve the digital experience for engineers, and to understand their pain points.

Some of these include the highly time-consuming nature of product selection, with the need to contact multiple vendors; the usability of many online tools, where users can be either overwhelmed or frustrated by the complexity of these tools; and the issue of component and product data, which is often inaccurate or entirely absent.

Another issue faced by engineers, especially those in small-to-medium-sized enterprises, which can constitute anything from 30 to 50% of manufacturers’ sales volume, is suppliers who may focus their efforts and levels of technical support on their largest customers.

“RS Think Hub has been designed to address all of these pain points that are regularly experienced by engineers working across a variety of industrial applications,” said Subhas Patel (pictured), Senior Director Research and Development, Digital Innovation at RS. “Our mission is to make their lives easier by providing an advanced digital tool that delivers fast and easy access to a huge amount of accurate information, all in one place.”

There are two parts to the site, a product comparison tool, and a questions and information area.

The comparison tool is powerful, easy-to-use and lets engineers search and filter for the products they’re looking for, while also giving them access to clear and well-arranged product pages, important documentation such as CAD files, and datasheets.

A major feature is the quick and simple comparison of products from multiple companies rather than just supplier-specific brands, while also providing the specification differences between products.

For example, the tool has thousands of proximity and photoelectric sensors available in the site’s multi-supplier database and shows the top 100 sensors best suited for an application. In addition to sensors, future key component categories will include contactors/breakers, relays, push buttons and switches, and test and measurement devices.

Engineers can also search for information about products, watch video tutorials, and find answers to product-related questions in the "What the Expert Says" section of the site. Or, if they have a specific product-related question, they can email it to an RS engineer and receive a reply within 48 weekday hours. 

RS Think Hub is available now to engineers in the UK at

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