Supplier Discovery, Inc.(SDI) was founded to participate in the rebirth of American Manufacturing greatness. The SDI contribution is an enabling technology that enhances the market efficiency of matching  the manufacturing  requirements – for discrete components – with the capabilities of Job Shops. The end result of a “Request of Discovery” is a highly-qualified set of Job Shops capable of producing the specific part.

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Supplier Discovery changing the initial communications between a client and a Job Shop. A new technical description language based on a structured taxonomy of direct capabilities (manufacturing processes) and indirect capabilities (quality standards, market segment experience, etc.) is implemented.  This enables the construction of information-rich Job Shop profiles, and detailed component requirements. A “Request of Discovery” then uses the information-rich supplier database to produce a highly-qualified candidate set of suppliers that can manufacture a given component.


Supplier Discovery introduces the concept of “Closeness” when in capabilities. This is a semantic search technology that goes beyond current search tools that only test for exact text matches. Supplier Discovery is testing for closeness of a Requirement to a Capability by looking at the meaning of each. For example, Supplier Discovery understands that a Job Shop with ISO9000 capability is close, on that specific item, to a requirement for ISO9000-2016. Supplier Discovery weighs exact and close fits across the requirements to determine a Job Shop’s rank as a potential supplier for manufacturing a specific component.

Our Story

SDI was founded by a team that is profoundly interested in the re-emergence of American Manufacturing. We had an insight that selecting Suppliers, because of the need to exchange IP in drawings, was an inefficient market, and we had a vision of how to address this issue.

SDI uses Information Theory to craft a technology that describes the capabilities of desecrate component manufacturers (Job Shops) in fine-grained detail of Information Points.   This technology also enables a desecrate component’s requirements to be defined in the same Information Points.   We describe this as a new Capabilities language between Clients and Suppliers.

The Capabilities Language is at the heart of creating an efficient market. It enables the Client and Job Shops to find a “fit” for manufacturing a specific component without have to exchange the IP in a drawing. This Information Point based language also enables automating the process of discovering the highly qualified Job Shop for a project out of the huge pool of desecrate component manufactures in the US.

SDI has been developing the technology platform for a number of years.  JN 1.0 (Just Nevada) was the initial release. JN 1.0 provided the prototype search engine – Request for Discovery (RfD) – that proved the effectiveness the semantic search algorithm when combined with an information rich manufacturing taxonomy.

SD 2.0 is the current release of the Supplier Discovery platform. SD 2.0 greatly enhances the Capabilities taxonomy. In addition to the original Manufacturing Processes SD 2.0 adds Materials Experience, Quality Standards, Design Technologies, Business Model, Market Segment Experience Business Certifications, and Associations to the Information Points that can be included in Request for Discovery search. SD 2.0 also enhanced the Manufacturing Processes taxonomy with the emerging Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) processes. There are now over 1,000 Information Points available for creating a detailed profile of a Supplier’s (Job Shop) capabilities.

SD 2.0 delivered a beautiful new user interface that is both desktop and mobile friendly. It delivers an intuitive user experience, tutorial walk thoughts, instant user access, and

SD 3.0 is the next generation of the Supplier Discovery Platform. It moves the Supplier Profile database to a scalable, NoSQL database. SD 3.0 is a platform ready for a National roll-out of Supplier Discovery.

In parallel with developing the technology platform, we have been populating the Supplier profiles in selected geographical / economic regions. We focused on the example areas so that we can produce a complete profile (over 90%) of the manufacturing capabilities within an area. In Phase I we developed the Supplier Profiles for all of Nevada. In Phase II we developed the Additive Manufacturers Profiles for the US. In Phase III we are currently developing the Supplier Profiles for the I80 corridor from Sacramento to Reno (this is the eastern half of the NorCal MegaRegion). In Phase IV (which needs funding) we will complete the NorCal MegaRegion by adding the Bay area including Silicon Valley.

Search Criteria Informaiton Points

Current Job Shops (as of Phase III rollout)

Additive Job Shops (National Scope)

Possible Information Points in a Job Shop Profile

Information Points across all Job Shop Profiles

"Request for Discovery" Searches

Jeff Elpern

Jeff Elpern

Founder and CEO

Jeff Elpern, the founder of Supplier Discovery, is a high-tech executive and entrepreneur. Jeff has over 25 years in Silicon Valley including more than a decade as part of the Executive team at a high-tech component manufacturer for telecommunication, military and aerospace communication equipment.  He developed his analytic marketing skills at BBDO on Madison Avenue, and as part of the Iacocca turnaround team at Chrysler. Jeff earned a Master of Science degree, with Distinction, from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Nevada.

Leo Scott

Leo Scott

CTO and Lead Developer

With over two decades of experience across dozens of programming languages and development platforms, Leo provides expertise in rapid prototyping and development of complex data-driven client and server applications with clear separation of concerns while also building internal tools for Big Data analysis, DevOps, and automation. He also brings prior experience working for and with several manufacturers in Northern Nevada. Outside work, he enjoys volunteering, experimenting with 3D printing, hardware hacking, and Making things in general.