The First Place to Look for an MSDStop

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Last Update  08/25/07 07:48 AM

FAQ's - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Join the MSDSSEARCH eGroup


How can I help support this effort?
Can I link my web site to MSDS-Search?
Why should I make my MSDSs available in MSDS-SEARCH?
Is there a category listing used to classify MSDSs?
What happens when your MSDS-Search site goes down?
Why are many of your links not working in the Manufacturer Links section?



Q: How can I help support the effort to make all manufacturer's MSDS's available at a single location, free of charge to the user, that qualify as being "from the manufacturer" and "the most current document"?

A: Users
Let Your Voice Be Heard - Click Here!

If you are a user of MSDSs (read customer), ask your supplier to place his MSDSs in the MSDS-Search data base so that you can access and download them. The cost to your supplier is about the same as sending you a hard copy (see Incentives). If your supplier already has them on his own website, remind him that he is only one of many vendors you are required to track, and that you need all MSDSs available at a single location. You may wish to include language in your contracts that gives preference to suppliers or requires suppliers to make their documents available in the MSDS-Search National Database.

Let Your Voice Be Heard - Click Here!
If you are a provider of MSDSs, place your documents in MSDS-Search for the benefit of your customers. An MSDS can be made available to all of your customers for a year for the cost of sending a single customer one hard copy (see Incentives). You reduce your administrative burden by directing your customer MSDS inquiries to MSDS-Search.

As a provider of MSDSs you are also a user. Economics dictates that you should first solve your own MSDS problem. It seems to have little relationship to the difficulty faced by your customer. Realize that the expense and frustration you experience in maintaining your own MSDS library, you are in turn creating for your customer. By taking the first step to break the chain and implement the solution of providing your documents in MSDS-Search, you can legitimately request that your vendors do the same. All parties can then go to a single location to get the documents they require.

Q: Can I link my web site to MSDS-Search?

A: Absolutely! You can copy this link:         MSDS-SEARCH

or you can copy the following banner:

            The First Place To Look For An MSDS


Q: I already have my MSDSs on my own web site why should I make them available in MSDS-SEARCH?

A: Many manufacturers have built their own web sites in order to make their documents available to their customers. This is a good first step, but not the optimal solution. MSDSs are a standard reference document in both mission critical and non-critical situations. Access to them must be facilitated so they can be retrieved rapidly in an emergency situation.

The number one request from users of MSDSs is that all documents be at a single location. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is that over 80% of all searches are by product name, synonym, or product number. The user simply does not know the name of the manufacturer. By placing your MSDSs in MSDS-Search, you permit immediate access to your documents, drive down your distribution costs, and satisfy your customerís needs. Market forces will propel the centralized database solution because it is the most cost effective for all involved.

Providing MSDSs on individual web sites has the following inherent shortcomings:

  • Must know manufacturer name - over 80% of all searches are by product name, synonym or product number
  • Users are confused by different search parameters on each web site
  • No common format for documents
  • No order and discipline in system - needs auditing function
  • Cost is high for providers
  • Cost is high for users
  • Links can not be relied upon
  • Servers can not be relied upon
  • Many small manufacturers will not build a website due to cost considerations

Q: Is there a category listing used to classify MSDSs?

A: The most common methods for manual MSDS filing systems are: 1) alphabetical by manufacturer, or 2) alphabetical by product name. Unfortunately, when the library exceeds about one hundred documents, both methods cause confusion to the user to the point that looking at each document as they are contained in the file becomes a prominent method for locating the desired MSDS.

Having the information in a list on the computer screen is equally confusing. By way of example, finding WD-40 is usually easy since it is both the name of the product and the name of the manufacturer. A more complicated task is involved in determining how to file information on a product like "Ajax cleanser" since the name of the manufacturer is Colgate-Palmolive and the MSDS product name is "Institutional Ajax Cleanser with Chlorine Bleach." Should it be filed under "C" for Colgate-Palmolive, or "I" for Institutional Ajax Cleanser with Chlorine Bleach, or "A" for Ajax? To complicate matters further, statistically, over 80 percent of all searches for MSDSs are by product name or synonym. Most people have no idea that Ajax Cleanser is made by Colgate-Palmolive. The only workable solution is to index all three. Hence the dilemma.

A spreadsheet listing is usually the first generation attempt to automate a system for making identification and retrieval easier. The query capability of such programs will allow searches for "wild cards" or "fractional word searches" or "containing" inquiries. More sophisticated applications, such as an Internet page, will require the use of a search engine such as the index matrix utilized by MSDS-Search. These engines require indexing of multiple fields of information to be searched and a substantial administrative effort to keep the files and their associated indices current.

Q: What happens when your MSDS-Search site goes down, then you not only lose one company's MSDSs, but all of them?

A: We share your concerns. Our computer center contains at least two of every system including power supplies, a battery system, and a propane generator, so that if a primary system fails the backup system takes over seamlessly. Currently, we are online over 99.9% of the time. Our intent, as the database develops, is to mirror the web site to multiple locations around the world. We have a great deal of experience moving mission critical data. As an information transfer company, we currently processes over two and one half million transactions per month on an international basis for over 175,000+ unique users. We are committed to taking all steps necessary to assure that MSDSs are available when you need them every time you need them.

Q: Why are many of your links not working in the Manufacturer Links section?

A: The major problem continues to be that webmasters change their web sites as often as most of us change our socks. Many small manufacturers have inadequate equipment, ISPís go down, backbones fail, and companies go out of business or are sold. At any one time between 1% and 5% of the links will not be functional. We are the first to admit that that linking to individual manufacturerís web sites is not the optimal solution. Links are routinely checked and repaired on an ongoing basis. Please notify us at Broken Links if you have a problem.




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