Research shows that 97 percent of all industrial purchases are initiated by the buyer, not the seller. And most purchases, either of a new product or plant facility, a new component or material, are made with the help of a buying guide. The best-known, most comprehensive, and most widely used industrial buying system is the Thomas Register of Manufacturers. More than $400 million in purchases of products or services are transacted each day through this system. The Thomas Register combines a products and services section, company directories, and a catalogue file section, in one multi-volume reference set. The location of a company's distributors, engineering or service offices, plants, and sales offices may be found in the company profiles section of this reference. Companies may advertise and/or distribute their catalogues in the Thomas Register.