Information you may be able to locate through trade associations and trade journals: methods of manufacture, technical information and data, quality control, product characteristics/properties, government regulation, information on supply and demand, pricing insight.
Trade associations represent a specific industry or profession. Often you can find information about the industry, it's products, and major players through trade association website. Some websites share data and trends, stances on government regulation, and other issues, and white papers around products. You can locate associations by using a search engine and searching keywords.
Trade journals are journals which focus on issues around a particular industry. You can locate trade journals by searching suggested article databases on the Articles & Statistics tab.
Some free resources. WERC offers resources that help distribution professionals stay at the leading edge including educational events, performance metrics for benchmarking, practical research, expert insights and peer-to-peer knowledge exchange.