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Creating a buzz in the supply chain

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CHICAGO — Technology is playing a big role in the supply chain and how important data is collected and shared. One of the top companies in this area is SupplyHive. Some of the largest and most sophisticated procurement and supply chain organizations in the world have modernized their supplier performance process with ­SupplyHive.

Mike Anguiano, chief executive officer of SupplyHive, notes that the company is the No. 1-rated software for supplier performance reviews. “We spent almost one year interviewing chief procurement and chief supply chain officers before we built one line of code. We wanted to have a deep understanding of what they measure and why. From qualitative to quantitative. And most importantly, what they would do with that data and how it could positively impact their organization. Then we started building. Now we have one of the most advanced and sophisticated technologies on the planet.”

He adds that one requirement from all the company’s clients is that it is easy. “Fast, mobile and powered by AI [artificial intelligence], so we are not just collecting data, we are analyzing it for you. And telling you how the data predicts supplier risk. Or supplier excellence. Our typical client is up and running in a few weeks because we did so much work on the front end.”

He says technology is definitely changing how products and services are tracked. “Not long ago, it was paper on a clipboard. Then, came spreadsheets and Word docs. Then came the big companies who developed the first generation of products. Those are now aging out, and a new group of well-funded technology companies, with brilliant engineers combined with retail industry experts, are bringing the next generation of tech to the market. Fast, accurate, mobile, all powered by AI. Best-of-breed technologies. This is totally changing the game for retailers.”

Anguiano says that SupplyHive is a perfect fit for the retail market. “For example, we have one global retail client using SupplyHive to collect performance data on their most strategic non-merchandise suppliers. Consulting and IT firms, construction, advertising and marketing agencies, and hundreds more. These suppliers go through a quarterly business review to assess performance, and also provide a 360-degree feedback assessment of their own performance. This process creates a data-driven approach to business alignment.”

He explains that measuring performance of merchandise vendors is similar, but more quantitative in nature. “Delivery times, response times and all of the things critical to getting product on the shelf. This information was captured in spreadsheets before SupplyHive. So very manual and labor intensive, no ability to scale, no AI. Now our clients are proactively measuring billions of dollars worth of spend and quantifying the impact of those suppliers. The suppliers actually love it, because it creates alignment between the buyer and seller.”

Anguiano says the need for reporting on procurement is very critical. “Suppliers and vendors typically make up the single largest amount of spend at a retailer. Think about that. Large companies such as Walmart, Walgreens and CVS spend more money on suppliers and vendors than on anything. Reporting on the performance of their vendors of businesses is critical to their organizations.”

He says, for example, that one client measures the performance of its 200 most strategic suppliers every quarter. “They used to use spreadsheets — very painful. Because the data was so hard to track and measure in spreadsheets, they still relied on word of mouth a lot. Once SupplyHive was implemented, two things happened. One, the amount of time needed to collect, organize and measure this data went down by 90%, saving an estimated $200,000 of employee costs associated with time. Suppliers who were thought of as average performers all of a sudden had data that showed they were excellent. And, vice versa. Suppliers now have a specific set of action items, driven by AI, after each performance review. If they implement the action items, they are recognized and rewarded. It creates great alignment,” he concludes.


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