This week, Ariba issued a press release focusing on Koozoo, a San Francisco-based startup, and the challenges they faced trying to find a supplier for a very unique need. This is an extremely relatable story for businesses of any size, large buying organizations as much as startups. Whether it is a custom tea set, human hair, or custom-made window mount solutions (such was the case for Koozoo), Ariba Discovery is becoming the go-to solution to find the right supplier for unique products and services.
To give some background, Koozoo, founded in 2010, is building the world’s first crowd-sourced network of continuously broadcasting smartphone video cameras. Anyone can share fun, interesting, or informative scenes of public spaces that they see right out of their window. Koozoo needed to find custom window mount solutions for smart phones to help their rapidly growing community of broadcasters set up their video feeds. Ian Thomson, the company’s head of business development, explained that they did not have an existing supplier database and they were unsure where to look. To add to the challenge, they needed to find, “reliable, flexible partners who would understand that [they were] a small startup that needs to prove a concept before [they] can make a large order.”
They tried multiple channels to identify suppliers, but each proved unsuccessful. They were either wasting time reading responses from suppliers who clearly did not understand their requirements, or wasting time trying to contact suppliers individually via their websites. There are plenty of tools available to find new suppliers, but the real battle is figuring out which suppliers can actually meet a company’s distinctive needs.
“The key is to connect to an intelligent network that can deliver detailed information on its members and their activities along with community-generated feedback and recommendations,” says Tim Minahan, Senior Vice President, Network Strategy, Ariba.
This is exactly what Ian Thomson did when he began using Ariba Discovery, the premiere service for matching business buyers and sellers globally. Ariba Discovery simplifies the process of discovering qualified sellers by instantly matching buyer requirements to supplier capabilities and delivering a powerful set of cloud-based tools that enable buying organizations to:
- Evaluate profiles and unique qualifying information for nearly one million selling organizations worldwide
- Access community-based references and ratings to judge seller capabilities and performance
- Gain visibility into e-commerce capabilities and performance with other buying organizations to determine experience level and fit
- Track minority and women-owned business status and green certifications to support corporate diversity and social responsibility initiatives
Using Ariba Discovery, Koozoo created 6 RFPs and within days received about 10 bids on each. This allowed Koozoo to launch on time and lower its cost-per-unit from $17 to less than $1.
“As a startup with extremely limited resources and high investor expectations, using Ariba Discovery has been a huge advantage,” Thomson said.