Apps Insider is our ongoing series of conversations with strategic partners, CEOs, and executives about how they’re enabling businesses to adapt their supply chains to be more efficient, agile, and successful. Learn how to take those first steps towards digitization and what it means to be part of a global network.
Rob van Ipenburg is the Co-founder & Managing Partner at Quyntess. He has over 20 years’ experience working across the supply chain in sales, as a Financial Director, and as a Director of Professional Services. He founded Quyntess in 2004 to create better, faster and real-time collaboration processes across global supply chains by giving businesses a single, standardized, digital connection to their seller base.
In this interview, Rob provides insights into why companies struggle to collaborate across their supply chain and the challenges that stem from this disconnect. He also speaks to how Quyntess and Tradeshift work to help companies overcome these issues and achieve objectives.
Why do enterprises struggle to collaborate and work efficiently with their supply chain?
No two companies work the same. They all have different internal processes, systems, and workflows. And many have worked hard to optimize and streamline these using digital tools.
Yet, despite this effort, many companies are still marred by inefficiency, especially when working with their supply chain. The reason for this is that as soon as they work with their suppliers all the efficiency they’ve created internally erodes because their processes, systems, and workflows aren’t integrated.
The result: companies cannot collaborate digitally using the systems they’ve implemented. They’re forced to revert back to the disjointed workflows powered by emails, spreadsheets and phone calls they’ve worked hard to escape.
What issues does this inefficiency create for businesses?
Inefficiency increases costs. We see businesses employing vast numbers of people just to manage supplier workflows. They spend their time firefighting issues and trying to create visibility around what’s happening with their suppliers.
Another issue we see is that companies have excess levels of inventory. This is because they don't have full visibility into the status of their transactions with suppliers and can’t be sure the goods they need will arrive when they need them. Holding excess inventory is a hedge against running out of stock and business grinding to a halt. Of course, this isn’t best practice.
Holding onto excess inventory is expensive to store and manage. It negatively impacts the working capital metrics and free cash flow. And, there’s always the risk stock will go to waste if the product specs change.
How does Quyntess help businesses solve these problems?
We give businesses a single, standardized, digital connection to their seller base. Quyntess does this by connecting a company’s internal processes and IT systems to a purpose-built platform that handles collaborative planning and fulfilment with external business partners anywhere in the world. This enables them to optimize complex supply chain processes and provides real-time visibility, communication and collaboration—regardless of internal systems, workflows and processes.
All information regarding the transaction is visible on the platform and flows automatically into their internal systems creating a single source of truth for buyer and seller. That means businesses no longer need to use paper, emails, and phone calls to communicate with their suppliers. And everything happens in real-time. So if the seller needs to make a change they can handle this through the platform, helping to maintain full visibility.
Why did you decide to partner with Tradeshift?
We partnered with Tradeshift because we love the network they’ve built. This has transformed how quickly we onboard suppliers for our clients. To put this into perspective, it used to take us around a year and a half to get 90% of suppliers using our solution. Today, thanks to the Tradeshift network, we can reach that same number in a couple of months.
Through Tradeshift our customers now benefit from access to an integrated platform with capabilities that Quyntess did not provide such as e-invoicing, supplier financing, and supplier SRM functions as well as having access to a host of other 3rd party apps.
Tradeshift also makes it incredibly easy for us to launch new products on the platform. We’re able to build and launch new apps for our customers in less than two months. This is much faster than it would be if we had to build everything from scratch. And we’re able to leverage Tradeshift’s work with emerging technologies to bake them into our solutions so we can deliver new and exciting propositions to our customers.
What advice would you give to a company looking to transform how it runs its supply chain?
Supply chains are expanding and have to reconfigure faster with acquisitions, divestitures and dealing with the impacts of global trade policies in heterogeneous IT landscapes. So companies must supercharge the speed at which they’re transforming their supply chain operations or risk falling behind.
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