Professionals and executives from all over the world came together on Sept. 16 at Digital Procurement World (DPW) — rapidly becoming a flagship event of the digital procurement industry. Its DEMO VIRTUAL event, which celebrates innovative start-ups in the procurement technology industry, gave young innovators the chance to showcase their solutions to potential investors and business leaders. The grand finale for the winning start-ups took place online Sept. 23.
In the competition, nine start-up companies pitched their solutions to a panel of judges. Three categories of procurement solutions were represented — source-to-pay, networks and platforms, and enterprise. The start-ups represented different emerging elements in the space today — hospitality, tail spend management, logistics, sustainability, spare parts sourcing, machine learning, supplier relationship management, among others.
After an introduction from DPW Founder Matthias Gutzmann, two speakers from McKinsey, Tobias Anger and Bjorn-Uwe Mercker, shared their ideas on how to future-proof procurement for the new normal. They said the COVID-19 crisis has shown how we really live in a global world nowadays. To them, disruption is not just a buzzword.
They said that the core of procurement’s response to disruption and crisis relies on four things: foresight, flexibility, sustainability and rebalance. Companies can do that through changing their operations, thinking beyond supply networks by thinking about solutions, and working with data.
The takeaway from the keynote introduction was that whenever there is change, there is a real opportunity for start-ups to thrive.
It was an energizing way to start the nine pitches. Each finalist received four minutes to present their solution and a two minute Q&A for judges to pose questions. After one category of solution providers presented, judges had a few minutes to cast their votes. At the end of the event, audience members were welcome to cast their vote as an audience favorite as well.
Below is a list of the start-up solutions under each category, with a brief description of what solutions they work to solve. Bolded companies are the winners in each category:
Source-to-pay solution providers
- AVISIO: A platform for hospitality companies in the procurement industry dealing with sourcing many supplies from start to finish, which has saved some companies up to 10% of their spend.
- Fairmarkit: A tail spend sourcing management solution that fully automates spend on the cloud for high volume, low dollar purchases. Read why we see Fairmarkit as a “50 to Watch” company in the procurement space.
- SupplHi: A platform provider that presents vendor information for buyers to promote compliance and efficiency in the $33 trillion B2B world.
Networks and platforms providers
- e2log: A first-of-its-kind logistics management system that tracks end-to-end processes, providing an ROI between 500% and 800%.
- IntegrityNext: A supplier sustainability monitoring system that takes information from all suppliers into a database and standardizes sustainability to help monitor risk and compliance.
- SPARETECH: A spare parts database that helps buyers and sellers have complete data on spare parts, which has decreased downtime risks by 45% and procurement costs by 7%.
- GenLots: A machine learning solution helping in the planning of orders, saving companies 3% to 10% on purchasing costs.
- LevaData: A cognitive platform focused on direct materials sourcing through democratizing Next Gen procurement capability, which can increase agility by 60% and productivity by 20%.
- Vizibl: A one-stop ecosystem/platform that builds, manages, measures and scales supplier collaboration and innovation, creating a strategic advantage with suppliers.
The three winners of the day were Fairmarkit, IntegrityNext (which was also the audience’s choice) and Vizibl. However, it was an exciting day for all involved to see the innovative solutions coming out of the procurement industry.
This was the second year of DPW’s DEMO event that highlights the bright stars of procurement’s future. Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch was one of three judges asking questions of the presenters.
“DPW did a fantastic job of identifying a very diverse set of finalists — the level of solution overlap was virtually nonexistent, showing how large the procurement technology opportunity is,” Busch said. “My hat goes off to the winners. You stood out in a very competitive field.”
With a strong focus on start-ups in this period of change and disruption, keep an eye out for more Spend Matters coverage of innovative solution providers in our upcoming Future 5 list of start-up vendors.