Move that ‘binder’ to the cloud
Eleven years ago, I was visiting a client who wanted to introduce me to a supplier she highly recommended.
“Steph, you need to meet these guys,” she said. “They are incredible and have done great work for my team.”
She leaned behind her desk and grabbed a two-inch thick binder filled with business cards from supplier contacts she had accumulated over her extensive career. She couldn’t remember the name of the company but she knew would recognize the card. She spent 10 minutes filing through her contacts. Luckily, she found the card and gave it to me, but she asked for it back after I wrote down their information. She didn’t want to lose their contact information…
“I left that meeting thinking about the wealth of intelligence she had stored in that binder and the scores of other binders sitting under procurement desks all around the world.”
Not only did it take her 10 minutes to find, it was static and only she had access to it. Her team couldn’t leverage the intelligence, procurement had zero visibility, and her organization couldn’t capitalize on it. The day she left the company, her binder and experiences went with her. That supplier’s information was hidden from her peers, unable to help them grow their business. Unless she was present, or offered the information up, the supplier’s information was not being shared.
Over the next 8 years, I helped hundreds of Fortune 100 and emerging companies identify the strongest suppliers. Each and every time, I found myself looking at another binder, an excel file from the company, or a list of someone’s personal connections. We spent an enormous amount of time searching for and gathering data from static and incomplete internal sources as well as supplementing with external data, just to come up with a qualified list of trusted suppliers to include in an event. It took days, weeks, and sometimes months. While procurement is struggling to find ways to leverage and increase visibility of their incumbent and preferred suppliers, employees are spending time searching for trusted data outside of their organization.
“We talk about speed, agility, strategy, value, and innovation. Meanwhile, none of these can’t happen without easy access to trusted intelligence.”
How can strategic sourcing influence or add value if information is not readily available? How can you provide an educated response to your stakeholder who is saying ‘there is only one supplier that can meet my needs’ or asking, ‘who do you know that can meet my requirements?’ If it takes weeks, you are not adding value… you become a bottleneck.
Our team made the technology available to bring sustainability and scalability to an enterprise’s supplier data. tealbot™ makes it easy to move your team’s binder and/or stack of supplier business cards to the cloud. Anyone with a tealbook account can text or email a picture of new supplier contacts to email@example.com (or in hard copy to tealbot – 38 Camden Suite 110, Toronto, ON M5V 1V1 CANADA). tealbot will upload the contact information to the appropriate company profile and invite you to add notes that will help you and your team find them again when you need their products or services.
The tealbook platform allows knowledgeable employees to take their supplier master, binder, stack of business cards, and/or personal experience and make it available to themselves, to their internal peers, and to their organization. The data is optimized, socialized, and aggregated to accelerate the traditionally tactical and time-consuming process of finding and pre-qualifying incumbent suppliers and looking for new ones when external recommendations are critical to growth, innovation, and diversity.
“It is time to move our binders to a secure cloud platform that you can access, leverage, and use to influence and build internal partnerships to increase speed to value. “
To learn more about tealbook, visit our website, watch videos from procurement and suppliers on YouTube, and follow us on Twitter: @tealbook.