Delivering Trust

August 30th, 2017

Editor’s note: Ian Woodbury is the COO of tealbook, and he has played a critical role in making sure that the trust at the heart of the company’s value proposition is also at the core of our organization. 
Building trust is simple. Promise to do something. Do it. Repeat.
The pace of modern business doesn’t leave much time for investing in something as intangible as trust – and yet we can’t function without it. Procurement teams are overwhelmed by requests both big and small – all of which were due yesterday. Being able to work with a pool of suppliers that we know and trust speeds up critical procurement processes, improves contribution to enterprise value, and prevents friction from forming between procurement and internal stakeholders.

Operating within the relatively safe confines of a trusted buyer-supplier relationship allows procurement to accomplish more (faster) without sacrificing quality.

Peer-driven supplier intelligence delivers a shortcut that procurement can bank on even when they are presented with a business need and little to no time for supplier discovery. tealbook’s mission is to accelerate the process of building a network of trusted supplier relationships before the time for a transaction arises. Just like getting a recommendation for a restaurant or a hair salon, peer-driven supplier intelligence increases our comfort level with inviting a supplier to a procurement event. It increases the chance that they will be credible and will deliver what the business needs. That is why peer recommendations are such a vital part of supplier identification. tealbook accelerates the process of gathering knowledge and makes it asynchronous so procurement can find the right suppliers without all the email chains, telephone tag, and voicemail limbo that destroy productivity and bloat cycle times.

We could all use more trusted relationships, but that’s a challenge because trust can take a long time to build and there isn’t a moment to spare.

Procurement needs to emphasize actionability in all processes and technology. Solutions can’t just store static info, they need to empower procurement and other internal buyers to make informed decisions based on the most up to date information available. This is no less true when the enterprise makes a purchase for the first time. Some requests are ‘one offs’ or first time buys, meaning that procurement has to act without the benefit of internal legacy knowledge.

The fact that demand is new does not allow additional time for a long, manual supplier discovery process. In order to build and maintain trust, procurement must live up to their promises and deliver on the business’ needs the first time, every time.

An additional note on trust:

We promised our investors that we could put out a next generation platform by August even though a number of people said it was impossible. We made that promise because our CTO, Geoff Peddle, said we could – and we trust him. He built an amazing team while also exceeding all our expectations with tealbook’s Next Generation which launched a few weeks ago. All of tealbook is focused on building trust with our customers, suppliers, partners, investors, and each other. Building trust is what we do. We make promises based on what is important to our stakeholders and then we deliver – every day. Many thanks to Ian for his own investments in building trust and for sharing the importance of that investment.

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