Six lessons from tealbook’s first six months

March 12th, 2015

Six months ago, we launched an idea that we believe will change the way clients manage, find and connect with suppliers. An idea that would allow clients to quickly find and validate suppliers with greater insight and perspective from their industry peers. A tool that simplifies the RFP process so that both sides of the industry would spend less time managing and responding to RFPs, while quickly creating partnerships that allow clients to meet their business goals faster (isn’t this what it’s all about?).

With incredible support from all corners of the industry, we have grown, learned and adjusted to provide the most intuitive, simple and valuable tool for our industry.
Here are a few things that we have learned along the way:

  1. tealbook seems to fill a gap for most companies looking for more efficient ways to connect with suppliers, but the value proposition is quite different for large, mid sized and small companies. We are adjusting tealbook’s features and our communication plan accordingly.
  2. Most companies are still defining the line between control and collaboration when it comes to supplier selection. My goal is to continue promoting internal collaboration and replace “control” for greater transparency and visibility.
  3. Everyone agrees that building institutional knowledge is challenging for companies of all sizes but would be incredibly valuable if done properly.
  4. Having a robust supplier database that provides fast and credible supplier recommendations is needed.
  5. No one speaks very highly about going through the RFP process (on both sides). We have heard stories! I believe there is an opportunity to improve the process.
  6. Passion is contagious! People from our industry have been incredibly open to providing feedback and connecting us to clients, suppliers, advisors, other entrepreneurs, investors…the list goes on.

I am really pleased to announce that three biotech companies have already agreed to pilot tealbook’s corporate membership. A few others are reviewing our proposal. Having a number of companies piloting tealbook was critical to quickly growing our supplier database and adjusting features to ensure it provided the most value to their sourcing process.

The pilot will give them the opportunity to customize tealbook to their needs and process as well as start building institutional knowledge early on. In return, we will use their feedback to continue making improvements to the corporate membership. tealbook will help companies leverage current supplier connections as well as quickly receive supplier recommendations based on insight from employees, history with their company and perspective from industry peers (without sharing proprietary information).

If you are a supplier supporting healthcare companies, I strongly recommend that you complete a free profile in tealbook so you can easily be added to your clients’ tealbook account (www.tealbook.com). Your profile is a great way to differentiate your company and services, and stay top of mind. Tags from clients will allow broader perspective on your experience and capabilities – a great way to generate more visibility among your current customers.

If you are a company interested in piloting tealbook, please contact me (slapierre@tealbook.com.) We are offering tealbook at no charge for a few months in exchange for your feedback. It is a great opportunity to introduce an innovative solution to your company that will help improve process and workflow.
I sincerely appreciate all of the support received over the past six months and look forward an exciting new chapter in tealbook’s evolution.
Steph

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