Keelvar: A New Sourcing Tool That Will Change How Old-School CIPS and NAPM Members Negotiate [Plus+]
Over the years, I’ve moderated my views on reverse auctions. I now believe that their most useful legacy was ushering in a world of online communication and management of suppliers and stakeholders before, during, and after negotiations. Moving to the Internet and away from spread sheets (at least in part) opened up an entirely new world of capabilities that could improve the implemented savings that companies achieved through building transparency into the entire negotiation process, which includes internal data gathering and consensus building elements (e.g., SKU rationalization). Yet only the interfaces of some of the newer tools available make the RFI/RFX/RFP process and sourcing easy. And thus far none have embraced the simplification of complexity while leveraging sourcing optimization at the very core. But Keelvar, a tiny, 10-person firm only serving the Irish and UK markets, might just do it. Founded by the still youthful Alan Holland, Keelvar hasn’t set out to sell its tool to logistics organizations and category managers. Rather, Holland approached sourcing optimization to make it approachable for old school public and private sector buyers and purchasing managers who could use the tool to change the way he thought about structuring markets. And starting at $25K a year including help desk/support services, they’re getting a strong following already, especially in the public sector.