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Back to the myConnXion Future: Connecting Buyers and Suppliers

As disruptors in the supplier management space, our team set out with a simple task: understand the challenges suppliers face, so we can help them better collaborate with buyers in global supply chains. We started hearing from many small and diverse businesses that it was difficult to engage with large corporate buyers. As a small, minority-owned business, we’ve faced some challenges ourselves, but wanted to confirm our thoughts with general findings from other organizations.

To gather these insights, our product innovation team conducted a focus group with buyers and suppliers and received some interesting feedback. Business owners, C-suite executives, and buyers were recruited from our first ConnXSmart Strategic Sourcing Event last year based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mediated by a neutral third party, our research was conducted in a round table format, with audio and visual recordings, and the ability to give real-time polls.

We came across a few key findings from eight suppliers interviewed: The current business sourcing process is difficult for many small business owners; 67% avoid RFPs due to time commitments. Small business owners typically respond to five or less RFPs a month and avoid ones that look too involved. Business owners stated that they need to evaluate how much time an RFP will require, who is available to work on it, and whether it’s worth “shutting the company down” to complete. Ironically, many organizations have to pause their business operations to generate more business.

Suppliers feel that there must be a better way to speak to the specific challenges buyers face. As one supplier stated, “It’s difficult to tell your story of cost-savings solutions and ideas that you could implement … when you’re filling out line items. You can’t have a chat with [buyers] if they don’t open a conversation. You’re only replying … only being reactive.”

The current sourcing process impedes the ability to have meaningful two-way conversations. Additionally, participants cited a disconnect between availability and quality of information, and actual timing of opportunities. There are many outdated, siloed business databases that don’t support in-person networking and sourcing events. Many suppliers don’t have the time or staff to register through individual portals and tell their stories.

We set out on a journey over a year ago to figure out a better way to enable buyers and suppliers to connect. We want suppliers to be able to tell their stories with robust profiles. We want to enable buyers to vet, inquire and communicate, to get all the information they need in a quickly and efficiently.

Our commitment to solving this pain point has led to the genesis of myConnXion. Suppliers are empowered to share their profile with any buyer, anywhere in the world with one click. Buyers get to see complete supplier profiles, making it easier to vet and gain more information without first having to meet suppliers. The network effect of myConnXion will enable more diverse and inclusive supply chains. We hope businesses big and small will be able to maximize their sourcing efforts and adapt today’s sourcing strategies to fit tomorrow’s business needs.