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Robobai: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Solution overview, strengths/weaknesses, tech selection tips [PRO]

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Robobai, a relatively new entrant to the source-to-contract arena, realized the best way to do supplier risk, or know-your-supplier (KYS), is to build an analytics-backed supplier management platform that could track and analyze spend, performance, commitments (contracts) and risk. So the Australian firm built an analytics-backed KYS platform that could also support the creation and calculation of customized risk models using organizational data, survey responses and integrated third-party feeds (with easy API integration).

In addition, one of the co-founders is an old pro in applied analytics in big corporates, where he was a data analyst and category manager. He saw firsthand that most team members couldn’t efficiently classify data with the majority of first- and second-generation platforms and realized that AI was needed — but not the AI where you could only fix a mistake after the monthly data warehouse update.

So Robobai decided to build a multi-level staged AI auto-class model where a buyer administrator could “correct maps” and relaunch the classification process in real time. It lets you not only re-classify the identified transactions but improve the client-specific classifier(s) to prevent future mis-maps.

It’s a better approach than most of their AI-only peers that are fully AI-autoclass and can’t fix until the monthly refresh, that rely on limited post-classification mappings that result in rule proliferation, or that use temporary mappings that disappear and have to be recreated if the AI autoclass isn’t appropriately re-trained.

Robobai’s out-of-the-box KYS is quite powerful too. It has pre-built risk models that look for adverse media and sanctions, modern slavery, financial risk, and cyber and data problems. It works on pre-built surveys and, if licensed, pre-integrated data feeds from almost 20 risk providers. The out-of-the-box risk insights into your supply base are quite extensive, especially for Australian clients where the majority of the supply base is already measured in the Robobai platform.

Outside of a mega-suite vendor, it’s one of the best platforms for analytics/contract (metadata/execution) management/risk-backed supplier information and performance we’ve seen with respect to a completeness of vision and breadth of capability. Robobai is definitely worth taking a look at now that it is in Australia and the US, with the EU in its sights.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis will shed light on Robobai’s solution and capabilities. Part 1 will give a company overview, a broad look at its solution, detailed product strengths/weakness, and tips for tech selection. Part 2 will provide a deep dive on solution features, a company SWOT, a look at Robobai competitors and an analyst summary.

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