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Fairmarkit is the intelligent sourcing platform that empowers organizations to more efficiently purchase the goods and services they need. By equipping procurement and supply-chain teams with automation and data, Fairmarkit promotes competitive bidding while reducing manual work within existing processes. Leveraged by innovative procurement departments across a number of industries, such as Univision, ServiceNow, and the MBTA, Fairmarkit aims to revolutionize the way organizations make purchases. Learn more at www.fairmarkit.com.

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Future 5 nominee Fairmarkit is challenging the status quo of how businesses think about tail spend. Their cloud-based software for optimizing tail spend automates the construction of requests for quotes (RFQs), populating potential vendors for a bid based on manufacturers, part numbers or free text entries.

By using machine learning to analyze purchasing patterns and vendor fit, Fairmarkit automates the RFQ process for variable purchases that fall in the roughly $500 to $250,000 range, enabling procurement groups to automate bidding and analysis on low-value purchases. That creates room to assign team members solely to strategic events; a priority for all strategically minded procurement organizations.

So, why did Fairmarkit make it onto the 2019 Future 5 list?

Tail spend is a hot topic of late in procurement, and numerous vendors are popping up with their own secret sauce to best solving the perennial challenges of one-off, low-value, often “rogue” purchases. We think Fairmarkit has one of the more convincing answers, as it enables rapid deployment of sourcing tools without the typical headaches of solution adoption seen in e-sourcing due to its ability to largely automate bid construction. The result is not only more frequently bid items and services but also optimization of the number of event participants — and thus bigger savings.

Any threats or challenges ahead?

The big guys are all looking to come downmarket. SAP Ariba has a growing arsenal of “lite” mid-market-specific offerings (e.g., SNAP); Coupa often does well positioning itself as a “Nimble” provider and has made considerable investments (e.g., Simeno, Aquiire) that should extend its ability to offer tail spend purchasing solutions through a “Google-like” buying experience.

These are just two examples, but for Fairmarkit — or, really, any tail spend vendor — the biggest threat is the incumbents higher on the tail spend diagram starting to move into their territory, offering end-to-end capabilities and similar technological heft.

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