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Frustrated by archaic and costly approaches available today, we had the vision to simplify how companies connect and transact with one another. That’s why we’ve created the first B2B network that lets companies speed up how they do business. Our platform, graphiteConnect, is a network of shareable company profiles meaning you can connect and access supplier data in days, not months, with our simple onboarding process. Transform your company with our modern approach to Supplier Data, Supplier Relationship, and Supplier Risk management. Powerful enough to handle your organization’s unique process or simple enough to implement only what your specific department needs.

Our method ensures that your vendor master has up-to-date and accurate data continually and support your company’s global presence with unmatched localization. Contact us today to join the thousands of companies on our network finding 70% reduction in support efforts, 40% removal of incorrect or redundant supplier data, and implementation in weeks.

What it Does

Graphite Systems, which goes to market as graphiteConnect, is arguably the first supplier management vendor that is building its solution for supplier information and risk management on a network model, where suppliers enter and maintain their data once and can share it with any and all buyers in the network. Founded in 2018 by two procurement veterans with more than 35 years of procurement experience, graphiteConnect strives to simplify how companies connect and do business with one another. The current system offers three modules for supplier management: supplier data management, supplier relationship management, and supplier risk management.

The obvious analogy here is LinkedIn but for businesses. Taking a network approach is nothing new in the procurement technology space, but earlier takes have primarily applied the concept to transactional networks, not supplier management. Still, there are obvious benefits to a network approach in supplier management, given the amount of standardized information that buying organizations need from their suppliers — and given that suppliers are struggling to maintain information across hundreds or even thousands of portals and customers.

For more information on graphiteConnect, see our three-part PRO series on the vendor (part 1, 2 and 3) and its entry in the Provider Scoring Summary for the Fall 2020 SXM SolutionMap.

Why We Chose It

We named graphiteConnect to the Future 5 for 2020 for two reasons: vision and an impressive track record for such a young vendor.

First, the idea of applying a network approach to supplier management, while not wholly original, is a bold vision for tackling issues like portal fatigue and degraded supplier data quality within many procurement organizations. It’s also built on modern, scalable technologies, including a set of machine learning-backed translation capabilities that allow users to apply the language of their choice (provided it is supported by the solution) regardless of the language used by the counterparties. This underlying architecture and toolkit provide a firm foundation from which to grow the solution.

The more mundane reason we chose graphiteConnet is because the vendor is less than two years old but has, in a somewhat niche space, already acquired 12 customers — large ones at that. Furthermore, graphiteConnet participated in the Fall 2020 Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap and scored favorably, posting the highest customer satisfaction scores of any SXM vendor in several personas. For such a new vendor, holding its own in SolutionMap against many more established names and succeeding with a group of name-brand customers is an impressive feat. We think this combination of procurement expertise, product vision and strong execution with current customers could support continued momentum for graphiteConnect.

Any threats or challenges ahead?

Perhaps the biggest challenge graphiteConnect faces is the market it’s operating in. The vagueness and fragmentation of the supplier management market — there are at least five different subsegments, by our count — makes it difficult to create brand recognition and reach the right prospects. In addition, S2P suites have come to dominate the larger market with their reach and marketing campaigns. Although they might not always have the capabilities of more specialised solutions like graphiteConnect, this gets lost in the overall marketing hype.

On the supply side, graphiteConnect has to deal with the problem of portal fatigue. No network has really been able to remove the friction of exchanging data to the extent promised and suppliers have to deal with tens if not hundreds of “networks” and portals. Unless Graphite Systems can attract enough buying organizations graphiteConnect will remain “just another portal.”

In the near term, however, we think graphiteConnect is largely making the right moves, and its strong customer satisfaction could provide the word-of-mouth marketing it needs to help address its scale challenge.

  • Future 5 start-up winner graphiteConnect talks increasing importance of supplier networks
  • SolutionMap Fall 2020 new vendors (Part 3) — Symfact, AvidXchange, ProcurePort, SourceDay, graphiteConnect
  • Afternoon Coffee: Daily U.S. coronavirus cases hit record; Google riles EU; SAP and Spend Matters examine procurement trends; PRO recap: Trakti, AnyData, Parley Pro, procurement’s role in business transformation
  • Afternoon Coffee: Unemployment filings see 4th straight week of decline in improving economy; Tropical Storm Eta soaks Florida; SIG talks procurement trends, Future 5 start-ups with Spend Matters
  • Afternoon Coffee: MBO acquires MBO Partners Limited in UK and Ireland; Vroozi announces new SuiteApp platform; Spend Matters releases ‘Future 5’ list of start-ups
  • 2020’s Future 5 start-ups: Spend Matters announces standout newcomers in procurement technology
  • Afternoon Coffee: SAP names new leader of Ariba, Fieldglass, S/4HANA Procurement and Concur; Hurricane Delta to hit Louisiana; ProcureWise VMS goes to market; Spend Matters’ PRO recap: Contingent Workforce Hot List, Graphite Systems
  • Graphite Systems: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — Detailed Overview of the graphiteConnect Solution [PRO]