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Robobai: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Product deep dive, SWOT, Robobai competitors, analyst summary

Robobai competitors

Spend Matters’ two-part PRO Vendor Analysis will shed light on Robobai’s capabilities and competitors. Part 2 will provide a deep dive on solution features, a company SWOT and an analyst summary.

It’s not easy to KYS, or know your supplier. It’s more than a conversation, a historical transaction analysis, a few questionnaires or D&B financial risk assessment. Large organizations produce lots (and lots) of goods and services, employ thousands of people, operate in dozens or hundreds of locations. When you get down and dirty into the corner of the warehouses and basement offices that power that organization, that business doesn’t always deliver the same level of performance, security or legality you might expect from your one interaction between a buyer and a seller buying local consulting services from the consultants down the street.

In order to truly know your supplier, you need a broad internal view — from transactions, contracts, quality and service KPIs. You also need employee feedback on the relationship and a broad external view — from third-party risk assessors across the spectrum, detailed (and vetted) questionnaires, advanced risk and performance models, and supply chain insights (since you can have a squeaky clean supplier using a tier 2 supplier that is doing some shady activities in Asia and Africa (and paying off government officials to look the other way while it forces labor in unsafe factories).

That’s why it’s good to see a provider try to take an integrated view of the problem and build an analytics-powered platform that consolidates the internal view — supplier information, performance, contracts and transactions — with the external view — surveys, third-party risk and intelligence feeds — and expertly built models to help an organization get a fuller view of what’s going on, and what should result in development efforts or investigations.

Part 1 covered Robobai’s solution overview, strengths/weaknesses, tech selection tips.

Let’s dive deeper into Robobai’s competitors and capabilities that the Australian firm has down-under to serve Australasia and North America.

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

Robobai solution

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.