Trade Extensions gives us the old 1-2-3

Advanced sourcing (optimisation, market informed sourcing, whatever you call it) solutions provider Trade Extensions has added greatly to the gaiety of the procurement business over the last few weeks with three announcements and initiatives.

Number 1

First of all, they announced first quarter figures that continued their pretty stellar run of late. Revenue grew by 70% in Q2, 2014 compared with the same period in 2013; year-on-year growth is running at 50% and the company paid shareholders a dividend for the first time. So revenues have now doubled since 2012, coming from both new business and more work from existing clients, who tend to be amongst the biggest and bluest of the blue chips. There’s no doubt that more firms are seeing the benefits in what we call market informed sourcing, for all the reasons we explained in previous research papers ( here and here if you’re interested).


Number 2

Then they lobbed a large rock into the pool of the corporate social responsibility bandwagon. A survey of consumers found that whilst 80% believe it is important for companies and brands to behave ethically, that doesn’t carry over very strongly into their buying behaviour. Just 12% of the respondents put “ethics” in their top three buying factors, way behind price, value and quality – and even convenience.

As Trade Extensions say, “consumers display a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude towards ethics and sustainability in that they recognise its importance but are ultimately swayed by price”.  That would explain why certain retailers, for example, have been unaffected in sales terms by their links with collapsing factories in Bangladesh.  Read more on the survey here anyway


Number 3

Trade Extensions are now producing a video series – INSIGHTS - featuring their senior team, explaining the theory and practice of optimisation (market informed sourcing). Arne Andersson, Chairman and Founder of the firm started with “ A Brief History of Advanced Sourcing” and there are more to come. OK, I’m not sure Andersson is the next Hugh Jackman, but it’s always good to see a Maths Professor coming out from behind his algorithms.

Indeed, Trade Extensions is a fascinating firm, with this combination of Scandinavian Maths genius and British commercial nous and marketing drive from the ex Mars executives also on the Board. It’s amazing really that it has worked so well – a real “odd couple” scenario. Now there’s a thought for the next video!

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