Vizibl Supplier Management Platform – Our First Close Look

We’ve mentioned Vizibl a couple of times previously over the last two years or so  without having had a real look at the product. Vizibl is the creation of Procurement Leaders founder Mark Perera and his younger protégé Alex Short, under the Old Street Labs company banner.  It is a platform that links up buyers and sellers to aid supplier management and collaboration, putting it simply. Whilst this is not a full technology deep-dive by any means, we have now had a look at the product, and can bring a little more detail to the discussion.

Much of the (fairly limited) public presentation of Vizibl has focused on certain aspects of collaboration, such as supplier innovation – what we might call the sexy aspects of supply management. What surprised us during the demo however was the breadth of the product offering already. Yes, it does play very much into that space around collaboration, using social media-type look and feel to encourage effective working. But it also has some harder-edged capability around supplier performance management, risk management and even core supplier information.

The tool is truly collaborative with a single platform for buyers and sellers. Access to data and processes is controlled by a system of “permissions”. There are three elements to the Vizibl platform; social, workflow and data. At the core, an “Insights” dashboard pulls all the relevant content and data together for the CPO or equivalent. So that might include key information about a range of different suppliers on a single screen, showing things like how many projects are running with each, latest information about meeting KPIs, or overall risk scoring.  Users can also get an overview of a single supplier, looking at all the tasks, events, or reviews going on, as well as performance data, and can see who is working on both sides of the relationship .

The “home page” enables users to see their more personal and specific key tasks, events, stages within a project and so on. A social feed pulls in relevant information about key suppliers and can be tailored specifically - for category managers, for example. As we said, the “performance management” capability is more extensive than we expected, breaking down into three areas; operational, relationship and transformational. Vizibl will even tell you if you have too many KPIs, and from summary screens it is easy to dig down into more detailed information on KPIs, measures and results. Risk is also an element covered, with dashboards that can show risk by country for example.

As the firm announced recently, a partnership with Vodafone has given Vizibl a huge marquee client, and there are other big names from the Pharmaceutical industry using the product. But the sales effort appears to have been about quality of users to date rather than quantity. How Vizibl and parent company Old Street Labs plan to sell and market more widely is a question for another day perhaps.

So, all in all, an interesting and impressive tool, very contemporary in look and feel but as we said earlier, certainly not just a “niche” product. While it is clearly in the “supplier management” sector rather than P2P or sourcing focused, it covers quite a range of capabilities which will we suspect make it interesting to a wide range of potential clients, as well as posing a competitive threat to more current providers than we might have predicted.  Anyway, it all makes Vizibl certainly worth watching and noting, and indeed considering if you want to improve supplier management performance in your own organisation.

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Voices (2)

  1. Dan:

    How does this compare with Koble? Are they entirely different, or are they treading on each others toes?

    1. Peter Smith:

      Dan, A good question. They’re actually pretty complementary at the moment, Koble is about finding new suppliers (and sellers finding buyers), so making that initial linkage. Vizibl is about ongoing management of your existing supplier base, particularly the more strategic element of it. They might start treading on each other’s toes one day I suppose if either decided to expand in the other’s direction, equally well perhaps some VC firm will buy both and bring them together! Not necessarily a bad idea, now I think about it…

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