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As procurement pros, we’re feeling the heat a lot right now dealing with problems of a reactive nature. We’re having to fight to secure supply and deal with crisis management with increasing frequency.

Moving to a more predictive form of supplier relationship management (SRM), while at the same time handling the transactional and compliance part of the requirements is what my guest, Sam Jenks, CMO of Kodiak Hub, is here to talk about today.

Full Stack SRM: The case for “Know Your Supplier” with due diligence and risk monitoring

What started off as Kodiak Rating in 2015 recently rebranded to Kodiak Hub back in September last year. Part of this was the wider evolution of their platform from being primarily a compliance and controls platform to what has now become a full SRM tool, both on the predictive / market intel side as well as on the more traditional audit and reports side.

As Sam explains, this was more of an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary process. Customers needed a platform that could expand into other areas of SRM other than the compliance piece, and Kodiak walked with them on their journey and built out their platform to evolve into what it is today.

Onboarding and assessment was the core feature, but this has since expanded to cover:

  • Credit rating
  • Third party market intelligence
  • Due diligence (audit) module
  • Supplier performance

How has the evolution affected their customer base?

Primary customers have moved to be slightly larger than previously, but they have maintained to a large extent a customer base which is predominantly manufacturing businesses with a large spend on raw materials.

The industry sectors have remained pretty consistent along their journey but they are now seeing more success acquiring customers more positioned towards the enterprise segment. Whereas previously, most of their business was coming from the mid market.

Breaking down SRM: tactical and strategic

How can this experience be improved and optimised within a digital platform, based on what Kodiak Hub has built?

Tactical:

Supplier onboarding, compliance checks and audit – removing manual data entry and ensuring that the data gathering piece can be automated to the greatest possible extent.

Supplier pre-qualification and onboarding also requires the supplier to be actively engaged and to find the process intuitive.

Industry or customer specific content around supplier onboarding has been built into the platform to avoid

Weighting and KPIs can be modelled based on customers’ individual criteria.

Strategic:

Collaboration space – having an interactive platform which can be used either for corrective actions, or for innovation focused activities. Looking at innovative activities, this is more based on project management or more strategic activities such as joint R&D.

Performance evaluation – removing the “Excel hell” from the process and having 6 different standard areas for performance. Everyone’s needs when it comes to performance are different, depending on what they are buying and the industry sector they are in.

Predictive analytics:

While there are a lot of stand alone best-of-breed solutions out there offering individual solutions – e.g. news monitoring, financial risk, traceability – Kodiak has tried to bring this all under one umbrella.

Their approach is to partner with third party solutions providers who can do all of this in one platform rather than try to build out their own proprietary technology for everything to try to compete with the single-solution software providers.

What makes Kodiak different from all-in-one suites which have SRM platforms?

Sam highlights the fact that a lot of the suites are not user friendly and there is a lot of legacy technology out there with some of the traditional suites.

He also mentions that through their approach of partnering with technology providers who are experts in the space of each of the specific areas they work with, they’re able to offer a more detailed solution in each of their modules vs. the suites.

Implementation time is also faster, enabling the user to bring Kodiak on board in weeks rather than months or in some cases years, as can often be the case with some of the more traditional all-in-one suite providers which require a lot of technical integration and IT consulting support.

Pick and mix

Kodiak gives the option to purchase the solution as a modular software, so you don’t need to buy the whole suite if you’re mixing and matching best-of-breed solutons.

I then ask Sam is whether they are looking to partner with other complementary solutions providers who are playing in this space, as this would be the next logical step to me.

What about using AI?

Kodiak Hub doesn’t use any natively developed AI but it relies heavily on their third party integrations who leverage this technology.

The Data architecture that is built for scale.

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