London-based Suppeco is a pioneer in modern supplier relationship management. Its ethos is built on the accepted wisdom that the most harmonious and mutually-beneficial product/service provider partnerships are built on the softer, relationship-driven elements not detailed in the legalities of contracts. The company was founded in 2009, bringing together more than three decades’ experience of optimising the value from procurement and service outsourcing. Its clients include some of the largest and most high-profile brands, from Fujitsu, BAA and Jaguar Land Rover to Network Rail, Royal Mail, Lloyds Banking Group, the Department of Health, Ministry of Justice, and the Metropolitan Police.
In addition to its wealth of knowledge and depth of experience of supplier relationship optimisation, Suppeco uses technology to map and to structure all supply chain interaction, and to monitor and enrich the performance of collaborative supplier engagements. The company had become so well-known for the value it provides in this area that its clients had begun to ask if they could access the capabilities themselves. So Suppeco embarked on a journey to build an innovative digital platform: a suite of client-facing modules that organisations could use directly with their partners and suppliers to drive greater value from their engagements.
The first challenge was to find the right development partner. “The process took a year: it’s fair to say we kissed a few frogs,” says Sheldon Mydat, Suppeco’s Managing Director. He had a clear vision for the new cloud-based platform. “The idea was to create a live and dynamic omni-channel relationship space, to which our clients would subscribe and have their own stakeholder-based logins, and add their own suppliers,” he explains.
After a thorough market search, Suppeco discovered One Beyond and soon found it didn’t need to look any further. “I liked Nick; I liked his style; our cultures were a great fit,” Sheldon says. “One Beyond are UK based and very local to us. This was important to me. They are also number one on Clutch, which was reassuring. Together, we worked to create a comprehensive solution prototype – essentially a three-dimensional holistic view of the world through our imagined system’s eyes. It was very enlightening. The choice was made.”
Sheldon’s vision for the new platform was that it would provide a structured and dynamic environment where the creation of valuable data insights and management functionality would help clients develop stronger, more collaborative and strategic relationships. This would also include an industry best-of-breed ‘Smart KPI’ database and custom creation suite; cutting-edge supplier psychometric modelling; fully interactive real-time dynamic dashboards and heatmaps; and an avant-garde AI-driven Auto Risk module. The system would be fully optimised and responsive to any device or operating system, and would of course include fully secure collaborative chat functionality.
“One Beyond really understood our requirements and provided valuable creative input,” Sheldon notes. “For instance, we initially planned to incorporate a Microsoft Teams-based chat feature, Nick and the team suggested a bespoke solution more tailored to our clients’ needs.”
This digital relationship eco-management platform can track and improve the health and performance of individual supplier engagements using the client’s choice of available software modules. Because the system is modular, and offered to clients on a subscription basis, organisations can choose to select and pay for the features that are most relevant and of most value to them.
The software uses a dynamic cloud-based infrastructure. To satisfy strict security requirements, new clients are each assigned their own Azure SQL database and data storage containers are created on demand. Real-time collaboration features, such as the secure chat facility, are delivered through Microsoft ASP.NET SignalR technology with several additional security features.
Launching a startup with a seed R&D investment, we needed to keep things tightly managed. Having an accessible team in close contact was absolutely key, and One Beyond provided that.
To satisfy the market’s hunger for the new software, Suppeco released an initial product for clients to trial. The feedback exceeded all expectations – early adopters quickly confirmed their interest, with several other enterprise clients soon entering discussions about signing up to the software too. “There has been fantastic traction,” Sheldon says.
Strategically and commercially, the system is enormously important and incredibly relevant, he adds. “The digital ecosystem is becoming ever more dispersed and harder to optimise, and no one plugs that gap in the way that we do,” Sheldon explains. “There are other perhaps bigger CRM or ERP systems out there that also provide some supplier relationship management, but there are no affordable dedicated enterprise SRM solutions out there that come close to what we’re offering. The KPI database and creation suite that we have built with One Beyond is the best out there.
“The Auto-Risk module is incredibly clever and valuable – streets ahead of anything else,” Sheldon adds. “This uses AI algorithms to chart risks associated with every aspect of a contracted relationship, in a way that’s completely dynamic, totally personalised and relevant specifically to that client. It functions autonomously too, based 100 per cent on data created as the client goes about engaging their relationship using Suppeco. This then generates a wholly unique user experience through interactive risk analysis, featuring active report triggers – enabling targeted inspection and remediation initiatives, via service improvement plans or reciprocal assessments.
Thanks to a successful project with One Beyond, its prospects look bright. “Launching a startup with a seed R&D investment, we needed to keep things tightly managed. Having an accessible team in close contact was absolutely key, and One Beyond provided that,” Sheldon says. “They have been a pleasure to deal with, and I look forward to an enduring relationship as we continue to build on an already fantastic product.”
One Beyond really understood our requirements and provided valuable creative input. For instance, we initially planned to incorporate a Microsoft Teams-based chat feature, Nick and the team suggested a bespoke solution more tailored to our clients’ needs.