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The Rise of the Intelligent Digital Supply Chain

It doesn’t matter whether a company manufactures cars, frozen meals, or clothing, its supply chain is critical to success. To be profitable, a company must effectively manage its supply chain. Over the years, the supply chain has evolved in many ways. The most recent development—and the one that may just have the most profound impact of all—is the rise of the intelligent digital supply chain and predictive sourcing.

Before exploring what an intelligent digital supply chain means, it’s important to review how we got to this stage.

Products Get More Complicated, Supply Chains Become More Complex

While there are exceptions, a general rule of thumb is that products have become more complex over the years. We can see an example of this trend in the automotive industry. 

When Ford began production of the Model T in 1908, the vehicle was estimated to have several thousand different parts. Each had to be sourced, manufactured, delivered to Ford’s factory, then assembled into a finished Model T car. 

Today, a car can have 30,000 pieces, ranging from tiny screws to computer processors. The finished product is far more complex, and that means the supply chain for auto manufacturers is vastly more complicated.

The auto supply chain has expanded to incorporate different tiers of suppliers, depending on whether a company directly supplies a finished component (like a seat or an entertainment system) to an auto manufacturer or whether they produce parts that are used in turn by other suppliers. In 2017, one estimate put the total number of automotive suppliers in the U.S. at over 285,000 companies

Can you imagine making 285,000 phone calls in a day, to possibly source just one thing from each supplier? Can you imagine tracking the status of each part manually? It is akin to two people trying to have a conversation with morse code and smoke signals. 

The same scenario has played out across many industries—products today are more complicated. Sometimes that complexity is less about the number of components and more about requirements such as the transportation and storage temperature requirements for raw materials. It becomes nearly impossible to stay ahead of your business in every industry without implementing the correct tools.  

Supply Chains Go Global

Adding to the complexity of the supply chain has been the move toward globalization.

Going back to the automotive industry example, suppliers for the Ford Model T were likely all based in America. 

When a new car is assembled in America today, odds are the factory will be receiving components from Tier 1 manufacturers located in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. However, many of the 30,000 parts that ultimately go into that car could have been produced anywhere in the world. 

This has of course changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Joe Biden’s executive order, but in general globalization brings with it a wide range of factors that must be accounted for, ranging from currency exchange rates to natural disasters. Some of those suppliers are in high demand, and that means competing against other manufacturers from around the world. 

Tracking and adjusting for all of those factors and managing all of those suppliers makes procurement one of the most critical divisions for any auto manufacturer.

The Era of Accessible Artificial Intelligence

Time for a quick segue into Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Most people are familiar with AI in terms of supercomputers like IBM’s Big Blue—the first computer to defeat a human world champion at chess. Systems like Big Blue were critical first steps in the development of AI, but their size and cost meant they had limited applications. 

In recent years, advances in parallel processing have meant AI and machine learning no longer require a supercomputer that occupies an entire room and costs more than a small country’s annual GDP. This has been a game-changer. So has the rise of cloud-based services. 

Combine the two, and you have the powerful AI capability that’s widely accessible. It can be incorporated into web-based software, making this incredibly advanced technology available on a scale that wasn’t even remotely possible just a few years ago.

And that has huge implications for the supply chain…  

The Intelligent Digital Supply Chain and Predictive Sourcing Software

When you apply the power of AI to the challenge of procurement, you have the newest era: the intelligent digital supply chain, and Predictive Procurement Orchestration—Arkestro. 

Arkestro can track innumerable variables in real-time. It can then make assessments based on the trends and patterns in that data, picking up nuances that a human would never notice. Arkestro predictive AI can sense patterns, predict market changes, and drive two to five times more savings to sourcing teams.

Machine learning is also an integral part of this AI revolution. In terms of procurement software, the application of machine learning means we can implement complex predictive machine learning modeling and turn repetitive tasks over to the AI. This frees up staff for more critical tasks, improves negotiation cycle time, and eliminates errors and compliance issues the human eye can miss. 

Take the First Step Toward Adopting AI and the Intelligent Digital Supply Chain

Whether your company operates on a global scale or within a limited region, adopting the intelligent digital supply chain makes your procurement team far more effective. Remove morse code and smoke signals from your daily process while increasing quote velocity, predicting opportunities, and driving significant savings.

Predictive sourcing software gives your company a big competitive advantage. Find out just how transformative the only predictive procurement platform is by contacting Arkestro for a demo. Whether sourcing car parts, screws and fasteners, frozen vegetables, or clothing, your sourcing squad will thank you. 

Predict. Procure. Win. Keep your business ahead of the market. 

CPO Summit is an industry-leading event. Our team will be present to see what’s going on in the industry, and chatting about predictive sourcing. Find us on May 5-7! 

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Rob DeSantis

Founder

As a former co-founder of Ariba running sales, Rob has deep expertise in the procurement space, having helped propel Ariba from zero to $250 million in revenue in four years and IPO of the year in 1999 before its acquisition by SAP a decade later. In addition to co-founding Ariba, Rob was also an early angel investor and board member of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional online network.

More recently, Rob served as an investor and advisor to a small portfolio of companies including Bloom Energy, AEye, Inc., HiQ Labs, Agiloft, USEND and more. He is also a co-founder of Dibbs Technology and TrueParity. Rob holds a BSME from the University of Rhode Island.

Marty Meyer

Chief Financial Officer

A trusted partner and advisor on the executive team, Marty has a unique background having been the CFO of nine venture backed technology companies. Marty has raised over $300M in venture funding and has closed six strategic M&A transactions with a combined value of over $1B. Marty has deep domain expertise in ecommerce, consumer internet, networking, data security, data privacy, media technology and enterprise software industries. Marty is especially experienced in the finance and operations activities of SaaS companies and is driven by data and metrics to help create outstanding customer experiences and drive efficient growth.

Neil Lustig

President and Chief Operating Officer

Neil is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience leading and building teams in Tech. Neil brings insights from a variety of market spaces and company sizes. Most recently Neil was the CEO of GAN Integrity, an innovative SaaS Compliance technology company serving enterprise customers in North America and Europe. Before that Neil was the CEO of Sailthru, a leader in ML driven personalized multi-channel marketing communications for media and e-commerce markets. Prior to that Neil was the CEO of Vendavo, the leader in B2B price optimization and management for large enterprises. Before Vendavo, Neil led the commercial team at Ariba, the market pioneer that defined and created the eProcurement space. Neil served as the GM of Ariba Europe and subsequently the GM of Ariba North America. Neil started his career at IBM where he spent sixteen years, initially as a software developer, and then twelve years in a variety of Sales and Marketing roles

 

Neil has a BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from SUNY Albany. He is a native New Yorker, Brooklyn born, and still resides with his wife and three children in New York City.

Bonnie Adams

Director of People Operations

Bonnie is a People Operations and HR veteran, with over a decade of experience establishing successful people and culture functions for early to mid-stage tech startups going through high growth phases. She has a passion for supporting and creating inclusive and collaborative work environments and is well-versed in driving positive changes in her organizations as a trusted leader. Prior to joining Arkestro Bonnie worked as the People & Culture Coordinator for Ionic Security, helping them scale from 5 to over 200 employees in addition to a $120M funding round. Most recently she was the Head of People & Culture for blockchain innovator Storj Labs and was the Director of Human Resources at PrizePicks, the largest independently owned Daily Fantasy Sports platform in North America.

Arym Diamond

Chief Revenue Officer

Arym Diamond joined Arkestro in January 2022 bringing over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software and consultancy industry.  He is responsible for the worldwide go-to-market revenue strategy. Prior to Arkestro, Arym was Chief Revenue Officer at CalAmp focused on Telematics and Logistics. He also served as the area vice president of North American Sales within the Salesforce.com Enterprise Business unit for Einstein Analytics & AI, where analytics and machine learning were re-imagined for the front office.  Prior to that, he spent over 10 years at Oracle in various sales positions. Arym holds an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from California State University.

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