Giacomo Franchini, CEO and Founder of SupplHi, the Vendor Management SaaS for industrial B2B equipment and services.
During the conversation, Giacomo shared his thoughts on being value chain driven, supplier digital passports, creating a culture for success, using primary rather than secondary data, SAP.iO, polar explorers and … sparkling wine!
1. What’s SupplHi’s mission?
SupplHi is a vendor management SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for industrial B2B equipment and services.
We help buyer organisations of all sizes manage their vendor base in an efficient and compliant way at a global level. Through SupplHi, buyers have access to a single and modular system where they can perform a great number of activities, such as scouting for new suppliers, qualification and evaluation processes, measurements of ESG and operational performances, as well as monitoring all risks related to their vendor base. Our USP is that SupplHi is built on an industry network where we take care of the cost of quality assurance and update supplier information for all players on the network.
We easily integrate with external providers so we can save time and money in the range of 40% of savings for internal activities and processes, where we provide 180% more information. SupplHi is easy to adopt because the entire registration and qualification process is fully free of charge for suppliers. SupplHi provides high configurability on critical processes that require efficiency and compliance.
2. What have been the most significant decisions, milestones and innovations in the SupplHi journey so far?
I’d say the decision to focus on SupplHi being value chain driven, which is essential for our strategy and it’s how we reach so many suppliers… over 67,000 of them in 110 countries across 2,600 categories of industrial equipment and services. This has been the vision and strategy since the beginning of SupplHi.
Another major milestone has been our strategic partnership with Lloyd’s Register in 2017, an independent third party and authority that provided funding and additional expertise for us.
Finally, we joined SAP.iO, which is a programme dedicated to start-ups focused on sustainability. It’s proof of our ability to partner up and collaborate with established players to create more value for our customers.
In terms of our ESG solutions, we are fortunate to work in an industry where we can have a profound impact… industrial B2Bs are responsible for 30% of the world’s GDP and more than 20% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
“Sustainability has been recognised as a global imperative for companies.”
We measure the ESG performance of suppliers by using a model we created a few years ago when we only had about 15 large customers. It is something that we have created for the industry, with the industry. It provides risk monitoring on very critical social, environmental and governance issues.
Two years ago, we started investing in carbon emission measurements at the supply chain level. The challenge was to move from the so called ‘secondary data’ to supplier-specific primary data, which is the only way to actually commit the supply chain in reducing their GHG emissions. It’s a very industry-driven approach that goes down to manufacturing processes and plant-specific emissions.
3. What do you look for in the perfect customer?
At SupplHi, it’s important for us to consider the complexity of the supply chain our customers manage. The best ones are those with the several thousands of suppliers spread globally. We help to manage complexity for our average customers with 15,000 to 20,000 suppliers, but we also have some with 45,000 to 50,000. We match willingness to drive efficiency in their supply chain, so that’s a critical point. Our comfort zone lies between $3-15 billion in revenue in our customers, but we have also hosted smaller customers on our platform with $50million revenues, so we are very flexible and inclusive.
4. What are the foundations of a great team?
We keep discussing this internally, because we care about sharing values… that’s a value itself.
The three main assets for our team:
- Culture for success: a concept that we are crafting and that focuses on the “success of others”.
- Passion: sharing passion and customer drive. These link to sustainability-related topics, create further commitment amongst the SupplHi
- Trust: to share trust with our customers.
5. As we emerge from COVID what will you be doing differently?
There are two main areas.
We are becoming a fluid organization and customers are becoming more open to collaborate and work with us remotely from the set-up phase onto the SupplHi platform.
“We have customers spread around the world and haven’t had any issues. We are happy to cut travel time and pollution, because this also helps us being more environmentally aware and sustainable.”
Another thing is that in Europe, for example, the COVID recovery plan requires large infrastructural investment, so we want to help and support sustainable measures. We want to work with customers to evaluate and measure their sustainability so we can link it to better processes within procurement.
6. What is the vision for SupplHi for the future and what will be most important to achieve it?
We need to be vertical and know our industry well.
“We want to be supply chain specific and aim to be a digital passport for any supplier that operates with complex supply chains. It is a great opportunity because any vendor is also a buyer of some supplies, and our solution is very inclusive and accessible to smaller companies, so we can help to provide full traceability for smaller players as well.”
To make this happen, we need to keep onboarding time to a minimum and easily integrate with existing solutions and applications, particularly for smaller businesses. We already operate within industries at a national and global level so we will be a driver for adoption within smaller companies as well.
Beyond SAP.iO, we’ve also integrated with the typical data providers for financial and compliance data on suppliers. Where there is more additional value, like ERP, we aim to leverage this within supply chains in the future to provide better visibility, make better decisions and help with the tendering and award process.
Then obviously AI is big business intelligence… it’s an easy one to deliver. We are already well integrated and want to be the digital backbone of a supplier base upstream compared to all these other well-established tools like P2P.
7. How are you doing good for the planet?
“We love and we trust data.”
We use data to support industrial decision regarding the environment. We fulfil our ESG requirements by using primary data that is punctual and more quantitative to help make better decisions at a company level, and not just in response to policy making.
INSTANT GIACOMO INSPIRATION
1. What is your favourite book or blog and why?
South! by Ernest Shackleton. It’s a book by the British explorer on his real-life experience of trekking to the South Pole which didn’t go too well, yet he and his team pulled through the harsh conditions thanks to his leadership approach, a lot of planning and resilience.
2. Who is your favourite inspirational leader and why?
Apart from Ernest Shackleton, I like entrepreneurs, so I’d say Adriano Olivetti, who was the son of the founder of Olivetti typewriters and an Italian entrepreneur in his own right. He lived in the precursor era of computers, and he was invested in the concept of social welfare, where he invested in culture, work culture, and the belief that profit should be reinvested to benefit the whole society.
3. What is your favourite app or piece of technology?
I like simple, easy to use democratic tools that are very accessible. I don’t have a particular favourite as I like many pieces of technology, but I like Dyson. They recognised a problem, invest billions in R&D and have over 4,000 engineers. I like that they offer a combination of hardware and software for the market, even if it is premium.
4. What is your favourite cocktail?
I mainly drink wines. A very good friend of mine is a wine producer and we are trying to trace and measure the sustainability of his sparkling wine.
5. What’s your favourite way to celebrate a success?
Even if operating in a digital world, we like to make our achievements physically visible, for example by showing our ISO certifications at the entrance of our office. During SupplHi‘s journey over the last six years, we understood celebrations are important. At the beginning when our team was smaller, we used to buy a Lego set in line with the customer business just acquired and building it all together. Now as we are bigger, we have dedicated teambuilding events, for the last one we went to the Alps.
1. Create a platform that is easy to integrate and inclusive.
2. Choose a clear focus for your business – be value chain driven.
3. Collaborate with customers to extract more value from your offering.
4. Create a culture that celebrates the success of others.
5. Trust yourselves, your team and your customers.
6. Keep onboarding time to a minimum for your customer’s benefit and yours.
7. Love and trust the data! Use it to make better ESG decisions.
SupplHi is the Vendor Management SaaS for industrial B2B equipment and services, chosen by the most demanding buyer organizations of all sizes to manage their vendor base efficiently and compliantly, at a global level. Buyers have access to a single system to scout, qualify, evaluate, measure performances – on delivery, ESG sustainability, compliance, financial and cybersecurity aspects – and monitor the related risks on Vendors of all sizes, globally.
SupplHi increases transparency, efficiency, compliance and opportunities while reducing costs for all, on a global level.
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