Paolo Gamberoni, Chairman and CEO, and Adriano Garibotto, Co-founder and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Creactives SpA, an AI based solution supporting Procurement and Supply Chain digital transformation.
During the conversation, Paolo and Adriano shared their thoughts on changing business models, AI, Ferrari engines, ‘crude oil data’, Creactives’ Alexa dupe and Piedmont red wine.
1. What is Creactives’ mission?
Creactives’ mission is to solve supply chain problems for businesses once and for all using state of the art technology.
The problem companies face is scattered, siloed data. We have to understand existing data by providing a weighted correlative version of the data and be able to maintain quality forever by preventing any possible future error.
“When you use the most advanced technologies you need AI and a better, more orderly version of the data to work with the algorithms.”
It’s not to say that data is unreliable, but it’s like a very powerful engine. Say you have a Ferrari engine, and you’re fiddling with crude oil, you will probably break the engine. So the idea here is that for a powerful application like this to be used on your platform, it needs refined data. So the ‘crude data’ you have in your backend systems is not good enough to fulfil the expected advantages in the implementation of a Source to Pay platform.
2. What have been the most significant decisions in the Creactives journey so far?
It’s been a very tough, long journey, starting with data.
We initially started as a cost reduction consulting company where we used efficient analysis methodology, but our business model was old. Over the last 6/7 years, we have become more specialised with our algorithms. We provide maximum ROI when providing SaaS for our customers, by looking at data and their supply chains using automated technology.
Quite a bit has changed over the last 20 years since we started. In 2015, it was decided that Creactives would focus on artificial intelligence and I think that was indeed a game changer.
We don’t have a back office in a low cost country:
“we are a fully fledged artificial intelligence company that provides services from Italy across the world.”
3. What do you look for in the perfect customer?
“It’s a challenge, but the more complicated, the better, so we can provide value for that customer.”
For example, we have one customer that has production sites across 40 countries covering 9 languages, with over 2.5 million warehouse records – can you understand how complex that is? They expect a high quality solution to help manage their data, so that’s where we help.
We like to provide the light at the end of the tunnel for customers suffering supply chain and data inconsistencies, so they finally have a solution for a problem that has been neglected for a long time.
When we speak about spend analytics, Master Data Management or material Master Data Management, most of the solutions that have a lasting impact in the market are less complex and part of supplier categorisation and direct materials.
4. What are the foundations of a great team?
Creactives’ philosophy remains the same. Our team care about sharing objectives. We cooperate, are passionate about our work and are flexible.
Also, we have a rich skill mix across our team, where they are capable of solving complex issues with different perspectives.
5. As we emerge from COVID what will you be doing differently?
We like to provide flexibility in terms of hybrid working, where we work 3 days a week in the office. Human contact is so important to us – including the coffee room!
We don’t want to go back to old ways, but acknowledge that human interaction is precious. People shouldn’t spend their whole day in front of the computer. Digitalisation is a great enabler of savings and time effectiveness, so we will use the right tools to communicate with customers instead of travelling to meet them in person all the time.
Regarding events, I think it will be difficult for them to go back to what they once were, so we’ll see what hybrid options are like.
6. What is the vision for Creactives in the future?
“We look to focus on improving ESG, compliance, data management, supplier specific needs and our own AI technology as it continues to adapt.”
We look to enhance our business model by integrating partners and then provide AI training to our customers.
Our new Vanessa technology, similar to Amazon’s Alexa, aims to help companies make strategic decisions to optimise costs and provide value in their supply chains. Vanessa collects a lot of knowledge from company data and tells you which category works.
7. How are you doing good for the planet?
“Technology and AI is the way forward to help companies save the planet, whether it be through saving on materials or smarter sourcing, as long as it also provides ROI for them too.”
It’s important to have full visibility of company materials – for some, it means they are scattered around the world, so we want to help them reduce stock levels and efficiently replenish them, as supply chain disruption has an endless impact on operations. Scope 3 emissions are limited for us as we are a small company, nevertheless we have the potential to help clients reduce theirs which is huge.
INSTANT PAOLO AND ADRIANO INSPIRATION
1. What is your favourite book?
It’s a good book to understand how lucky we are as it’s the story of civilisation over the last 15,000 years.
It interested me as a manager, who is an incredible visionary because he wrote it in the 80s and he envisioned everything that is happening today.
2. Who is your favourite inspirational leader?
Elon Musk is quite a character. I like his business style.
From a Sales and Marketing perspective, Steve Jobs inspires me. He helped create and communicate an easy way to use technology which is unparalleled.
3. What is your favourite app or piece of technology?
I’m an old-style guy so I do like newspapers and books, but I can read them on my phone. I was a little sceptical about it 15 years ago, but now I can’t live without it.
I like my iPhone too, although I do still prefer a paperback book!
4. What’s your favourite way to celebrate a success? What is your favourite cocktail?
They are both connected! Wine and food always go together, so “it’s always best celebrating success over a meal with lots of wine”.
It’s very important to me because it’s part of the company culture. We have a lot of opportunities to celebrate this way, share experiences and emotions over a glass of wine and good food.
I live in the Piedmont region where the best wine, like Barolo, comes from! From an Italian perspective, wine is part of the food – there is no vice versa. We can’t conceive that people drink red wine without food.
1. Scattered, siloed data is common and complex which requires the application of leading digital tools to synthesis and convert into an asset
2. ‘Refined’ data increases the performance of your digital ‘engine’
3. Build and maintain full visibility through your supply chain to minimise waste and avoid disruption
4. Imperative to pivot your business model to maximise the use of new technologies like AI
5. Create a diverse team with different skills and perspectives to solve problems
6. Digitalisation is a great enabler – time, costs and motivating your team
7. Technology and AI is the way forward to help companies save the planet
About Creactives SpA
Creactives provides solutions for Procurement and Supply Chain digitization. MMD Cleansing and Governance, Spending Categorization, Real-time Data Assistants, powered by our AI engine, provide a unique combination of Deep Learning, Knowledge Engineering and Crowd Learning that makes possible easy and full AI customization on customer’s data.
Creactives AI solutions are based on proprietary deep learning algorithms to provide: 1. Knowledge Engineering Cloud Platform: Tool to train AI engine- to automatically categorize, transform, and enrich unstructured information into high quality, granular, and structured information. 2. TSV8: Real-time procurement insights and analytics. 3. TAM4: Global inventory optimization and governance. 4. Data Assistants: Procurement process automation
Our industry is moving forward faster and faster, empowered by innovative, progressive digital procurement solutions created and led by inspiring teams. ProcureTechSTARS are the digital procurement company CEOs and Founders that are leading the change, they are entrepreneurs, engineers and architects collaborating to transform procurement and the enterprise. In an open conversation with these leaders Lance Younger will be discussing the highs and lows of building the future now, the challenges they’ve faced, their perspective on accelerators and hot topics, and what keeps getting them up in the morning (and keeps them up at night).