Partnership Perspective: Changemakers

Dive into the dynamic world of supply chain management with an exclusive interview by Tradeshift with our CEO Rob van Ipenburg. In this illuminating discussion, discover how these industry leaders are revolutionizing supply chain operations as changemakers through their strategic partnerships.

What does Quyntess do? 

Quyntess helps companies simplify collaboration with their external business partners. We all live in a world where we have our own systems and processes. And so do our business partners. Left unchecked you risk multiplying complexity with each new relationship. We help you simplify and manage relationships at scale through a centralised network.

What sparked the idea to create the company?

Our idea to start Quyntess came from our experience in the supply chain planning and advanced planning/scheduling space. We noticed that customers were losing out on most of the savings due to execution issues in the supply chain when they executed their plans. This frustration led us to start the company.

We also observed that companies were struggling with accommodating different methods of dealing with their outside partners, which we called 'externally induced waste.' We realized that we could help eliminate a lot of that waste by providing them with a centralized means of collaborating with the outside world.

What type of business do you generally tend to work with?

We typically work with large-scale manufacturing companies that have multiple factories in multiple countries with hundreds, if not thousands, of suppliers. These organizations often have a very diverse IT landscape, including multiple ERP systems and numerous warehouse management systems. It is our job to help simplify collaboration across that ecosystem. 

Why did it make sense for Quyntess to build applications on Tradeshift?

When we started Quyntess, we designed the solution around a portal concept, which meant effectively designing around a single enterprise customer. This created some challenges, particularly when it came to engaging the so-called 'long-tail' of suppliers. Moving Quyntess onto the Tradeshift platform and leveraging the Tradeshift network has allowed us to greatly increase the speed and depth of supplier onboarding we undertake for customers.

We are also excited about the potential stemming from the partnership between Tradeshift and HSBC. Looking beyond the horizon, there is a real opportunity to eliminate the friction around paying and getting paid by enabling payment services provision through the Tradeshift platform.

How conscious are businesses of the issues that Quyntess addresses through its solutions?

Businesses are aware of the challenges they face when it comes to collaborating with their supply chain partners. However, they have been struggling with these issues for such a long time now that many simply take it as a law of nature that this cannot be changed. 
Many have also been left feeling burned by failed EDI integration projects, or by poor onboarding rates onto supplier portals. It takes them time to fully understand the value proposition of a network and platform proposition as a way to solve this issue for good. 
Finally, some businesses may feel that being transparent on these issues would be too much like hanging their dirty laundry out to dry.

What risks do businesses open themselves up to by failing to tackle these issues head-on?

The risk comes in the form of disruption to supply chain operations. This can range from sales orders being delivered late, a last-minute scramble to find transport for goods, and a lot of ad-hoc firefighting just to keep things moving. 
Businesses will often try to hedge their risk by increasing lead times or inventory levels. However, higher interest rates mean this strategy has become increasingly costly. Additionally, businesses run the risk of obsolescence.

Volatility has been a major issue in supply chains over the past couple of years. Is that still the case today?

During the pandemic, we saw change orders tracking at around three times the typical level. Though it has come down since then, the level of volatility has not yet normalized. Currently, around 10% of order lines have buyer-led changes, and 30% have seller-led changes. Our customers do not see these levels coming down much further any time soon.
Typically, the solutions businesses have in place to deal with volatility require a lot of manual labour, which is not scalable. One of the key advantages businesses get with the network effect on Tradeshift is that they can cover the entirety of their supply chain, rather than just the 20% of strategic suppliers, which is generally the ceiling in most alternative settings.

Where do factors such as cost-saving and efficiency gains feature in your conversations with customers?

Customers will often start by looking at potential efficiency gains and administrative savings, which are fairly well-documented and predictable. Together with the Tradeshift platform, we can give customers reassurance of a return on their investments in between six and nine months.  
The value proposition goes much deeper into more qualitative aspects of the procure-to-pay process, however. These measures include areas such as increased customer satisfaction and retention, or the reduction of the number of quality claims for example. These can be quite sensitive issues and so rarely appear in the initial solution business case, but feature quite regularly in continuous improvement cycles once the solution is up and running. 

One word that keeps coming up in our conversation is ‘change.’ Help me understand what you mean by this.

The basic changes we look at are fluctuations at the order line level. Those changes typically come in three flavours, dates, quantities and prices. Around 10% of changes originate from the buyer. On average, suppliers will actively respond to around 30% of these change requests. The other 70%, they just ignore them. So if you require a different date from a supplier, you’re going to be flying blind a little under three times out of four. 
We also regularly see businesses working off pricing data that’s out of date. That can cause real havoc and a ton of extra work when as an invoice comes in with a price you weren’t expecting.  

What kind of journey do you typically see businesses go on with Quyntess?

To respond to changing circumstances, businesses follow the "crawl, walk, run" principle. In the crawl phase, they gain visibility over changes and unexpected events happening within their supply chain. 
In the walk phase, they investigate and prevent disruptions from happening again. That might mean looking at how to reengage suppliers, or it could be an issue in the master data that’s causing problems. From here you can begin to really improve the process and make them more robust.
In the run phase, they use what they have learned to differentiate themselves from competitors.

How do you see your proposition continuing to evolve in the future? What’s getting you excited?

We have access to a large data set that contains millions of historical exceptions. What's more, we possess knowledge of whether the decisions were successful because we also know their outcomes. We are exploring how AI can help individuals dealing with these exceptions to make real-time decisions. We believe that AI has the potential to automate about 90% of these decisions, making them more efficient and accurate.


From leveraging cutting-edge technologies to fostering a culture of innovation, this interview unveils the behind-the-scenes journey of two changemakers, poised to redefine the future of supply chain management.


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