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As consumers, we often struggle to find the things we need to make our lives go. Those size 4.5 AA shoes. The replacement belt for the vacuum purchased 20 years ago. Likewise, businesses are frequently challenged to match a unique demand to the right supplier. San Francisco-based startup Koozoo recently found itself in just this position. Koozoo is building the world’s first crowd-sourced network of continuously broadcasting smartphone video cameras, making it easy for anyone to share fun and informative views of the public spaces they see outside their window. To help their growing community of broadcasters set up their video feeds, Koozoo needed custom-made window mount solutions, and wasn’t sure where to look.
“We didn’t have an existing supplier database,” recalls Ian Thomson, the company’s head of business development. “And we needed to identify reliable, flexible partners who would understand that we’re a small startup that needs to prove a concept before we can make a large order.”
The company tapped into a number of online channels to find them. “We tried Alibaba, but were frustrated by the responses we got from suppliers who clearly didn’t understand our requirements,” Thomson said. “We tried Google Search, but found it laborious and ineffective to contact each individually through their websites. And we had no luck on sites like eBay or Amazon.”
As Koozoo illustrates, there are plenty of tools out there that buying organizations can use to find new trading partners. But figuring out whether these suppliers can meet their needs can be a battle. “The key is to connect to an intelligent network that can deliver detailed information on its members and their activities along with community-generated feedback and recommendations,” says Tim Minahan, Senior Vice President, Network Strategy, Ariba.
And this is exactly what Thomson did when he plugged in to
Ariba® Discovery™, the premier service for matching business buyers and sellers offered by
Ariba, an SAP Company and the world’s business commerce network. Delivered via the
Ariba® Network, Ariba Discovery simplifies the process of discovering qualified partners for even the most complex and unique items by instantly matching buyer requirements to supplier capabilities and delivering a powerful set of cloud-based tools that enable buying organizations to:
Evaluate profiles and unique qualifying information for nearly one million selling organizations worldwide
Access community-based references and ratings to judge seller capabilities and performance
Gain visibility into e-commerce capabilities and performance with other buying organizations to determine experience level and fit
Track minority and women-owned business status and green certifications to support corporate diversity and social responsibility initiatives
Using Ariba Discovery, Koozoo created six Requests for Proposal for various iPhone, and Android devices as well as custom-made mobile device mount solutions. Within a few days the company received about 10 bids on each, and found five new suppliers, including one who was able to deliver a custom-made solution within a tight timeframe allowing Koozoo to launch on time and lower its cost-per-unit from $17 to less than $1.