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Scout is an analyst-recognized, customer-recommended leader in SaaS strategic e-sourcing. Scout’s sourcing and supplier engagement platform helps companies build and execute full-scale sourcing events, including reverse auctions. Scout’s intuitive platform provides end-to-end visibility and automation for sourcing projects, pipeline management, reverse auctions, and contract management.
“Scout makes sourcing incredibly easy, collaborative, and powerful — from initial stakeholder request through successful implementation and supplier engagement,” says Stan Garber, President of Scout. The following conversation with Stan Garber highlights how Scout dramatically changes and adds value to sourcing, procurement, and auctions.
Please shed some light on the background of Scout.
We came up with the idea for Scout when building a different company, ONOSYS, which introduced online ordering to the food chain industry. When we built ONOSYS, we went through many buying cycles, managed through email and Excel. Occasionally, we used sophisticated tools, but they had complex, cumbersome user interfaces.
We wanted to investigate if other businesses experienced the same problems, so we interviewed over 200 procurement experts to understand what they used for sourcing and challenges they faced with the current set of tools. The results were astounding. Despite all the business processes that technology has transformed across the enterprise, there was no single solution that made sourcing simpler, smarter, and streamlined. As a team, we decided to change that. Based on feedback from hundreds of interviews and our own experiences, we started building a sourcing solution with a simple user interface to make sourcing incredibly easy, collaborative, and powerful. Scout was born.
Scout RFP has award-winning Reverse Auction software, could you please elaborate on the full suite of tools that Scout offers?
Scout offers a comprehensive sourcing and supplier engagement platform. It supports sourcing, establishing and managing a pipeline, project management, contract management, supplier performance management, reverse auctions, reporting, and more, but we didn’t start off with a full suite.
When we launched Scout in 2014, it supported only simple RFP and auctioning processes. We wanted to ensure it was intuitive enough that users didn’t need training before using it. Our goal was to simplify the user experience for managing the complex process of conducting reverse auctions, which usually has millions of dollars at stake.
The Scout team took a step back and considered how we collaborate and use software internally as a workbench to getting our daily jobs done. We thought about how those functionalities would look from a sourcing perspective and soon launched Scout Pipeline and Scout Intake, which became akin to CRM planning tool for sourcing. In addition to Pipeline and Intake, we have added features like contract and supplier performance management so customers, stakeholders, and the business can glide from idea to contract to supplier interactions all within the simplicity and power of Scout. Sourcing collaboration has never been easier.
Please share a customer success story with us.
From efficiency improvements to savings to digital transformation, our customers are reporting stellar results with Scout. One example of time-to-value is a 40-person sourcing organization that was using legacy software, including SharePoint, email, and spreadsheets to run sourcing events. In just over a month, they completely transitioned to Scout and now save time and money.
This speed is a fairly common theme with Scout implementations. For several customers this year, we’ve moved over their entire organization from legacy piecemeal solutions to our enterprise-grade software in just 30 days.
Another commonly reported result with Scout is savings. We have had companies like Intuit share amazing successes. They ran reverse auctions for telecommunications and bandwidth utilization and saved tremendous amounts of money using Scout’s platform.
What are Scout’s plans in 2019 and the future? Please give us a roadmap.
We have several exciting innovations planned. We kicked off 2019 by releasing Scout Dynamic Negotiations and Analytics earlier this year and will continue to refine and develop additional capabilities, like optimization, within this product.
Dynamic Negotiations and Analytics, Scout’s most recent release, is a new way to do fact-based negotiation with data from suppliers. Users can collect information about the bid and compare it to historical reference points. When the data comes back, users can quickly run custom scenarios, specifying dollars, time, or another variable, and give unique custom feedback loops to suppliers. What is exciting is that users can easily conduct multiple rounds of negotiation, controlling all variables in a dynamic way.
Scout makes sourcing incredibly easy, collaborative, and powerful — from the initial stakeholder request through to successful implementation and supplier engagement
Are there new markets that you’re looking to explore or new expansion plans?
We are always thinking about how we can bring Scout to more procurement teams and alleviate pains and address new challenges. We have over 200 customers in North America and have expanded over the past two years into EMEA and Australasia, servicing customers like: ResMed, Aristocrat, easyJet, Unitywater, Lanxess, Colas, Megaport, Ready Pac Foods, and more.
We are present in 117 different countries with over 200,000 Scout users. We continue to add customers, including Fortune 1000 companies as we expand our global presence even more while evolving our solutions along our three core values: high adoption, time to value, and enjoyable experience.