In an interview with CIO Applications, Andrew Rich, Partner & Managing Director of ProMost, shares his insights into the company, the value proposition and the industry-grade solutions the company offers in the procurement landscape.
How has ProMost evolved over the years?
Our platform was originally based on proprietary software hosted on our own servers. As procurement migrated to the cloud over the last years, we re-wrote our entire platform and it is now state of the art software hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). We have also incorporated sophisticated tools that are available as off-the-shelf modules for our clients to “plug and play” into our customizable, flexible and dependable software.
What are the challenges in you see in the procurement landscape?
The internet has become an immensely powerful tool for communication, purchasing, and management functions, but global brand companies still face challenges in having a central brand team that needs to manage and communicate with their end markets across the world. The teams in each country have local expertise and want to apply it independently, so there are still significant issues of establishing efficient communication in both directions, sharing knowledge of best suppliers and prices, and working as a global team to achieve local success. ProMost assists brand manufacturers overcome these hurdles through its e-procurement software.
What kind of companies do you cater to, and how does your platform benefit them?
We cater our solutions to global brand manufacturers who need to manage centrally designed and approved marketing programs that are pushed out through numerous end markets with different languages, currencies, POP requirements, and import rules.
Our platform has a number of customizable modules, all geared towards making each client’s procurement more efficient in multiple ways
Our clients typically set up on-line accounts for each of their buyers and for their brand teams. The website’s granular system tailors each account according to the individual’s location, permissions, and work processes. The buyers only access products from authorized regional suppliers within the spend limits built into their personal profiles, and have their orders automatically routed to their local managers for approval. Buyers also see and learn about what their colleagues are doing in each of their respective end markets. And the brand team sees and manages it all.
How does ProMost stand out in the marketplace?
Our decades of industry experience and our keen insight into how various global brand companies manage their marketing programs is what differentiates us in the e-procurement landscape. Each brand company has a different internal process to create a product, approve the marketing plans, get their end markets to buy into the concept, and collaborate in the ordering and installation of their marketing programs. While our competitors are unable to tailor the workflow to client-specific needs, we analyze the workflows with each client and create a tailor-made website for them. Our platform can modernize and efficiently transform clients’ systems and workflows through their existing channels of communication. The seamless flow of communication, the ability to target what each user sees, and the simple user-friendly setup of each client’s private ProMost website are what set our e-procurement platform apart from the competition.
Can you share a client success story?
One of our early clients, British American Tobacco, studied their global end markets and discovered they had over 500 types of Lucky Strike branded ashtrays of different colors, materials, and shapes, and over 5000 suppliers for all their marketing materials worldwide. Upon moving their marketing program onto our platform, the client was able to reduce the number of approved suppliers to well under 500, with only five approved versions of Lucky Strike ashtrays for their buyers to order. Gradually, we drove the number of approved suppliers down to 70, which resulted in the client achieving reduced unit costs by ordering larger quantities from those selected suppliers. The client also achieved brand consistency and higher quality marketing materials across the world.
What does the future hold for the company?
We focus on regularly meeting with our clients for valuable feedback on how our website is or is not addressing their needs, and then work with them to build tools for their specific processes. We will continue to design and implement client-specific tools that add flexibility and power to our website, and keep our clients saving money and time in their procurement.