Back in 2001 while working at a mid-sized corporation, the company came under tremendous pressure to reduce costs. Besides the usual remedy of reducing workforce, which included my (Matt Miller's) procurement team, executive leadership ordered us to find more savings - fast.
The entire corporate spend was now ours to influence, and aggressive savings goals were established. My team received triple the work with fewer team members to execute. Executives assured us missed goals would result in further layoffs.
With a stress inducing workload and intense executive pressure, all of us in procurement were losing sleep. Anyone could see something needed to change. The company wouldn't budge from the hiring freeze policy, so we found another way.
The largest impact on savings was through executing sourcing events. To meet the cost reduction objective and maintain our sanity, we needed to improve the outcomes and efficiency of the sourcing event process. To do so, we sought approval to purchase an eRFx and reverse auction solution. The business case was presented to executives, who surprisingly easily funded a proof of concept.
The proof of concept was enough of a success to completely fund the program for several years. Concerns about supplier performance post review never materialized.
Over the next 2 years, despite flat sales, the company's earnings and stock price increased, and we in procurement felt like heroes.
But it wasn't easy. Though better than email and spreadsheets, the tools weren't living up to the productivity improvements we expected. Set-ups could be complex, and support just didn't understand our procurement team's category related questions. User adoption was difficult and frustrating.
Supplier engagement also was a large challenge. Suppliers complained about registering, having to sign legal documents, and having to install software. Our ears burned as we fielded complaints about the application provider's poor support and attitude. Despite these challenges, as compared to our original process of using emails and spreadsheets, we couldn't argue that the event savings were greater and realized in half the time.
There was so much more potential, if only we could find an easier to use, better supported solution. We couldn't.
Frustrated with existing solutions, in 2003, Matt Miller founded K2 Sourcing, Inc. The mission was simply stated as, "To create the fastest, easiest, and most transparent method for buyers to screen and select suppliers, thus ensuring buyers get the best deals possible; reducing total cost, avoiding increases, and mitigating supply risk, while improving buyer morale and procurement's standing in the organization."
We began by programming a system where sourcing events were easy and fast to set-up and manage, and had great analytics. We then made the eRFx and reverse auction platform incredibly easy to access and learn for suppliers. We further structured K2 Sourcing in a manner that would create a culture of service unlike any other technology company in the market. More about this can be found in the core values below.
We then sold subscriptions to the eRFx and reverse auction sourcing platform to well-known large and mid-sized businesses who were looking to exceed cost reduction targets, avoid cost increases, and mitigate supply risk.
Over the years, K2 Sourcing has helped many procurement leaders: exceed savings targets, create more resilient supply chains, and improve team morale. Due to their feedback, K2 Sourcing went on to receive awards for innovative solutions from the Supply and Demand Chain Executive and for outstanding service from Gartner, the leader in procurement technology research.
When your goals include securing the maximum value from suppliers, generating cost reduction, mitigating supply risk, and developing a high-performance team, it makes sense to speak with K2 Sourcing.
Today we continue to take advantage of advances in the Internet to execute the K2 Sourcing Mission, "To create the fastest, easiest, and most transparent, method for buyers to screen and select suppliers, thus ensuring buyers get the best deals possible; reducing total cost, avoiding increases, mitigating supply risk, while improving buyer morale and procurement's standing in the organization." K2 Sourcing continues to focus on providing the best eRFx reverse auction, and sourcing automation platform and support in the market and continues to offer sourcing services to help leaders execute plans more effectively. In our quest to achieve perfection, we live by these core values:
Listen to clients and find ways to make the sourcing platform faster, easier, and more automated, and to improve client services.
Our account managers and support provide superior support through superior knowledge of procurement and continuous training.
Expertise is not enough; patience and kindness are crucial to building engagement & are critical character traits of K2 Sourcing employees.
Speak with data and speak the truth. Celebrate the victories and fix issues fast.
Client's suppliers are important partners and deserve the same patience and respect provided to clients.
Be the best and the most agile - not the biggest.
Quick response, excellent attention to details, and a much better supplier outreach program.
With K2 Sourcing’s experience and industry-leading customer focused processes, every sourcing initiative is guaranteed to succeed.
Easiest negotiation the team has seen.
They (K2) have perfected the process
Never expected the savings to be so great.