Scoutbee, the supplier discovery platform, has rolled out a new free tool for organisations helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic and who are in need of critical supplies.
Targeting NGOs, public bodies, local and national governments and healthcare providers, the platform does real-time analysis of terabytes of global supply chain data to significantly speed up the “request for proposal” (RFP) process.
The idea is to help organizations find suppliers 75% faster for critically needed medical equipment and supplies, such as surgical masks, hazmat suits, swabs and tubes, hand sanitizers etc.
Scoutbee is able to do this because it has essentially mapped out the world’s global manufacturing supply chain, and claims that its AI-powered procurement solution understands capacity as it expands and contracts across different geographical locations and for different kinds of products.
“When coronavirus began to cause pharma and medical supply shortages, we knew we should help,” says Gregor Stűhler, co-founder and managing director of Scoutbee, revealing that the team were able to build a simple tool in only 48 hours.
“The problem many NGOs face right now is that the peak demand is concentrated on a handful of suppliers that can be found on Google. We work to spread the demand broadly to help ease the situation. AI can really help in such a crisis. Traditional procurement methods are not transparent and awfully slow. The search and validation for a supplier would often take two or three weeks. The COVID-19 crisis makes it clear how vulnerable the old system is when time is pressing”.
Since rolling out the tool, Stűhler says Scoutbee has already seen the impact it is having by enabling users to target the right suppliers at speed.
“For example, in a number of latest sourcing cases we can see that Chinese suppliers are now having capacity again and can readily deliver. On the same cases, we observe that more Indian suppliers are becoming unavailable. During the crisis, we have been able to facilitate the demand for several thousand breathing masks, protective suits and gloves, which were requested from us, within 48 hours”.