tealbook – The Global Launch

How Old School is Your Supplier Tool?

This isn’t a database that only gives you contract, spend data and diversity reporting on internal suppliers. It’s more than just a consolidated and enhanced external supplier search tool. tealbook is an intuitive platform, enhanced with AI that adapts to the ever changing market. Therefore, I’m proud to be the first to implement the platform company wide.

What is tealbook you may ask… well it’s LinkedIn for Suppliers

Existing Supplier Database: Vendor Master, Spend and Contract data – All in one system. Enhanced with external supplier data.

Supplier Discovery: Easy as using Google

Supplier Prequalification: RFI capabilities (VETS)

Supplier Diversity: Confirmed status and diversity spend reporting

Company Information: Global presence, size, parent/child information, capability decks, etc.

LinkedIn functionality: supplier profiles, tagging and similar supplier search

Yelp like Reviews: Industry specific reviews from peers

Communication Channels: Social media feeds and internal buyer/supplier messaging

Concierge Services: Someone at tealbook does the legwork

But what can it be used it for? Here’s a couple examples of how it has saved me days worth of work and provided me with in-depth insight around internal/external suppliers. It’s also saved me budget dollars (that I really didn’t have much to begin with) in market research.

(1) I needed a marketing agency. Proficient in social influencer programs/marketing. Experience in pharma./biotechs that are in the ultra rare disease state experience – more specifically genetic epilepsy in children. In a market with less than 1,000 patients. tealbook helped me find a few. And it only took a couple of days.

(2) I was asked who are internal translation providers were. In less than 5 minutes, I was able to go ONLY to tealbook and identify them (along with capability decks), approximate spend for each, gained contract information if they were still active and contacts for each to send out.

(3) I transitioned from being a Category Manager with a narrow focus (agencies, professional services, fleet support) to one that supported the entire Sales & Marketing team Globally. Whenever a business partner had a question about a new category I wasn’t familiar with, I still could provide strategic insight into suppliers in the space that peers had used without ever picking up the phone. And with a budget of $0 for market research.

The Global Roll-out

As with most IT software tools or platforms, we used a phased approach. Which included the initial implementation, pilot phase and final company wide roll out. I’ve provided a quick overview on what I accomplished in each phase.

Phase 1 – The very first action was to upload supplier / vendor master data. I gathered a download of all our current suppliers from our internal IT group, assessed each supplier’s relevance, reviewed with our internal GSS team and submitted to tealbook. Once this was finalized, we had a “go-live” date where all the suppliers that were added and emailed to sign up and manage their profiles. We then had training with our internal Indirect and Direct Sourcing teams.

Phase 2 – Enhance data and form pilot groups to solicit feedback on the system and training session. Reviewed data with the internal team including: tags and categorization of our top suppliers, connecting to companies/staff using our business card rolodex from previous/current position, uploaded contract information and reviewed data accuracy.

Phase 3 – Global/Company-Wide tealbook implementation including in-person and remote training (over multiple days and sites). Corporate communications was involved in disseminating the message. There were multiple reviews and executive management approvals. Not to mention having to learn and leverage our internal training system for set-up and attendee communication pre and post meeting.

Now, this was not the original company strategy we had for implementing tealbook. But as tealbook transformed and evolved – so did our strategy. Management saw the expanding value, ease of use and wanted everyone to have access. It was just too good not to share. We all agreed that it warranted the global roll-out of 2018.

How well did it go? Well it was a company wide optional training, and we achieved a 10% company wide sign up and 68% attendance rate. And if you remove the people who gave feedback, but didn’t feel using tealbook was part of their jobs, 72% of the remaining people were very likely/likely to use tealbook in the future. So I’d say it went pretty well!

What really made all of this work, were the people behind the platform. tealbook may be a small company, but every single person I have worked with, have gone out of their way to help us in any way we needed it. Not to mention, it’s always refreshing to see a business partner listen to your feedback AND actually use it to improve their product. So cheers to my favorite Canadians!

If you want to know more, go to tealbook.com to find out how you can bring your AI into your supplier tool. Or open the document below for a quick look!


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