Startup of the month: SupplHi

Every month we interview a European Supply Chain Management startup to shed some light on its business, provide a platform for visibility and overall support the European Supply Chain Management startup ecosystem. This time we interviewed Giacomo Franchini, Founder of SupplHi, a best of breed Vendor Management platform developed for the global market of B2B industrial equipment and services, headquartered in Milan, Italy.

Prequel Insights
Supply Chain Visibility

Company Base Data

Company Name: SupplHi

No. of Employees: 15-20

Headquarter: Milan, Italy

Funding: >2m EUR

Operating Markets: global

Founders: Giacomo Franchini


Reference Customers: 70,000+ Vendors; Maire Tecnimont, Saipem, Fincantieri, Bonatti

E-Mail Contact:

Hi Giacomo, pleasure to have this interview today with you and to learn more about SupplHi. First of all, can you gve us a brief description of SupplHi?

SupplHi is an innovative Vendor Management SaaS developed for the $900/year global market of B2B industrial equipment and services. It is a best-of-breed solution with three ISO certifications, chosen by the most demanding buyer organizations of all sizes to manage their vendor base efficiently and compliantly, across the globe.

SupplHi is a multi-tenant and industry-shared modular platform where vendors register for free, and buyers can access one single system to scout, qualify, and evaluate suppliers, as well as to measure ESG and operational performances, and monitor vendor-related risks. Vendors, currently 70,000 from 110 geographies, increase their sales opportunities with the right clients, thanks to a mechanism of qualified visibility, and can undertake the qualification processes through a single and easy-to-use system.

How did that start? When did you come up with the idea for SupplHi?

After a 7-year tenure at Bain & Company, I had been exposed to a unique and deep overview of customer needs on Supplier Management, which is what inspired me to create SupplHi. I had noticed how many of the buyer organizations I worked with shared the same problems and difficulties, yet every customer was sort of “re-inventing the wheel”, as there existed no common solution or expertise that could save them time, money, and internal resources.

In 2015, I founded SupplHi as an unconventional approach to a very traditional problem: through our digital platform, SupplHi combines the efficiency and compliance levels necessary to manage a complex supplier base, while at the same time allowing real-time monitoring of vendors-related risks and stimulating improvement actions on behalf of the vendors.

Nice, can you tell us a little bit more about the people behind SupplHi?

The SupplHi Team is highly focused and motivated, pairing expertise and passion for industrial supplies with cutting-edge SaaS technology. The young, dynamic, and multinational Team – speaking 8 languages – is a flat organization.

As Founder of SupplHi, I have always worked to build an environment where people can thrive and expand their horizons. Together with the Senior resources of the team, CTO Gabriele Muscas in particular, we build SupplHi around the three main assets: a culture of success focused on the “success of others”; sharing passion and customer drive, sharing trust with our customers.

Together with board members Mrs. Donatella Taurasi (expert in Data & Analytics Strategy and Professor at Berkeley – California) and Mr. Nial McCollam (CTO at Lloyd’s Register), we aim to become the B2B industry-standard Supplier Management digital platform.

That sounds indeed like a great environment! Back to your customers: how would you describe the problem you’re solving for them?

The most relevant pain points in Supplier Management tend to be efficiency losses and compliance risks, because, in the industrial B2B sector, averagely more than 50% of a company’s revenues are dedicated to the purchasing of goods and services, and supply chains are often long, fragmented and composed primarily of SMEs. Buyers need constantly updated information on Suppliers and because it is not public, they must collect it from Suppliers through expiring and individual questionnaires, which leads to time and resource waste as well as compliance risks.

SupplHi is a one-stop solution covering all Vendor Management needs, including scouting, qualification, performance evaluation, ESG performance monitoring, and Scope 3 GHG emissions estimates.

How do you differentiate in that points from your competitors? How would you describe SupplHi’s USP?

In addition to facilitating all Vendor Management processes, SupplHi validates and assures the quality of the information provided by Suppliers through industry-specific questionnaires, allowing savings in terms of money, time, and resources to both buyer and vendor organizations.

Throughout the years of utilization of the platform, there have emerged five distinctive elements of SupplHi as being the most appreciated by our Customers:

1. the technical depth and focus on Vendor Management;

2. the industry-specificity, already contemplating, through several configurations, all the industry needs and reducing time for setup;

3. the freshness, coupled with constant product enrichment and with the ability to anticipate the industry needs (e.g., ESG Sustainability, Scope 3 GHG emissions);

4. the industry-shared network of Buyers and Vendors, reducing time to Vendor onboarding and increasing depth of information;

5. the easiness of integrability with other systems and the strong cyber-security practices already in place.

What would you say is your ideal customer?

The ideal target customer for SupplHi SaaS is a Buyer organization with a turnover of over €1 billion, that is distinctively active in the Construction, Energy, Shipbuilding, Renewables, Steel, and adjacent industries, with a large and fragmented Vendor base of thousands of Vendors.

As of today, some of our main customers are major international contractors in the industrial B2B sectors: Bonatti, Fincantieri, Maire Tecnimont, Saipem

Let’s stay here for a little while. In terms of technical integration: what’s the infrastructure you’re typically working with on a client’s side? Is there anything necessary or on the other hand complicated for you in terms of integration?

When creating SupplHi, we wanted it to offer 360° Vendor Profiles that would be as comprehensive as possible, and, of course, respected the pillars of our work: efficiency and compliance.

Therefore, we always gave great importance to technical integrations. Our Customers have integrated SupplHi with different ERP / P2P / Bidding / Contract Management / Supplier Risk Management / Ticketing systems, as well as with external data providers (financial, cybersecurity ratings, …), to collect all data related to vendors in one single place.

SupplHi provides Customers with a set of standard APIs for integration to improve the synergy with other systems and reduce process complexity. For larger organizations, SupplHi can also act as Vendor Master Data and the single source of truth with Vendor Golden Records, across multiple systems.

One topic we’ve been working  lot on in the last weeks is Supply Chain Transparency/Visibility and Sustainability. Therefore, what benefits can a vendor management solution like yours provide your customers, in order to achieve their Sustainability goals?

The international pull for more sustainable supply chains is increasing both from the financial and the regulatory systems, as shown by the recently approved German Act on Corporate Due Diligence in Supply Chain (LkSG).

Operating on B2B verticals with buyer organizations sharing the same needs and willingness to drive sustainability across their supplier base, SupplHi is an innovative industry-specific solution for monitoring the ESG performances of a supply chain, with a special focus on GHG emissions.

Once registered on the platform, vendors are incented to share as much information as they can, as these data are given once, for all players. With a proprietary ESG-risk-assessment approach specific for the category of industrial supply, SupplHi creates apples-to-apples comparisons of suppliers. Thus, buyers can assess the ESG sustainability levels of their supplier base and recommend improvement initiatives, while Vendors, who no longer have to provide the same information repeatedly, assess (for free) their sustainability level and obtain suggestions on improvement actions.

Almost sorry for asking because I guess you get asked that a lot these days, but how did the pandemic impact your business and the way your customers managed their vendors and sourced new ones and in general and specifically the development of SupplHi?

Because we are a SaaS and all our assets are virtual, we were among the lucky ones not to be too strongly impacted by the pandemic, and we used the time to become an even more fluid organization.

Our customers, spread globally, are open to collaborating and working with us remotely directly from the set-up phase and we haven’t had any issues. Moreover, we could also cut travel time and pollution, becoming more environmentally aware and sustainable.

Another thing is that in Europe, for example, the COVID recovery plan requires large infrastructural investments, and we want to support sustainable measures. We want to work with customers to evaluate and measure their sustainability, so we can link it to better processes within procurement.

Thans for sharing all these insights. It seems SupplHi is extremely well positioned for the future. Are there any other recent news you’d like to share?

A few of our latest achievements and recognitions. In November 2021, Spend Matters, a leading US-based solution intelligence source focused on procurement and supply chain, published its 2021 Fall edition of the SolutionMap, and SupplHi positioned extremely well across all Personas, ranking among the best Value Leaders in the “Supplier Relationship Management and Risk” (SXM) category. In September 2021, SupplHi was selected for SAP.iO Foundry Sustainability in Energy & Natural Resources Fall 2021 accelerator program.

You cannot wait to learn more about the future of Supply Chain? Join the waitlist for our report about Sustainability in Supply Chain where we introduce dozens of up and coming Supply Chain startups.

Written by
Markus Boerner
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