Jump online, fill out a questionnaire about your needs and wants, and get connected with a shortlist of “perfect matches”…sound familiar? Start-up Matchboard has taken the online dating service model and adapted it for business, so that you can enter your business needs via short targeted questionnaires, and get connected with suppliers who offer just the product or service you are looking for. Procurement for the 21st century…and what’s more, it’s free to use.
As a way of finding suppliers, Matchboard offers a compelling alternative to search engines, which match key words rather than business needs. Further, the company vets those on the system, minimizing the risk of picking an unreliable supplier which may be ranked near the top in an online search.
“Our research says that after the Internet,“asking around” is the most common method used to find suppliers, however this can be a very hit-or-miss approach – our new technology puts some science into sourcing, and makes a complex process simple,” says Managing Director, Sharon Melamed
Launched just this month, Matchboard fills a diverse range of buyer requests every day. “The other day we got an ASX-100 company asking us to find suppliers to run a $10 million field sales operation; at the other end of town, we helped a collective a local plumbers find a call centre – they were sick of trying to handle customer bookings with one hand, while their other hand was down the toilet!” said Melamed, stressing that Matchboard’s value prop is vendor-agnostic with no preferential treatment for any suppliers.
Like many successful start-ups, Matchboard is focusing on a niche to refine its offering before succumbing to the temptation of expansion into a broader services marketplace. Having spent much of her career running sales at a global outsourcing start-up which went to IPO, Melamed has positioned the company in familiar territory: the “sales, service and back office” niche. Knowing the supplier landscape inside out made it easy for Matchboard to quickly set up the supplier network.
The company’s database is dynamically updated and rich in information including supplier capacity, capability, experience, locations, strengths, clients and target markets. Suppliers can specify all the criteria they have for new business leads, via Matchboard’s online Supplier portal, and just pay for the business they get matched with and win. Buyers love the service because it’s quick, simple and free to use, saving time and effort for everyone from small business owners to procurement managers at large enterprise.