Neel SharmaManaging Partner
Spice Technology Group
Neel SharmaManaging Partner, Spice Technology Group
spice is a next-generation technology solutions and services firm that helps enable modern commerce for organizations with complex supply chains.
Digitization of supply chain operations – both the customer side and vendor side- is critical to the organization’s long-term success. The fast-paced digital economy has greatly impacted the modern enterprise’s requirement to integrate key supply chain business processes and IT systems seamlessly with its Trading Partners. Alongside, the economic and industrial upheaval caused by the pandemic has led organizations to reevaluate their supply chain strategy closely, to retool and build resilience. None of this is possible with a paper and email workforce. Companies understand that while they re-think strategy, they must simultaneously move towards “touchless processing” of supply chain data. Supply chain processes including the onboarding of new Trading Partners such as customers, suppliers, logistics partners, and banks need to be rapid and cost- efficient. Supply chain business documents such as forecasts, orders, and invoices must be shared digitally and reliably from the ERP system to the Trading Partner’s systems, without using paper, email, and spreadsheets.
In the middle of a pandemic, with labor shortages and heightened safety protocols, e-packing slip data transferred over a digital network is safer and more efficient to process than physically collecting paper packing slips for a manual three-way match process.
At the same time, budget-strapped organizations cannot spend vast capital and operating budgets on this digitization effort. They need fast, inexpensive, and flexible B2B integration capability. Spice is leading the charge by providing modern, cloud-based supply chain integration technology and affordable services and offer flexibility. Organizations can quickly connect with new and existing B2B customers, vendors, and logistics partners without breaking the bank.
Spice is a leading Supply Chain Data Network provider, offering cloud applications helping retailers, brands, suppliers, logistics organizations, and manufacturers transform legacy supply chains to digital supply chains. Spice integrates trading partners and enables them to efficiently exchange supply chain business data, collaborate, and deliver the perfect order serving 10,000 global clients, from mid-market stars to multi-national giants.
Offering Next-generation Technology Solutions
Spice was launched in 2011 as a supply chain consulting organization. “We recognized early on that the coming era of “Industry 4.0” would drive the “API Economy” – with a massive impact on supply chains and the need for fast, massive integrations across disconnected supply chains,” says Neel Sharma, Managing Partner, Spice Technology Group. “We launched our cloud integration technology offering in 2013.
By 2018 we had added several key B2B integrations & collaboration applications and launched the Spice Supply Chain Digital Network (SCDN).” The network digitally connects key enterprise customers and several mid-market organizations with thousands of their worldwide Trading Partners. After establishing software distribution relationships with global technology firms, Spice expanded its presence to major organizations worldwide. “Today, we count over 10,000 clients and Trading Partners across retail, automotive, wholesale, logistics, healthcare, engineering, heavy manufacturing, and many more,” adds Neel. “Approximately 50% of Spice customers are Fortune 1000 organizations, while the other half are growing mid-market stars.”
The company’s staff maintains a close, “on-the-ground” relationship with their clients and work with them closely to develop solutions that solve real-world problems for them. “We have walked in the same shoes as buyers, logistics managers, inventory managers and sales operations specialists,” says Neel. “We are keen and curious to learn how we can improve supply chain efficiency, visibility and predictability problems for our clients by leveraging modern technology tools.” Whether they build net new IP or leverage, off-the-shelf software is secondary to the challenge of building a final solution that solves problems for the clients. Modern Commerce requires a digitized supply chain. Spice’s suite of cloud-based supply chain solutions, Supply Chain Data Network, and turnkey services combine to deliver an approach that meets the needs of the customers who all have large, complex, and global supply chains.
According to Neel, although several companies have been in this space, he notices that the industry has been consolidating quickly, and fewer players remain who can provide innovative technology, end-to-end service, and an attractive business model. “At Spice, we believe all three factors come together for a great value proposition.”
The Right Partner
Spice is integrating trading partners and enabling them to efficiently exchange supply chain business data, collaborate, and deliver the perfect order. Spice uses a set of methodologies and processes specifically designed to work with customers and their trading partners. They take the extra steps to fully understand the supply chain network requirements and recommend automation flows that will be the most impactful for each customer. They then use a combination of intelligent technology, keen business analysis, testing, implementation, and rollout for each project. “With our technology we can quickly onboard supply chain partners on to the same cloud platform so every participant in the supply chain is fully connected and operating with the same view of the truth,” explains Neel.
The company has culminated into the most sought-after partner owing to its: a) People: team members (Spicers) have years of experience in major supply chain intensive-industries and various types of B2B integration b) Technology: cloud base technology and tools are highly adaptable and configurable to any ERP system and any trading partner, whether EDI or non-EDI enabled; c) Continuous improvement: research and development team develop solutions that address existing and new customers’ needs.
Unique Supply Chain Solutions
Spice OneConnect is a cloud-based solution for supply chain digitization. Companies that use Spice One-Connect simplify their supply chain management by getting a single connection from Spice for all their ERP supply chain data. Spice manages all the complexities of exchanging data with trading partners, regardless of format, technical capabilities, location, etc. Plus, Spice provides full visibility into all supply chain transactional events’ status, from the “big picture” right down to the details of each transaction.
Their global technical support team is available 24x7, always standing by to help if it is needed.
For instance, a major building products firm having multiple manufacturing sites across Europe and Asia took Spice’s assistance to streamline their process. Each of the client’s site has its collection of vendors that supply products to each site. The Spice OneConnect platform connected suppliers and supply chains of each site to each site’s manufacturing and inventory management IT system. The client benefitted from a digitized supply chain and obtained a single supply chain view across multiple manufacturing sites. Another instance is a luxury fashion retail client who was building strategic relationships with certain global brand vendors by partnering in “shop-in- shop” programs. The brands would create a branded presence within the retail store and would be responsible for replenishing their inventory in-store, at their cost, till the product is sold. However, the merchandise would have to flow through the traditional supply chain network of the retailer, from a vendor to the retailer’s distribution center and right up to the store shelf, and would be managed by the retailer’s staff and IT systems.
This vendor-managed-inventory and scan-based trading program required deep B2B integration and a shared data- driven supply chain process between the retailer and the selected brands. Spice executed this integration program in record time, and the retailer launched a successful program resulting in a win-win experience for the retailer, the brands, and the consumer.
Today, Spice continues to deliver a unique type of supply chain integration across diverse vertical markets such as automotive, healthcare, semiconductors, food service, and medical technology. Each vertical market brings with it some unique supply chain requirements that have to be taken into consideration.
Neel states that the pandemic has exposed weaknesses and gaps in supply chains that need to be fixed. The digital economy requires integrated and digital supply chains. “We will continue to grow our presence in various supply chain-intensive industries, with a value proposition for enterprises as well mid-market firms. We see significant growth opportunities in Europe and Asia-Pacific along with our traditional North American markets.” He adds, “the future of supply chain visibility and integration also includes expansion of emerging technologies such as Blockchain, which we are implementing with large organizations in sectors such as food.”