In this article, Veridion’s CEO unveils the exciting world of AI in Supplier Discovery, shares the company’s journey into data enrichment, and concludes with some behind the scenes of how the company is enhancing its Search API with natural language capabilities, paving the way to data-driven future in procurement and beyond.

In today’s world, global supply chains are facing persistent volatility and disruptions, leaving procurement companies extremely exposed to the fluctuations of markets and the associated risks from vendors. This unstable environment highlights the necessity of innovative approaches in procurement management, particularly the adoption of AI-powered intelligent data.

Deloitte’s 2023 Global Chief Procurement Survey reports that 89% of companies worldwide have been negatively impacted by inflation-related cost risks in the last year, with 79% also facing substantial supply shortages. These figures underscore the critical need for innovative strategies and technologies to address these challenges in procurement.

Embracing AI for supplier discovery: A game-changer in procurement

Perspectives from Veridion’s CEO, Florin Tufan

As procurement firms aims to master the complexities of the evolving supply chain landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as a transformative solution that promises significant benefits, especially in enhancing supplier discovery.

Veridion, a company at the forefront of data enrichment and innovation, is leveraging AI to streamline data-driven growth across many areas within industries. Florin Tufan, Veridion’s CEO, offers candid perspectives on the opportunities and challenges presented by AI in procurement, with a special focus on its capacity to refine the supplier discovery procedure.

Tufan talks about how leveraging AI for supplier discovery is transforming procurement from a process constrained by limited information and relationships to one that is dynamic, informed, and resilient. AI-enabled data allows companies to comprehensively understand the supplier landscape, enabling them to analyse and evaluate a vast array of suppliers quickly and efficiently.

“We come from a world where it wasn’t possible to learn everything about the entire universe. If you had three suppliers for one highly important thing, you’d much rather spend a lot of time strengthening that relationship and putting better protection in place. There was no easy way to ask about others and question whether you were working with the right ones while finding out if you had enough resiliency. No, you want to work with the best ones so that you’re covered and get on with the work no matter what.”

However, Tufan also highlighted that while AI has the potential to significantly cut down the time companies spend searching for new suppliers, it’s not a magic wand that instantly fixes all procurement issues. There are still things to be fixed in the supplier discovery process.

CPOstrategy speaking with Veridion CEO Florin Tufan at DPW Amsterdam

Veridion’s approach:  Addressing the need for a more proactive and comprehensive approach in supplier risk management

Tufan’s insights suggest a pressing need for a more proactive and comprehensive approach in supplier risk management.

Tufan pointed out a critical shortfall in the procurement strategies of many large companies—they lacked sufficient redundancy in their supply chains. When the pandemic struck, these companies scrambled to identify and connect with the best possible suppliers in various regions. However, the process was fraught with inefficiencies. “The discovery phase alone took weeks, and that was before even determining if those suppliers were a suitable match. By the time companies could establish redundancy, it could be two years later, and that’s simply too late,” Tufan explained.

He observed that the focus in procurement has traditionally been on what is known about the top suppliers based on past interactions, often neglecting the broader, more holistic view of a supplier’s status and potential risks. “There are numerous instances where companies face downturns or disruptions due to economic or political factors, and their clients often find out too late,” Tufan noted.

Who is Veridion? The company’s journey to data enrichment in procurement

Veridion, a Romania-based company, operates in the segment of source-of-truth business data, providing comprehensive and up-to-date insights on private companies. The company’s solutions are addressing particularly procurement, insurance, and market intelligence data challenges and are powered by AI and machine learning capabilities. This technology enables Veridion to extract maximum value from data, enabling efficiency and innovation for their customers.

One of Veridion’s earliest projects in procurement, which significantly contributed to its exploration of data enrichment solutions, involved collaborating with semiconductor companies seeking to diversify from China and US manufacturers planning to onshore to South America. This experience gave CEO Florin Tufan and his team deep insights into the complex challenges of global supply chain relocation. Tufan described this journey as both humbling and enlightening, particularly in understanding the significant impact of supply chain shifts on everyday products.

The company’s approach to addressing these challenges has been methodical and innovative. By leveraging AI and machine learning, they have developed more efficient ways to harness data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions in rapidly changing environments. This approach is not just about providing data but enriching it to offer meaningful, actionable insights.

Veridion has become a key player in transforming how companies approach procurement and supply chain management. By focusing on data enrichment and leveraging advanced technologies, they have positioned themselves at the forefront of this critical industry, offering solutions that are as dynamic as the markets they serve.

This “incredible journey”, as described by Tufan, exceeds the goal of business expansion. It’s about comprehending and effectively responding to the complex challenging of global with real-time, accurate data.

Looking forward: Veridion’s CEO perspectives on latest technology innovations

“I’m 99% percent excited! At the core, we’re an AI company.”

Florin Tufan’s vision for the latest cutting-edge technologies and innovations such as generative AI is one of optimism and excitement. He sees it not just as a technological leap, but as a tool that will become integral to daily life and business operations, enhancing efficiency and connectivity across the globe.

When asked what big news is coming soon, Florin announced an upcoming enhancement to their Search API, set to launch this year. This significant update introduces semantic search capabilities, leveraging natural language processing to enable more intuitive, human-like search experiences. With this advancement, users will be able to conduct searches that closely align with their specific needs and queries.

Veridion’s Search API is modernising multiple procurement processes from supplier search to enrichment, setting a new standard of excellence with first-class vendor data. By incorporating advanced AI capabilities, this intelligent search engine has made significant strides in deduplication, cleansing, and enriching master data, addressing a critical challenge many companies face. Organisations often struggle to understand the full potential of their existing supplier networks for sourcing opportunities. Veridion’s data-centric approach ensures that companies can now leverage their current supplier base more effectively or find new ones, uncovering hidden opportunities and driving efficiency in procurement strategies.

It looks like Veridion is reshaping the procurement landscape, turning complexity into clarity and offering an unparalleled user experience. The company is marking a paradigm shift towards a more efficient, data-driven future in procurement and beyond.

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