How Sourceability Pioneers the Digitization of an Industry
The electronic component trading industry has been largely operating offline. Orders were commonly placed by email or phone until very recently. Until a new kid on the block decided to disrupt the industry: Sourceability started trading online with its new venture Sourcengine and it is setting new industry standards.
The Making of a new Type of Marketplace
Sourcengine aims to turn a classic B2B business model into a user-friendly online platform while connecting buyers and vendors in one place. The backbone of Sourcengine is quality and logistics. Operating on three different continents with 15 strategic locations around the globe, the business wants to provide an international, unique user experience, which is as smooth as commonly seen on B2C platforms.
“We want to become the Amazon for the component trading industry. Customers have been suffering from a lack of transparency for too long. It’s time to remove borders and sell and purchase components through an e-commerce marketplace.“
- Yashar Shahabi, Senior Vice President Digital Solutions, Sourceability LLC
Exclusive Interview with Yashar Shahabi, Senior Vice President Digital Solutions at Sourceability
How is Sourcengine’s Marketplace Changing the Market?
Supported by the Spryker Commerce OS as the foundation, Sourcengine’s key to success is rooted in a number of customer-centric capabilities.
1. Simplifying Product Search
As a customer, gaining a clear overview of available components and different factors, such as price, is near impossible in an industry with more than half a billion products. Providing an online catalog of 515 million items that can be filtered based on selected preferences, contributes massively to a more efficient product search. Sourcengine’s multi-keyword search includes attributes such as component types and conditions, vendors, manufacturers, stock and delivery types.
How does Sourcengine cope with high Demands in Data Processing?
Speed is key when accessing such an enormous product range. That is why the products are not anchored in a database but are directly retrieved from Spryker’s recommended Elasticsearch search engine. A nice side effect of this approach is that speed can be maintained even when scaling to feature an even higher product selection.
2. Smoothly Handling Bills of Materials
Processing a BOM can become a tedious task if processed manually through an excel sheet or similar tools. Sourcing materials and creating an estimate based on extensive criteria can often take up to a week, which means the customer also needs to wait at least for that period.
Sourcengine’s e-commerce platform, it takes 2 clicks, following an automated upload and product availability check. The customer is presented with the BOM almost immediately.
By default, Spryker is connected to the search engine Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch reads all the data from the BOM and analyzes the requested data, which provides an immediate result.
3. Applying a Smart Engine for Automation
Due to the complexity of Sourcengine’s business model and comprehensive customer requirements, digitization requires smart engines in the background. The Spryker State Machine is a good example of transferring complex predetermined sequences of actions into automated processes that require little to no manual interaction. Here are two examples of how it helps automate processes and assist in data collection.
a) Scheduling Delivery
Customers have the possibility of ordering components in batches. They may request to receive the first batch within the next 2 months and the second batch in several years' time. What is more, future batches can even be rescheduled at a later point, which massively increases customer convenience and allows for flexibility facing fluctuating market conditions.
Monitoring process performance
In the background, a state machine handles this process in a structured way. Data validation and a steady communication stream with external systems ensure that order requirements can be met at any point. From a data perspective, the state machine assists in monitoring process performance. Internal stakeholders can utilize it to identify edge cases and flaws - even in the early stages, which makes it easy to evaluate the business value and optimize the process accordingly.
b) Handling Company Excess
In this industry, excess might occur at any stage due to changing market conditions or shifts inside a business. Therefore, being able to re-sell any surplus is a big bonus for buyers. This entails that simultaneously to being a buyer, customers can act as vendors on the marketplace.
Automating excess handling
Similar to the above scenario of scheduling delivery, the state machine allows identifying perfect matches between demand and supply. Any components (batches) that are flagged by the customer as excess, will be immediately taken into consideration for new orders.
Sourcengine Opens new Doors for Electronic Component Trade
Taking an analog business model online is not an easy venture. Sourcengine has applied the right mix of deep industry knowledge with a technology-driven customer-centric approach to help digitize an entire sector. Enabling customers to digitally buy and sell around the world, without a middleman, is opening new doors for electronic component trade, and industry-wide product transparency.