Using Application Programming Interface (API) in Supply Chain Management
This Venzee Technologies Inc. profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Venzee Technologies Inc. (TSXV:VENZ) offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that automates and facilitates the data exchange process between retailers, suppliers and technology partners. Venzee’s Mesh API replaces the human labor involved in the product information exchange process with a flexible, interoperable, SaaS solution that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to consolidate, transform and distribute product information across the supply chain.
It is estimated that returns due to inaccurate or incomplete product information cost online retailers over $100 billion annually, according to CrowdAnalytix. These costs include return shipping, vendor chargebacks and the loss of future sales as a result of damage to one’s brand. Mistakes are largely the result of human error and are driven by the lack of a scalable, efficient content delivery technology.
An incredible amount of information flows through the retail supply chain non-stop. Brands, manufacturers and retailers use a number of different technology partners whose systems are not interoperable. This means that staff often have to manually process spreadsheets to a format their technology can process. Venzee’s Mesh API replaces this fragmented, spreadsheet-driven process with automation that processes information to the real-time requirements of retailers – eliminating the potential for human error.
Venzee’s large-scale opportunity is across the retail supply chain. By removing friction and engaging consumers with more relevant and actionable product information, Venzee helps its end-clients stay competitive in the world of e-commerce. Excel spreadsheets are the current industry standard and there are many large, multinational organizations that are forced to hire data-entry personnel to manually process and update product information. This system was appropriate in the 1990s when brick-and-mortar retail was the norm, however, technological advancements and the rise of e-commerce have resulted in more SKUs as well as the need for more detailed information for each product.
The rise and continued growth of e-commerce has created a demand for detailed product information, rendering spreadsheets obsolete. For example, companies like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) or Costco (NASDAQ:COST) would need to hire tens of thousands of additional staff to handle spreadsheet data, adding friction and increasing payroll significantly. Technology partners face the same problem as they often have to transform and exchange information amongst themselves as a result of shared clients and relationships.
Venzee’s Mesh API technology ensures that product information is complete and accurate across the entire supply chain so that brands, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are always working with complete and timely product information. Replacing spreadsheets as the backbone of content distribution, Venzee’s Mesh API facilitates connections between disparate technologies for rapid feedback and minimal human error.
The Venzee Mesh API
Venzee’s Mesh API enables data to flow across disparate systems from vendors to meet the requirements of retailers like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart, Wayfair (NYSE:W) and Shopify (TSX:SHOP). Mesh API allows Venzee to create an infrastructure for the exchange of product information. It securely connects the data management technology of retailers, brands, distributors and their enterprise software partners via a single connecting point: Venzee.
Venzee is able to achieve such broad interoperability by using a simpler, more intelligent data interchange format that leverages machine learning and AI. Having built its software from the ground-up with mass connectivity in mind, Venzee’s Mesh API is highly flexible in terms of the information it can receive and process. This ensures that integration is a streamlined process that involves little-to-no disruption in a company’s business. Further, Mesh API 2.0 offers an increased ability to process larger volumes of data, improve web service integration and expand messaging features tailored to the needs of channel partners.
Mesh API is currently being used to automate product content distribution to the likes of Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair. Venzee currently transforms and distributes product information for over 20 million SKUs across hundreds of unique formats, a number that is growing by the day.
Venzee Technologies’ Company Highlights
- Venzee replaces human data-entry and translation with intelligent, cloud-based software that is scalable and supports rapid growth.
- Venzee offers a scalable, future-proof solution that eliminates these friction costs and helps enterprises stay relevant in the rapidly evolving world of e-commerce.
- According to CrowdAnalytix, inaccurate product data costs over $100-billion per year in online retail due to inaccurate product descriptions, missing attributes and incomplete or outdated images.
- $13.6 million raised to date to complete Mesh API and to develop channel partnerships.
- Signed five channel partnership agreements to date with leading enterprise technology providers.
- Business model focused on sticky, recurring revenues generated by permanent partner integrations.
- Channel partnership model provides Venzee with access to Fortune 100 clients and the sales capabilities of an organization exponentially larger.
- Channel partner clients include Amazon, Costco, Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA), Loblaws (TSX:L), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), the GAP (NYSE:GPS), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Indigo (TSX:IDG), Bosch (NYSE:BOSCHLTD), Kawasaki, Brightstar, Polaroid, Weber and more than 100,000 established brands and retailers.
- Seasoned management team with a proven track record of creating value for shareholders and multiple seven, and eight-figure exits in the enterprise software space.
- Year-over-year US revenues grew by approximately 250 percent in 2018.
Venzee Technologies’ Partnerships
Venzee’s long-term focus is on developing channel partnerships with retail technology providers. This approach leverages channel partners’ existing relationships with brands, retailers and manufacturers, providing Venzee the opportunity to help Fortune 100 companies address today’s challenges from the global shift to e-commerce.
Enterprise software providers like Riversand specialize in managing product data within an enterprise and have become best-in-class technology providers for internal content management. However, this degree of specialization means they need help with the distribution and transformation of said product information to outside systems. This is why they partner with Venzee.
By specializing in the transformation and distribution of content, Venzee is able to build and maintain sophisticated connections across technology and supply-chain partners globally. Venzee builds and operates connections with major players like Amazon, Shopify and Wayfair, streamlining the process for channel partners to add their clients. For channel partners, the value lies in connecting clients to a network that offers a complete, cost-effective solution to product content distribution.
Integration with Venzee’s API allows for improved content delivery and helps Venzee’s channel partners win new business. As the retail supply chain continues to evolve in response to the needs of customers, there is major value in solutions that facilitate data interchange with very low latency. Especially for large multinational conglomerates who are trying to keep up with the pace of technological progress. Venzee’s Mesh API is scalable, offers easy integration and any updates to product attributes are transformed and distributed across the entire supply chain in real-time.
Venzee’s Mesh API bridges the communication gap between channel partners and retailers.
To date, Venzee has signed five partnership agreements that provide access to over 150,000 potential end-clients and represent even more potential connections (Venzee customers pay monthly per connection). Venzee has also announced integration with Amazon Seller Central as well as Shopify. For Amazon, Venzee has additional certified retail connections to Amazon Vendor Central as well as many regions outside North-America.
Mesh API supports a growing range of product information standards and facilitates compliance with numerous regulatory standards. As e-commerce platforms like Amazon become stricter on content quality and completeness requirements, Mesh API’s ability to ensure product information compliance is another potential benefit for clients.
Venzee’s Channel Partners
Venzee has formed a strategic partnership with Riversand, a cloud-native master data management (MDM) and product information management (PIM) provider, enabling brands to instantly and efficiently communicate actionable product detail to trading partners to meet the growing demand from consumers for accurate and reliable product information. Riversand’s clients include Weber, True Value, Schneider Electric, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
Riversand has further integrated its MDM and PIM services into Venzee’s Mesh API, allowing Riversand to connect their clients directly to retailers to automate the distribution of complete, accurate and consumer-relevant product attributes to thousands of retail destinations. This gives retailers and brands the opportunity to satisfy consumer demand for critical detailed content to help drive transformation and growth in the retail market.
Venzee has signed a definitive partnership agreement bringing together Lansa’s PIM solutions with Venzee’s data distribution capabilities. Lansa, a PIM and related software company is a long-term partner of 1WorldSync, a leading standards-based content distribution service. Lansa has reference relationships with Kellogg’s (NYSE:K), Honda (TSE:7267), Kawasaki and Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) among others. In December 2018, Lansa was acquired by Texas-based Idera Inc., a major B2B software conglomerate.
Venzee has entered into a strategic enterprise partnership agreement where Mobius Knowledge Services is expected to integrate Venzee Mesh API into their PIMworks platform for Venzee to upload accurate, relevant product content to various retailers their clients use for product distribution. Mobius is a trusted, data solutions partner to over 50 Forbes 2000 companies, offering data enrichment, data aggregation and online retail services such as product cataloging, minimum advertised price monitoring and products such as ProductiWise and PIMworks. Mobius delivers over 62 million records a month for its customers across 12 industries globally.
Venzee Technologies’ Management Team
John Sexton Abrams—President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Abrams’ previous leadership successes range from creating Redbox, a non-stop revenue-producing asset for McDonald’s Corporation (MCD:NASDAQ) that sold to Coinstar for US$200 million, and the separation of various Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) assets to form CareFusion (NYSE:CFN), which was acquired for US$12.2 billion by Becton Dixon and Co (BDX:NASDAQ).
Over the course of the last year, Mr. Abrams has led Venzee to shift its growth towards a channel partnership model, which has allowed the Company to access industry-leading technology partners and more than 100,000 client brands and manufacturers, including Amazon, Shopify, and Wayfair. Mr. Abrams’ strategic approach has allowed Venzee’s partners to provide their clients with intelligent technology that removes manual processes and allows brands, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to operate at the speed of digital commerce.
Issa Nakhleh—Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary
Issa Nakhleh joined Venzee from Tuangru Inc., a SaaS company that manages the network infrastructure of complex organizations where he served as Chief Financial Officer since 2017. His extensive work in the field includes having served as Chief Financial Officer at Ultrasonix Corp., Heart Force Medical Inc. and UrtheCast Corp., an issuer listed on the TSX where he led equity and debt financings totaling over $250 million. Issa has also held the title of Chief Financial Officer at TIR Systems Ltd. where his dedication to developing impressive growth strategies allowed annual revenues to grow from $2 million to $30 million. Issa holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Markus Westerholtz—Chief Technology Officer, Board of Directors
Markus Westerholtz has been a driving force behind modernizing Venzee’s technology stack, improving development processes and practices. Previously, Markus was a Team Lead & Software Architect at Copperleaf Technologies, a decision analytic company for managing critical infrastructure and Team Lead and the Software Architect at MediaValet, a SAS DAM provider.
Peter Montross – VP Enterprise Business, Chair
Peter brings over 20 years of experience in the retail industry, delivering strong revenue performance and growth. He has extensive sales leadership experience and success with SaaS content exchange solutions, business intelligence products, and product information management software products and services. His experience in the Product Information Distribution space (PIDS) includes leadership positions at Edgenet and Shotfarm, both acquired by Syndigo in 2019.
Sean Copeland—Independent Director, Chair
Sean brings over 20 years of experience as an operations and technology executive for international commercial operations, with a focus on applying technology and communications to the financial challenges of businesses. Sean has been involved in international payments and has held roles in Fintech, start-up enterprises, providing innovative technology-based financial solutions to customers, including payment processing, invoicing, transacting electronic bills of sale and other solutions. Presently, Sean is Director at BOEX Ltd, the originator of a proprietary end-to-end solution for global supply chains which affords supply chain participants and sovereign nations unprecedented financial and logistics control and visibility. In his more than 10 years of involvement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Sean has participated in and led multinational Internet policy development and diplomacy. Sean also serves as technical lead for the domain name registry for the United States Virgin Islands.
Michael (Myke) Clark—Independent Director, Chair Compensation and Nominating Committee
Myke Clark brings more than 20 years of media, public affairs, and marketing experience with a variety of public and private companies. He has held senior public affairs, branding, and strategic communications roles in the natural resource and project development industry. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Solar Alliance Energy Inc., an issuer listed on the TSXV. Myke was formerly SVP Business Development for Finavera Wind Energy (now known as Solar Alliance Energy Inc.). Myke also spent more than 10 years as a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other news organizations.
Daniel Wilkinson – Board of Directors
Previously Mr. Wilkinson served as Chief Commercial Officer at content distribution giant 1WorldSync. For nearly two decades, Mr. Wilkinson drove 1WorldSync into new markets and industry verticals and became the dominant solution provider in grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and non-regulated medical products. Now at Venzee, Mr. Wilkinson works in support of Venzee’s strategic growth goals and expansion of its global retailer integrations.
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