Hetal Mehta is the founder and CEO of iQuantum Inc., a modular, modern sourcing platform. As iQuantum’s women and minority business leader, Hetal works closely with all internal teams, customers, partners and iQuantum’s Advisory Board of industry champions and practitioners.
Hetal Mehta’s journey in the industry
For many years, Mehta worked as a developer and consultant to supply teams. Through this experience, she recognized the need for a more sophisticated and user-friendly procurement solution “that does all the efficient and effective consolidations, automation and workflows – but also helps drive alignment between purchasing decisions and larger strategic corporate goals such as increased diversity,” she says.
“My deep experience and understanding of the variety of suppliers has made me realize that customers struggle to find suitable suppliers and tend to continue business with existing ones – even if it is not ideal.
“With iQuantum, our goal is to use machine learning and AI to provide a modern procurement platform with access to the largest global supplier database that includes diverse and sustainable supplier options. This helps customers build a more sustainable and stable supply chain.”
iQuantum’s unique selling point
iQuantum Inc. is a modern Source-to-Pay platform designed to meet today’s supply chain tracking and reporting needs, supplier relationship management, diversity and ESG sustainability. They provide the tools and transparency to align spending decisions with strategic corporate goals.
Says Mehta, “There is not a single vendor in the market that can compete with us pin-to-pin.” iQuantum is the only SaaS platform that provides:
- Full payment vendor discovery on one platform With modern ESG and full multi-vendor management.
- Discover new suppliers from a database of millions of global suppliers to increase supply chain resilience and support new product introductions (NPI)
- Integrated provider communication and collaboration with built-in chat and conversation storage for future reference and context
- A modern end-to-end strategic sourcing approach for indirect, direct and new product introductions with internal team collaboration
- Rich contract, procurement and cost management analytics
- Integrated Tier 1 and Tier 2 sustainability reporting and metrics for diversity and ESG
- Government and client reporting along with subject matter expertise by fine-tuning their diverse spend tracking and achieving the elite Billion Dollar Round Table or BDR
- Diverse and small vendor visibility to iQuantum’s Fortune 500 customer base, including vendor marketing support for their products and catalogs
- Modular licensing approach and enterprise interoperability to fit each customer’s needs, budgets and existing system investments
- A single code base for fast deployment, easy maintenance and simple configuration with a sophisticated, comfortable user experience
- Access a global database of suppliers, including diverse/non-diversified and green supply providers, to add to your supply chain and achieve savings
- Better alignment, reduced risk and increased compliance in procurement, finance and corporate law
The Importance of Diversity in the Supply and Supply Chain and the Role of iQuantum
McKinsey reported that working with different suppliers leads to 8.5% cost savings, which is more than the 3 – 7% savings that most supply organizations realize. “Prioritizing diversity in your employees and your supplier base as part of ESG is integral to a company’s growth and future trajectory – employees, management, investors, stakeholders and customers are looking for brands that enhance their profiles,” says Mehta .
Qualified diverse suppliers bring savings and better customer service. Sourcing leaders have realized this and are looking for ways to increase their diverse supplier base. (Increasingly, Tier 1 and Tier 2 diversity reporting is becoming a mandate across industry verticals).
She says: “We see these two levels in production, and in law firms it usually comes from clients setting goals to win RFPs, while for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries the drive comes from government and encouraging organizations to negotiate diversity goals and report them annually.”
iQuantum’s automated customer and government reporting solution helps customers achieve this. “This automation,” says Mehta, “and our deep expertise in exclusion criteria rules also helps clients achieve their goals and reach the prestigious Billion Dollar BDR Roundtable. Our global database of suppliers enables customers to source from new diverse suppliers to achieve their goals.”
How iQuantum addresses the challenges of modern business
Businesses today need help aligning departments and teams. Core brand values and strategic goals should be highlighted in all corporate decisions – but most importantly in spending decisions. Says Mehta: “There is a critical need to achieve diversity spending and ESG sustainability targets set by management and closely monitored by government regulators and investors.
“Our customers love working with us because of our commitment to customer success, our responsiveness to customer needs, and our budget-friendly pricing.” This approach ties in with McKinsey’s report findings on better savings and an improved overall customer experience different suppliers.
Supporting women-owned businesses
iQuantum has subject matter experts to partner with diverse businesses (women, minorities, veterans, disabled, LGBT) around the world to provide guidance on certification options and process; enriching their supplier profiles to maximize their scope and relevance to upcoming RFQs (Request for Quotations), RFPs (Request for Proposals) and RFIs (Request for Information), or direct material procurement.
Says Mehta, “We also help certified firms prepare the catalog to simplify corporate purchasing of their products. Our regular vendor connections, newsletter vendor spotlights, and social media channels promote and support women, minority, and other certified businesses. It is part of our mission and our DNA.”
Adaptation to the development of public procurement
Today’s supply needs have changed. They need a platform that addresses today’s modern challenges of diversity and ESG sustainability tracking. “Every purchase made should be aligned with strategic corporate goals and help move the needle,” says Mehta.
“Increased government regulation and consumer control over corporate brand spending have increased the need for a new approach to procurement.”
“Customers benefit from our ‘Buy only what you need’ approach, which helps them avoid paying for unused functionality. Our rapid implementation makes the user experience better and reduces the time to return on investment.”
“If you’re looking for a modern modular supply platform to meet today’s supply needs, iQuantum is the solution.”
iQuantum’s strategy is best viewed in terms of 3 main aspects –
- For Diversity, their approach is twofold. First, they want to help companies easily find, locate and buy from a variety of suppliers. Secondly, they aim to help various suppliers gain access to potential customers by providing them with a platform to market their products and services
- For ESG, iQuantum’s goal is to help make it an integral part of the company, not just an afterthought to meet reporting requirements. For example, they help companies assess their greenhouse gas emissions footprint early in their product development, when designing new products or building new facilities
- For Source-to-Pay, iQuantum’s goal is to make the entire process seamless. They provide a single platform on which companies can perform all aspects of procurement ie. supplier discovery (Q-Discovery), qualification (via RFx and direct sourcing of materials for production), onboarding (contracts), delivery (procurement management), monitoring (SRM) and control (cost analysis), but also allow modular consumption. They also aim to help companies preserve their existing investments if they need to by integrating with any systems they may already have in place
iQuantum’s outlook for the future
The diversity market is moving from being managed by government mandates to a market where it is an integral part of a company’s strategy. Mehta believes iQuantum is “in the early stages of realizing the full potential of this market.”
She says: “For ESG, this is a really nascent but fast-growing market. Companies simply don’t have a good way to estimate their greenhouse gas footprint, and we are one of the few solutions that can help them achieve this. We see significant promise in helping companies assess their environmental footprint.”
In the Source-to-Pay space, conversations with iQuantum’s customers have proven that legacy procurement providers are not only unable to meet today’s modern business demands, but also have yesterday’s UX. Says Mehta, “We’re solving this problem.”
Finally, on the subject of regulations, Mehta says, “There are regulations coming into effect and being determined every day. We are constantly monitoring any changes that may affect policies, reporting and best practices.
“iQuantum always keeps the SEC, SBA, CDP up to date and up to date, helping clients adapt and remain agile to the changing environment.”