ConnXus Spearheads a Brave Frontier with Supplier Diversity Sustainability Dashboards

 

MASON, Ohio, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — ConnXus, a supplier diversity software company based in Mason, Ohio, now streamlines products into a smart dashboard—opening the gateway for procurement, supplier diversity and supply chain professionals to access a wealth of supply chain analytics in two clicks or less.

The ConnXus supplier diversity sustainability dashboard is complementary with all product purchases and includes two brand-new product offerings:

  1. SmartScrub, an automated, streamlined data enrichment and validation service
  2. ConnXSmart, a “matchmaking” tool that connects large companies with diverse suppliers

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“That’s right,” said ConnXus chief operations officer Daryl Hammett. “We are giving away state-of-the-art dashboards with every product. We believe everyone should experience the visibility that supplier diversity brings to an organization’s supply chain.”

“Our unique, smart dashboard is a game-changer—disrupting more traditional approaches to supplier diversity management,” announced Anthony Mitchell, senior manager of product management. “ConnXus equips clients with visual representations of their supply chain data that can be easily exported for boardroom presentations and many other purposes.”

Hammett elaborated, “As ConnXus continues to make strategic global partnerships, our dashboard’s recently expanded international supplier registration portal offerings now reach eight different countries—providing corporations and suppliers more opportunities to connect.”

The software company will debut its upgraded suite of dashboard-based applications as a first-time corporate exhibitor at the 2016 Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference in Orlando, Fla. June 21-23. During the conference, ConnXus will again leverage its unique supplier matchmaking tool—ConnXSmart—to facilitate meetings between Procter and Gamble’s (P&G) community of partners.

ConnXus continues to innovate the supplier diversity industry space. Upcoming software releases include business intelligence, networking, blogging and category management capabilities.

To learn more about ConnXus supplier diversity software solutions, feel free to schedule a demo prior to the WBENC National Conference. Please contact sales@connxus.com

About ConnXus

ConnXus (www.connxus.com) is a supplier diversity software-as-a-service (SaaS) certified minority-owned business (MBE) headquartered in Mason, Ohio. The SaaS-based company helps small and diverse businesses, including woman-, and minority-owned companies, grow by connecting them to Fortune 2000 corporations.

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WCPO: WHAT’S NEW IN BUSINESS: CONNXUS GAINS TRACTION AT LINKING CLIENTS WITH DIVERSE SUPPLIERS

 

What’s New in Business: ConnXus gains traction at linking clients with diverse suppliers

Revenues double in 2015, more hiring planned

By: Kevin Eigelbach, WCPO contributor

Posted: 6:01 AM, Feb 5, 2016

 

Rod Robinson, founder, president and CEO of ConnXus, in the companyÕs offices in Mason. Founded five years ago, the company now has 21 employees. (Kevin Eigelbach for WCPO)

Rod Robinson, founder, president and CEO of ConnXus, in the companyÕs offices in Mason. Founded five years ago, the company now has 21 employees. (Kevin Eigelbach for WCPO)

MASON, Ohio — ConnXus, which helps companies find qualified, diverse suppliers and keep track of their spending with those suppliers, is ready to scale up.

“We have companies that are demanding our product,” said founder, president and chief executive Rod Robinson. “We want to get in front of them and help them.”

After five years in business, the Mason-based company has started to gain traction, doubling its revenue last year to well more than $1 million but less than $10 million (Robinson would not reveal the exact amount). It now has 21 employees, including Robinson, and plans to add more sales and development staff this year.

What does it do?

The most basic service involves taking a customer’s accounts payable or spending records and matching them against the company’s database of 1.7 million diverse suppliers to validate the customer’s spending on diverse suppliers. Different companies have different goals for diversity spending, Robinson said, but it generally means money spent with women-, minority- or veteran-owned businesses, or with small businesses generally.

More advanced services include enabling customers to track their secondary diversity spending — money spent on contractors who then hire diverse subcontractors — and enabling them to search the ConnXus database to find diverse suppliers.

How did it get started?

Florida native Robinson, now 48, moved to Cincinnati in 2002 when he became chief procurement officer for Cincinnati Bell. In that role, he learned firsthand how hard it is for large companies to find diverse suppliers and keep track of money that goes to them.

In 2005, he started his own consulting firm and spent many hours going over accounts-payable data line by line to find diverse suppliers. That reinforced his conviction that a software solution was needed, and he started ConnXus in 2010 to provide it.

Who are the investors?

They include local startup investor CincyTech; Boulder, Colorado-based TechStars, which invests in tech startups; and New York-based Serious Change LP, which invests in high-growth, high-potential minority-owned companies. Management hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million more this year from venture-capital firms, Robinson said.

He added that he and the other employees have also invested a significant amount of their own money with the company through an employee stock option plan. Altogether, the company has raised about $4.7 million, and, while it’s not yet turning a profit, Robinson said, it’s getting close.

Who are the customers?

They include large organizations such as Louisville-based distilled spirits maker Brown-Forman Inc., the National Basketball Association, American Express, Harley-Davidson USA and local clients that include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Who else is on the team?

Daryl Hammett was consulting as a business coach when he met Robinson and became the chief operating officer of ConnXus two years ago. He’s a former vice president and general manager of Sears Optical and an executive for 15 years with Luxottica Group in Mason, a maker of eyewear. He replaced 90 percent of the existing team, he said, and took the company from a scrappy startup to more of a global business.

“We have built the most user-friendly platform in the marketplace,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are taking supplier diversity to the next level, which is supplier inclusion.”

That means not just hiring diverse suppliers, he said, but also listening to their ideas and seeing how they can add value to the hiring company’s strategic plan.

What has the journey been like?

The highs are really high and the lows are really low, Robinson said, but he wouldn’t trade owning this business for anything else. “I wake up every morning excited about what lies ahead,” he said.

In the early days, the challenge was attracting capital and getting clients to take a chance on a startup, he said. Now, the company has both capital and good talent.

“For a long time the wind was in our face,” he said. “Now, the wind is at our back.”

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Staff Member Spotlight: Jennifer O’Neal-Douga

 

ConnXus Senior Account Development Manager, Jennifer O’Neal-Douga, joined the team in July of 2015.

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“What motivates me to jump out of bed every morning is the thrill of seeing what surprises the day has in store for me and the interesting problems I will solve at ConnXus,” says Jennifer.

In the fairly young business environment at ConnXus, Jennifer’s role is especially crucial to maintain a clear plan for client onboarding and engagement. Her top three responsibilities as ConnXus Senior Account Development Manager include new client onboarding, project management and strategic business growth.

The entrepreneurial and family friendly company culture at ConnXus is what drew Jennifer to work at the Mason, Ohio office. When asked what song best describes the ConnXus work environment, she responded with “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor.

When she’s not working, Jennifer enjoys spending her time outside hiking—her favorite local trails are at Winton Woods and Miami Whitewater.

With over 15 years of accomplished leadership experience in the financial, retail and insurance industries, Jennifer brings exceptional strategic planning and operations management skills to the ConnXus team.

Jennifer obtained her bachelor of arts (BA) in history from Georgetown University, and her masters of business administration (MBA) from Xavier University. 

Staff Member Spotlight: ConnXus West Coast

 

As Tim Scruta approaches his 2nd year anniversary with ConnXus, we’d like to shine the spotlight on our Product Services Manager as he settles into the new ConnXus Portland office. Before working with ConnXus, he was a student at Bowling Green State University where he achieved a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration degree with a specialization in Supply Chain Management.

TimHere’s what he had to say:

What are your main responsibilities as Product Services Manager?

Scruta: For anyone who has ever worked for a start-up, you’ll understand when you walk in the office door each morning, your duties can change significantly from day today. We joke that we, the team members, wear many hats. Whether this means performing account manager duties for the afternoon, changing the water cooler or performing sales calls in order to help support one another. Aside from my many “hats”, my main responsibilities are being the product expert and providing our customers the support they need in order for them to be successful. This includes demonstrating our products, answering any product-related questions, and providing analysis on their current supplier diversity initiatives. Additionally, I am heavily involved throughout the sales and contraction process, providing the education and material our client needs.

How have your responsibilities progressed since you first started with ConnXus?

Scruta: Initially, I was hired in July 2013 to split my time between ConnXus and Rod Robinson’s other company Accel Advisors. On the ConnXus side, I was involved with the day to day customer service tasks and researching vendors as a part of the manual data validation process. For Accel Advisors, I was working as a sourcing analysis and consultant for a prominent real estate management client. On January 1st, 2014, I transitioned into a project management role with ConnXus where I was responsible for managing the scrub process from start to finish. Additionally, I was responsible for revolutionizing the scrub product from a basic flat spreadsheet to a dynamic interactive scrub Xperience for our clients. With this transition, I helped support and manage the supplier diversity program for a client within the medical industry. My main responsibilities included training the prime suppliers on how to report their tier II spend and developing strategies on how to increase our client’s supplier diversity spend. Most recently, I relocated to Portland, Oregon where I transitioned into my current role today. I am continuing my previous responsibilities along with creating brand awareness and selling the ConnXus Xperience.

What should existing and potential West Coast clients anticipate the most from ConnXus’ Portland expansion?

Scruta: Our existing and potential West Coast clients can anticipate industry-leading supplier diversity solutions and experience the customer-centric philosophy we pride ourselves on. Additionally, small and minority West Coast suppliers can anticipate great opportunities to work with our existing clients on the east coast, along with new clients in their backyard. Creating this bi-coastal connection within the supplier diversity space will be an exhilarating Xperience both our clients and suppliers will not want to miss.