February 26, 2013
Chamber membership helps ConnXus provide “matchmaking” service for minority suppliers, businesses
Chamber member ConnXus wouldn't exist if it weren't for the frustration of its CEO, Rod Robinson.
As a former supply-chain and procurement consultant, Robinson worked with Fortune 1000 companies to create and improve strategic sourcing and supplier-diversity programs. Time and again, he heard from corporations how challenging it can be to identify quality suppliers. Likewise, suppliers told him how difficult they found it to develop relationships with purchasing officers at large companies.
Robinson's exasperation with the situation led him to start ConnXus.com, an online service that links minority-owned, women-owned and small businesses with companies seeking to expand and diversify their supplier base. His firm's mission: To be a catalyst of economic growth by making it easier for members to do business with one another. ConnXus has received seed funding so far from Chamber partner CincyTech and a group of local angel investors.
"ConnXus exists to deliver supplier-diversity results for companies ready to walk the talk," said Robinson. "We think of ourselves as a next-generation procurement platform with an emphasis on supplier diversity. We're leveraging technology to make it easy for businesses to identify minority suppliers."
Buyers and suppliers each create a profile on ConnXus.com, detailing their needs and capabilities. ConnXus.com matches the buyers and suppliers. In addition to matching of buyer needs with supplier capabilities, the ConnXus solution offers supplier data cleansing and enrichment, Tier 2 diversity spend tracking and reporting and private-branded supplier-diversity portals.
ConnXus's clients are primarily large corporations, health systems, construction companies and others for whom supplier diversity is a key business goal and for whom tracking their "secondary" or Tier 2 supplier-diversity spending - the spending of their prime vendors - can be difficult.
According to Robinson, ConnXus uses its Chamber membership as a vehicle for networking.
"When we launched in 2010, I also saw an opportunity to provide a procurement solution for smaller companies that may not have a fully operational procurement infrastructure in place," said Robinson. "The Chamber allows us to connect with such companies."
For more information, visit connXus.com.