Venzee’s cloud-based technology is reducing labour and costs by automating supply chain ordering
Established in 2014, Venzee Technologies Inc. (TSX.V: VENZ) provides system connectivity and data transformation to the $23 trillion retail industry and the burgeoning blockchain space through its products, Venzee.com and Meshblockchain.com. Venzee replaces spreadsheets as the primary method for data exchange in the retail industry with AI-powered data transformation that gets products and updates into the market fast.
Natasha Frakes: Hi, I’m Natasha Frakes, and you’re watching Market One Minute. Joining us is Kate Hiscox, Founder and President of Venzee Technologies. Thank you so much for being here, Kate.
Kate Hiscox: Thank you so much for having me here.
Natasha Frakes: Tell us about the company.
Kate Hiscox: So, the biggest challenge for the retail industry, which is obviously huge worldwide, is that the spreadsheets are still used as a method of data exchange between suppliers and retailers. What Venzee does, we’re a cloud-based platform. We sit between the systems that suppliers and retailers use, so it’s an alternative to using spreadsheets. We’re able to flow data in real time, which in today’s hyper-connected world of e-commerce, that’s something that’s very critical. The current process of using spreadsheets, it’s very labor intensive, extremely costly, high payroll count, and so on. So, our solution has been developed to replace that very sort of manual process currently.
Natasha Frakes: With all the technological advances that we’ve seen, people are still using static spreadsheets.
Kate Hiscox: Spreadsheets — that’s exactly right. In a typical use case for us will be, say, a major retailer who has a supply chain of thousands of companies whose products that they sell, Currently the retailer will send out a spreadsheet that can be in excess of 200 columns. It’s absolutely huge, and their suppliers need to fill this out row by row, even if they have 10,000 products that the retailer’s going to sell. As you can imagine, that takes a tonne of time. There’s a lot of human error. And it delays revenue for both the supplier and the retailer, because these products aren’t online for you and I to go out and purchase.
Again, you’ve got 2018 shopping experience, real time data, very fast, ordering on phones and so on, being powered by static spreadsheets in the background. When you try to put the two together and get your head around that in terms of cost and scope, it’s just an impossible problem, and it’s really the main contributing factor to the razor thin margins that are notorious for retail. It’s difficult to make an e-commerce business succeed, be successful, whether you’re a small store-owned shop or for a large retailer, and this is one of the main reasons why, because you’ve got to employ so many people to do this human data entry, which really, again, today with technology as it is, we shouldn’t have to be doing that any more.
Natasha Frakes: Who is Venzee’s customer? Is it a big box retailer?
Kate Hiscox: It is. We have big box retailers, also smaller retailers, suppliers. You know, it’s all about, in this industry, somebody has to do the work of filling out spreadsheets, whether it’s suppliers or retailers. If you’re a large company, generally you can make the smaller companies you do business with do that work for you, but either way, suppliers and retailers both have this problem. So, each come to us to use Venzee to be able to automate the process of turning their data into the requirements of, say, a retailer.
We’ve got a company that’s been on our platform for a while now, they’re based in Pennsylvania, they sell through hundreds of retailers, and each of those retailers have different requirements for their data, because they all use different software. The supplier, instead of having to manually prepare that for all of those retailers, they’re able to drop their data into Venzee, and Venzee does the work of automatically transforming that, and piping it to all their retailers, piping that data to where it needs to go. It completely speeds up the process. From the point they launch a new product line, it’s out, and for sale, being bought by shoppers like you and I within seconds, as opposed to the past, that process could take days, weeks, months even.
Natasha Frakes: You’re growing your enterprise clients, adopting Venzee in 2018. Could you tell us about that?
Kate Hiscox: Sure. Yeah. The company’s four years old. We have a very, very strong team. Two of the companies I’ve built in the past were e-commerce retail, so that’s how I came to know of this problem and wanted to build a solution that I would use, and therefore felt that the industry could use too. I think what really surprised us was the enterprise adoption that we’ve seen. You sort of figure out that the big guys have figured out how to solve these problems today, but they solved these problems by, again, huge head count and manual data entry.
Just like with smaller retailers and suppliers, we’ve seen very large brands, large retailers, coming to us and saying, “Look, you could fix this problem and just speed up our data flow, and generate us revenue a little bit more quickly.” Venzee’s resonating with everybody, and we’ve even just, within our first quarter of this year, we’ve seen the addition of just some very, very large companies now coming in to our pipeline. I’m still, I can get quite shocked on a daily basis, like, “Wow, these are some big, big names that can use our tech.” Thankfully, our tech is well-developed, very, very scalable. Like I said, we’ve got an amazing team, so we’re able to deliver what they’re looking for. It’s a good time to be Venzee, that’s for sure.
Natasha Frakes: It sounds like it. Looking ahead, what can investors expect from Venzee for 2018?
Kate Hiscox: Growth, really. To build Venzee conceptually sounds quite simple, again, cloud-based platform, agnostic in terms of dropping data in, so we’re compatible with just about any system that a vendor, I mean a supplier or manufacturer uses, and then turning that out and piping it to their retailers. Conceptually it sounds simple but building this kind of tech takes big data expertise. We need to be able cope with millions of products and real time syncing between systems and so on. So now the technology is really at a point where it’s solid, it’s very scalable, and we’re just in hyper-growth mode in terms of companies reaching out to us. Our sales team here in Vancouver have their hands full. We’re just performing phenomenally well on a daily basis.
I guess all of that coming together is that we’ve got all the key components that you want as an investor. We’ve got great tech, a product that’s highly in demand, and a very, very, very large market that’s super underserved. We don’t have a lot of competition. Our technology is best-in-class, and we’ve got just tons of customers that want to use our product, so it’s all about execution for us here. I mean, all the stars have aligned. So yeah, expect growth I guess is the main thing.
Natasha Frakes: Sounds like a very exciting time for the company. Thank you so much for being here.
Kate Hiscox: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you so much.