One of the biggest problems facing supply chain operators in identifying loss is the manual labour of finding and reading the right documents to uncover the evidence of loss. Today, this process can take as long as 12 to 18 months, and involves having accounting and financial analysts read a massive number of invoices, master service agreements, and vendor emails. This delay in identifying losses - and correcting them - can total up to 5 per cent of supplier spending and create a huge rift with suppliers. Trust with customers can also be damaged.
“Internal auditors or external accounting firms have been using very expensive accounting resources to read documents in order to pinpoint cost savings and inefficiencies for their clients,” says John Craig, the CEO of Vigilant AI. “We could see immediate value to supply chain operators if we could develop a better solution.”
Enter Vigilant AI.
Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning married with secure data warehousing, John and his team created a platform that can analyze and cross-correlate both structured (ie: spreadsheets) and unstructured (ie: emails, documents) data to identify supply chain losses. The platform can support documentation in multiple languages and can ingest and analyze data presented in different formats.
The result for supply chain operators is threefold: one is the platform helps organizations eliminate data silos inside that can prevent data from being analyzed quickly; two, is an incredibly rapid analysis of data, returning results in days vs. months; and three, is the creation of easy-to-understand reports with documented evidence that can be actioned to claim or prevent loss..
“We are providing a single platform for supply chain operator loss analysis that hasn’t been created before,” John says. “Lawyers have used tools similar to this for e-Discovery and legal document review, but never has it been applied to aid in complex financial reviews that require a deep contextual understanding. And the process to get started is so easy.”
It starts with discussion around the type of supply chain loss an organization or CFO is most concerned with, such as overspending with suppliers, customs and tax audits, or compliance issues with supplier agreements. A secure portal is opened for the key data stewards in the organization, such as IT, legal and finance. Once all of the data is loaded into the platform, the analysts will be prompted to identify the most critical terms and attributes of the financial process they want to review, and the data is tagged and reviewed to ensure all the documents are categorized appropriately. This creates a fully-contextualized data warehouse that makes it easy to begin analysis. Within days, a report linking transactions with the key evidentiary documents will be generated. The client can action the information as needed.
“Our first customers are likely to be accounting firms who are doing this work on behalf of large supply chain operators, and we modestly estimate they’ll double their margins internally because of the speed the work can be done, and by reducing the number of resources they need by as much as a third,” John says. His next hope is to grow the company to 200 customers over the next five years. “That’s an ideal situation for any Canadian organization and it will open us up to a number of opportunities beyond North America.”
He also hopes to continue his work with ventureLAB. Having been a part of their Supply AI cohort and now the 2023 Accelerate AI program, he says the support they’ve given Vigilant AI on the customer side of their business has been critical to their success.
“We’re definitely in the right lane with ventureLAB… we’re past having worked with our first customer and are tapping their expertise to move toward the broader use of our product.”
He adds he’s more confident than ever about the success and future growth potential of his company.
“We’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of what customers are looking for… and we’re solving some very big challenges for them faster than they have ever experienced. AI has allowed us to do this cheaply and efficiently… We’re helping customers make the right financial decisions and that is great.”
Led by our seasoned expert Advisors and business leaders Garry Chan and Krishna Vempati, this free comprehensive 6-month program will propel Accelerate AI companies to solve the modern-day challenges of the supply chain industry by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning into their established product offerings. We are excited to watch the immense growth of these companies as they tackle some of the most challenging entrepreneurial hurdles in technology today.
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 5,000 jobs and raise more than $340 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.