Hetal Mehta is the founder and CEO of iQuantum Inc., a modular, modern procurement platform. As the leader of iQuantum’s woman and minority owned business, Hetal works closely with all internal teams, customers, partners, and the iQuantum Advisory Board of industry champions and practitioners.
Hetal Mehta’s journey into the industry
For many years, Mehta worked as a developer and consultant to procurement teams. Through that experience she recognised the need for a more sophisticated and user-friendly procurement solution, “one that does all the efficient and effective consolidations, automation and workflows – but also helps guide alignment between buying decisions and larger strategic corporate goals like increased diversity,” she says.
“My in-depth experience and understanding of supplier diversity led me to realise that customers struggle with finding appropriate suppliers and are prone to continuing business with existing ones – even if that is not ideal.
“With iQuantum our goal is to leverage 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 resilient and robust supply chain.”
iQuantum’s Unique Selling Point
iQuantum Inc. is a modern Source-to-Pay platform designed to meet today’s procurement needs for Supplier Relationship Management, Diversity and ESG Sustainability tracking and reporting. They provide the tools and transparency to align spend decisions to strategic corporate goals.
Mehta says: “There is no single provider on the market who competes with us pin-to-pin.” iQuantum is the only SaaS platform to provide:
- Complete Supplier discovery to Pay on one platform WITH modern ESG and full diverse supplier management.
- New supplier discovery from a database of millions of global suppliers to increase supply chain resilience and support new product introduction (NPI) sourcing
- Integrated supplier communication and collaboration with in-built Chat and conversation storage for future reference and context
- Modern approach to complete strategic sourcing for indirect, direct and new product introduction with internal team collaboration
- Rich contracts, procurement, and spend management analytics
- Integrated Tier 1 & Tier 2 Diversity and ESG Sustainability reporting and benchmarks
- Government and Customer reporting along with Subject Matter Expertise by fine-tuning their diverse spend tracking and achieve the elite Billion Dollar Roundtable or BDR
- Diverse and small supplier visibility to iQuantum’s Fortune 500 customer base, including support for supplier marketing of their products and catalogues
- Modular licensing approach and enterprise interoperability to accommodate each customer’s needs, budgets, and existing system investments
- Single code base for quick implementation, easy maintenance, and simple configuration with a sophisticated, user-friendly user experience
- Access to global database of suppliers including diverse/non-diverse and green suppliers for procurement to add to supply chain and achieve savings
- Better alignment, reduced risk, and increased compliance across procurement, finance, and corporate legal
The importance of Diversity in Procurement and Supply Chain and the role of iQuantum
McKinsey reported that working with diverse suppliers leads to an 8.5% in cost savings, which is more than the 3 - 7 % savings most procurement organisations realise. “Prioritising diversity in your employees and your supplier base as a part of ESG is integral to the growth and future trajectory of the company – employees, leadership, investors, stakeholders, and customers seek brands that are improving their profiles,” says Mehta.
Qualified diverse suppliers bring savings and better service to customers. Procurement leaders have recognised this, and are looking at ways to increase their diverse supplier base. (Increasingly Tier 1 and Tier 2 diversity reporting is becoming a mandate across different industry verticals).
She says: “We see these two tiers in Manufacturing, and in Law firms it typically comes from customers setting goals to win RFPs, while for the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry the stimulus comes from the government and encourages organisations to negotiate diversity goals and to report them annually.”
iQuantum’s automated customer and government reporting solution is helping customers achieve this. “This automation,” says Mehta, “and our in-depth subject matter expertise in exclusion criteria rules, is also helping customers achieve their goals and get on to the prestigious Billion Dollar Roundtable BDR. Our global database of suppliers allows customers to source from new diverse suppliers to meet their goals.”
How iQuantum tackles modern business challenges
Businesses today need help driving alignment across divisions and teams. Core brand values and strategic goals need to be surfaced in all corporate decisions – but most importantly in spend decisions. Mehta says: “There is a critical need to meet the diversity spend and ESG sustainability goals being set by leadership and closely tracked by government regulators and investors.
“Our customers like to work with us due to our commitment to customer success, our responsiveness to customer needs and our budget-friendly pricing.” This approach relates to the findings in the McKinsey report concerning better savings and an enhanced overall experience when working with diverse suppliers.
Supporting women-owned businesses
iQuantum has subject matter experts to partner with diverse businesses (women, minority, veteran, disabled, LGBT) around the globe to provide guidance on the certification options and process; enriching their supplier profiles to maximise their reach and relevance to upcoming RFQs (Request For Quotes) RFPs (Request For Proposals) and RFIs (Request For Information), or Direct Material Sourcing.
Mehta says: “We also assist certified businesses in getting catalogue-ready, to simplify enterprise purchasing of their products. Our regular supplier outreach, newsletter supplier spotlights and social media channels promote and support women, minority, and other certified businesses. It’s part of our mission and our DNA.”
Adapting to Procurement Developments
Procurement needs today have changed. They need a platform which addresses today’s modern challenges of Diversity and ESG Sustainability tracking. “Every purchase made needs to be aligned to strategic corporate goals and help to move the needle,” Mehta says.
“Increased government regulation and consumer scrutiny of corporate brand spending has increased the need for a new procurement approach.”
“Customers benefit from our “Only Buy What You Need” approach which helps them avoid paying for unused functionality. Our rapid onboarding makes the user experience better and decreases the time to ROI.”
“If you are looking for a modern modular procurement platform to meet today’s procurement needs, iQuantum is the solution.”
iQuantum’s Strategy is best seen according to 3 main facets -
- For Diversity, their approach is two-fold. Firstly, they want to help companies find, on-board and buy from diverse suppliers easily. Secondly, they aim to help diverse suppliers gain exposure to potential customers by giving them a platform to market their products and services
- For ESG, iQuantum’s goal is to help make this an integral part of the company and not just an afterthought to meet reporting requirements. For example, they help companies assess their GHG 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 upon which companies can execute all aspects of procurement, ie Finding suppliers (Q-Discovery), Qualify (via RFx and Direct Material Sourcing for Manufacturing), Onboard (Contracts), Procure (Order Management), Monitor (SRM), and Control (Spend Analytics), but also allow modular consumption. They also aim to help companies preserve their existing investments, if they require, by integrating with any systems they may already have installed
iQuantum’s Outlook for the future
The Diversity market is moving from being driven by government mandates, to one where it is an integral part of company strategy. Mehta believes that iQuantum is, “in the early stages of realising the full potential of this market.”
She says: “For ESG, this is truly a nascent but swiftly developing market. Companies simply don't have a good way of assessing their GHG footprint, and we are one of the few solutions that can help them achieve this. We see considerable promise in helping companies assess their environmental footprint.”
In the Source-to-Pay space, iQuantum’s customer conversations have proved that legacy procurement providers are not only unable to meet today's modern business requirements, but also have yesterday's UX. Mehta says: “We are solving this problem.”
Finally, on the subject of regulations, Mehta says: “There are regulations going into effect and being defined every single day. We are keeping a constant eye on any changes that may impact rules, reporting, and best practices.
“iQuantum always keeps the SEC, SBA, CDP current, and up-to-date, helping customers to adapt and remain agile to the changing environment.”