Life may have gotten a little bit easier for trade show buyers who have long wished for a quick and easy way to collect, manage and share product sourcing data on-the-go.
Enter ShowSourcing, a new mobile app that allows buyers and product managers to take notes and gather valuable information during trade shows, factory visits, supplier meetings or other sourcing events.
Touted as a mix between Evernote, Facebook and Salesforce, this digital data collection tool also enables users to organize, archive and share product, supplier and competitor information securely across sourcing teams, enabling a more systematic and productive purchasing workflow.
“Since we know that many decisions regarding purchasing are often made collaboratively within teams, our app has an innovative sharing function that allows a team of buyers to simultaneously build a list of products when visiting a trade show,” explained Gauthier Van Den Eynde, head of sales for ShowSourcing.
He added, “In the near future we will extend these sharing functions to other stakeholders of the industry to enhance communication between all parties.”
Available on iOS and Android, the app is simple and straightforward: take a picture of the product, enter the details and save. No more losing business cards, spending inordinate amounts of time organizing and transcribing data, or trying to match photographs with suppliers post-show.
Besides live capture at events, the app can also collect product data from emails, catalogues or other sources. Instant Cloud backup and data encryption ensure that information is secure and only accessible through individual login details.
In addition, SmartSourcing recently launched a Cloud-based project management solution to help buyers and product managers follow up, manage and stay on top of their purchasing processes.
Based in Brussels, the software company decided to develop the app two years ago after recognizing a need for a user-friendly digital platform that would specifically address buyer sourcing needs, something that typical trade show apps don’t do.
“A lot of trade fair organizers, sometimes even the biggest ones, have spent a considerable amount of time and money on developing apps and features that are not really used by visitors,” Van Den Eynde said.
He continued, “I see two main reasons: professional buyers who (attend) several fairs during the year do not want to download a new app for every single fair and these apps are usually complex to use with too many features and options. We decided to tackle this from another angle by developing an easy-to-use app that customers liked, and over time we will be adding additional features that truly makes sense while keeping the simplicity.”
Mark Moniz, product manager of GXT Gaming, saw great potential in the ShowSourcing app when he and a colleague stumbled upon it last year. After years of searching for a more efficient way to manage his sourcing activities and even considering developing his own software, Moniz said the app couldn’t have fallen into his lap at a better time.
“We tried the app and found that it certainly had a lot of potential but wasn’t completely useful for us just yet, so we got in contact with CEO Antoine Praet, discussed our view on the app, explained our sourcing processes and talked about how the application could be improved and be of valuable assistance for our sourcing activities,” Moniz explained.
He continued, “In the following months we’ve used the application on different trade shows and exhibits. After every event we’ve evaluated the application with Antoine and every time he and his team were able to improve it. At this time, I can say we are very happy with the current version. By using the application our sourcing activities have become way more efficient – it’s easy, it’s fast and it saves us a lot of valuable time.”