Saturday, March 9, 2019

business portal

business portal

A Local Business Takes Advantage of A New Internship Platform - KSNF/KODE -

Posted: 08 Mar 2019 08:30 PM PST

Monett, Mo - A Missouri organization is making the intern and internship search easier for students and local businesses.
KSN's Joie Bettenhausen explains what Intern Connect is and how it can help businesses grow.

"Experiential learning is what we're trying to offer to give students an education on what they think they want to do as an occupation, before they actually get out there and do it as an occupation." says Kelly Dyer, Missouri Chamber of Commerce Intern & Business Engagement Dir.

Joie Bettenhausen, Reporter
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is trying to bridge the gap between local businesses and interns, since, they say, many residents are looking elsewhere for jobs.

"A lot of our young adults are leaving the state of Missouri to find employment and we're trying to change that trend and one of the products that one of my colleagues found was a Indiana Intern.Net." adds Dyer

With the idea of an intern and business portal in hand, the Missouri Chamber launched Intern Connect this past January.
It's a website that allows businesses to post internships directly to the page and makes information easily accessible to interns throughout the state.

"A student can search by region, so if they wanted to go back home and work during the summer, they can look on this site and sort by region, by skill, by industry." continues Dyer

And in the Four State region, Monett is the first city to have an internship posted to Intern Connect.

"Well it's wonderful to know that Monett does have a company listed on the Intern Connect, which just further shows that the city motto of "Pride in Progress" continues to live on today. Obviously, we're progressive enough to be trying to find those internship opportunities and keep them local." says Jeff Meredith, Monett Chamber of Commerce Exec. Dir.

Businesses in Monett look for quality qualified workers and owners hope Intern Connect will be able to train students in valuable skills, while also giving them the opportunity to be employed in their hometown.
And community members are hopeful for what this new program will bring to Monett.

"Because it's a program of the Missouri Chamber, it has a bright future. They do well with all the programs that they do and we're very proud that Monett's part of that and I think this is definitely a step in the right direction in trying to connect internship opportunities locally from students all across the state or across the nation." adds Meredith

In Monett, Joie Bettenhausen, KSN Local News.

Exclusive article from Maistro: connecting supplier to customer through the digital marketplace - Supply Chain Digital - Supply Chain News, Magazine and Website

Posted: 08 Mar 2019 10:00 PM PST

Laurence Cook, CEO of Maistro, looks at how digital B2B marketplaces are the future of the procurement landscape.

In a recent report, Gartner identified business to business (B2B) marketplaces as a future driver of change for procurement and procurement professionals all over the world. Through SAP's Ariba Network and the Amazon Business Portal, which connects millions of global B2B buyers and suppliers, that future is already coming to fruition. Both Amazon and SAP are but two of the biggest examples as to how the marketplace is transforming procurement, but there is one marketplace provider that looks to looks to go a little further than simply connecting a buyer to a supplier. "There are quite a few organisations that will offer a matching service, matching customer and supplier and then stepping out of the loop," says Laurence Cook, CEO at Maistro. "What we at Maistro do is we connect customer to supplier and then we offer managed services around that relationship. We believe that we are using technology and humans together to try and optimise our solution that we offer to our customers."

Maistro is an online B2B Marketplace and Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered delivery platform designed to "accelerate the corporate buying process and optimise spend."  Founded in 2007, Maistro works with organisations to extend supplier reach, eliminate wasteful and outdated purchasing practises and streamline the entire procurement delivery process. As Cook describes it, Maistro sits in the middle between customer and supplier. With a marketplace of over 30,000 pre-vetted suppliers, Maistro's goal is to help companies connect with just the one. "We take a brief from the customer, their target budget, objectives and their deliverables and put them into our Maistro platform," he says. "Through machine learning, we search our database to identify the best supplier."

The company provides the customer with three leading suppliers, key information regarding those suppliers and how they can deliver on the customer brief and the power is then in the hands of the customer. Once the customer has selected the supplier, Maistro will connect the two. "That's the bit where we sit in the middle. We make the procurement process digital while keeping the service personal," says Cook. "Once everything is in place, then the project kicks off. What we then do, through our managed services, is run project governance throughout the entire project to ensure successful execution."

The Maistro platform is powered by AI and machine learning, utilising key data and business intelligence to identify and vet the leading suppliers around the world. AI is but one of the key technologies dominating the current digital conversation and Cook admits that this has bred a culture of believing that AI is simply the answer to solving all business and procurement challenges.  Cook makes an analogy to ice cream. "AI can look at a specific problem that says, if it's hot then we should sell more ice cream. If it gets hotter, sell more," he says. "But if the temperature continues to rise to unbearable levels, no one will go outside and buy ice cream because it's too hot. The AI will still say that increased heat equals increased sales."

"AI needs to constantly adapt and the only way we can make it adapt is through human intervention."


This is where the managed service element of Maistro's offering comes into play. Cook believes that while technology will allow companies to make great strides in identifying the very best, there will always remain a need for human interaction. This, he feels, is what separates Maistro from other companies offering B2B marketplaces. Maistro works to understand the customer's needs through the way the customer thinks and marries its own innovative thinking to identify an optimal solution for the customer's demands. "We then feed that back into the Maistro platform and then through AI, the platform learns from that," he says. "What we're trying to do is to get the platform to learn and to come up with the best solution that it thinks is right, coupled with a human being in that loop, advising the customer and thinking logically about how that could possibly work. Using those two things together to give the customer the best solution."

Maistro works with customers in a wide variety of industry sectors and this provides the company with a broad picture as to what different industry players demand and what the key drivers behind that demand are. Cook points to a tobacco company, one of Maistro's biggest customers, that has a footprint spanning 12 countries. In Europe, the company's focus is centred around innovation while in Asia its cost. Through this one customer Maistro has a view of the intricacies of multiple markets. "They are looking to move from tobacco to reduced risk products and that's a massive change for their business," he says. "What they need then is speed and innovation across their supplier base. How quickly can we find them a supplier to match that changing focus? Maistro looks for innovative suppliers that can offer something different to any customer in any industry."

Another example of this saw a customer request that Maistro connect them with suppliers connected to sonic branding, the practice of using auditory elements to brand a product or service. This was an area that even Cook himself admits to having a limited understanding of and this required Maistro to approach this particular request a little differently. "What we do a lot of the time is help bring the suppliers to customers that can educate them and help them make their companies more effective and, in the process, we learn as well," he says. "There's no substitute for making sure that we are keeping ahead of the game by doing research ourselves. We don't simply react, we are proactive."

This proactive approach has seen Maistro recognised on a global scale, not only by current and future customers but also by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). In late 2018, CIPS announced that Maistro had become the latest CIPS Knowledge Partner. As a knowledge partner, Maistro will work with CIPS and its global members to address the evolving digital procurement landscape. Cook feels this is key in stimulating the procurement community. "We want to get the procurement community moving faster," he says. "There are some that are slow movers and others that are first movers and even those that stand still. We need to educate the market and collectively address procurement challenges by understanding the solutions that exist right now."

"I am incredibly passionate about helping the procurement industry move forward and I want Maistro to be able to be seen as the go-to supplier in terms of speed, innovation and cost. Those three things are core to any procurement function and we can be a catalyst for optimisation."

Data May Limit Online Tulsa Business Resource Portal to English - Public Radio Tulsa

Posted: 08 Mar 2019 02:49 PM PST

An online portal that's in the works to help Tulsa entrepreneurs may not launch in English and Spanish as hoped.

"One of the deterrents is that some of the data that flows into it … doesn't come bilingual. Even if we can get some portions of the site bilingual, we may not be able to get a completely interactive experience bilingual," said city Economic Development Commission Chair Warren Ross.

Another hiccup is the company that will likely develop the portal is based in Canada and is more experienced with English and French than Spanish. Ross said going to the Great White North was more cost-effective.

"Because they've done this for multiple cities, we are getting some economies of scale. If we tried to originate a website locally, I think we would be probably 10 times the amount of costs that we're looking at," Ross said.

Modeled after ones in Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans, the portal will map industry, economic and demographic data to help entrepreneurs decide where to open up shop.

The EDC approved last month spending up to $15,500 on the Web portal.

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