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Smart procurement workflows: ORO Labs helps organizations increase business agility by making it easy for employees to start, manage and build supplier relationships

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“The company’s Smart Procurement Workflows guide users through the maze of procurement and allow organizations to onboard suppliers quickly with a thorough, compliant, and automated process.”

In 2020, Sudhir Bhojwani, Lalitha Rajagopalan, and Yuan Tung teamed up to co-found ORO Labs, a startup working to ease the work of enterprise procurement teams. They spent more than a decade overseeing product development and delivery at SAP Ariba, the market leader in procurement.

In working with companies large and small, they identified a significant market gap. Procure-to-Pay (P2P), the underlying model for traditional procurement automation, couldn’t be tweaked to solve a completely different problem around decentralized, ad hoc purchases and their resulting spend pipelines. Solving such scenarios would require starting from scratch.

The workflow for these ad-hoc purchases, such as service contracts, IT purchases, R&D expenses, etc., doesn’t follow rigid P2P steps and thus must be handled manually. These types of purchases are driven by business needs at a micro level, resulting in a lot of back and forth between employees and finance/procurement teams, with mounting frustration on both sides. There are also compliance requirements around data privacy, security, risk mitigation, and health and safety that must be met with input and approval from the legal team. Due diligence must be executed, and reviews and business approvals must be orchestrated before a contract can move forward.

Solving this problem requires bridging the disconnect between the need for agile, decentralized purchasing and the requirement for controls and compliance checks. It requires a ground-up rethinking of how procurement workflows can empower employees through simplified, enhanced experiences. And it requires a different model and smarter workflows capable of leveraging all the right data, at the appropriate time to achieve the best outcomes.

ORO’s mission is to streamline end-to-end procurement across teams, systems, and processes without replacing them. Employees can easily initiate and track requests, while internal stakeholders can automate workflow and achieve compliance with ease. This leads to happy business users, fully compliant processes, and high-quality data to make smarter spending decisions.

ORO Labs is based in Palo Alto, California.

The Silicon Review reached out to Mr. Bhojwani, CEO of ORO Labs, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview Highlights

Q. What inspired the creation of ORO Labs? Please brief us about the history so far.

ORO Labs was inspired by the realization that procurement departments are not equipped to manage the thousands of vendors that organizations work with using the existing systems. The company developed an automation platform that makes it easy and efficient for employees to onboard suppliers, and for organizations to scale procurement and finance operations to meet demands for speed and business compliance. Since 2020, ORO Labs has launched its flagship product, secured Fortune 500 global enterprise and fast-growing upper mid-market customers, raised $25 million in Series A funding, and expanded its team to more than 80 employees worldwide.

Q. How does ORO improve the procurement process for organizations?

There is a disconnect between the modern enterprise’s need for agile, decentralized purchasing and the requirement for controls and compliance checks. It can take weeks for organizations to onboard a supplier, and procurement teams have little visibility into supplier management, spend pipelines, compliance, and other issues. Yet, business users need faster procurement to acquire many non-standard items like services, software, equipment, R&D expenses, etc.

This is where legacy procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions fall short; they were designed to solve rigid, siloed problems (e.g., cut a purchase order, run a sourcing event, etc.).

ORO’s Smart Procurement Workflows change this paradigm, giving employees a simple, centralized interface to engage with procurement, and automating the suppliermanagement process across systems and silos.

Q. Can you introduce us to your services? What are the key benefits?

ORO’s Smart Procurement Workflows guide users through the maze of procurement and allow organizations to onboard suppliers quickly with a thorough, compliant, and automated process.

ORO creates a simplified andcentralized experience for any procurement task. Its smart, context-specific workflows accelerate the intake process, extending and complementing existing enterprise systems through seamless integration across procurement, ERP, contract management, risk and security, and other internal systems and data sources. This ensures an orchestrated process company-wide and gives procurement teams complete 360º visibility into each step.

ORO also streamlines supplier management by providing smarter workflows that gather all required data to drive onboarding across AP, risk assessment, legal, financial approvals, and other actionable points. By reducing the time and manual effort required to onboard and work with suppliers, ORO creates a seamless experience for supplier engagement and ensures that organizations have a clean, accurate, and easy-to-access master vendor database.

Q. Can you provide us with examples of how ORO has helped companies overcome supply and procurement challenges?

Supplier bank fraud prevention: ORO’s Smart Workflow helped a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company automate its supplier bank verification and fraud detection process. It increased the number of screened suppliers fourfold, reduced the time taken to verify requests, and provided control over their vendor master data changes. This global pharmaceutical leader was able to reduce manual effort, safeguard itself against vendor payment fraud attempts, and improve adherence to regulatory compliance requirements.

Centralizing Purchase Flows: According to Radhika Samant VP of Finance & Head of Global Procurement at Optimizely, “Our stakeholders were getting increasingly frustrated with a system that did not recognize the differences between marketing, software, and other purchase flows. This was causing a large part of the work to happen outside of our existing spend management platform, impacting agility and causing significant duplication in the effort. ORO helped us build custom purchase flows within a centralized system, allowing us to account for and accommodate the unique purchasing needs of each department. It provides visibility to all stakeholders, enables collaboration, and empowers owners with the agility necessary to make strategic, timely decisions and adapt as conditions continue to change. The simple, frictionless UI drives a smart workflow, putting supplier information right at their fingertips. This shortens time to purchase and ensures we buy only what we truly need at an optimal price.”

“Since 2020, ORO Labs has launched its flagship product, secured Fortune 500 global enterprise and fast-growing upper mid-market customers, raised $25 million in Series A funding, and expanded its team to more than 80 employees worldwide.”