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Algorithms and AI: Intelligent Sourcing for a Transparent Supply Chain 

Weltkarte mit technologischem Hintergrund
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July 21, 2022 | Digitalization, Supply Chain Network Management

Our goal is to acquire even more data about supply chains to facilitate sustainable purchasing decisions and make supply chains more transparent long-term.

Isabel poppek, Managing Director, Alpas Gmbh

Purchasing agents in industrial companies are under a lot of pressure ever since the unpredictable events such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine have lead to massive supply bottlenecks. Cost-effective and efficient material procurement is becoming increasingly more difficult. What we need are intelligent tools for maximum market transparency. After all, only up-to-date and well-founded information contributes to reducing risks in companies and ensuring that supplies are safeguarded,” says Staufen partner Frank Gröner. 

In all honesty, though, you have to admit that over the past 20 years, digitalization in most purchasing department has been lacking. The good news, though, is that companies are now getting help from Weconomy winner Alpas. “We develop software for purchasing departments to help them identify the right suppliers 10 x faster,” says founder Isabel Poppek. “Our focus is on companies that purchase mechanical engineering and electronic components.” 

As opposed to Google or Alibaba, for example, buyers can enter a range of technical specifications in the sourcing software’s search mask to help them find the right components. As an alternative, buyers can upload technical data sheets. The search is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and enhanced with third-party data, for example financial data or data on sustainability. “We generate 360° views of suppliers saving our customers from having to research the market,” explains Alpas Managing Director Poppek.

Leading industrial companies already rely on Alpas AI 

Swiss Federal Railways, ABB, and energy management expert Landis & Gyr already rely on the technology the startup offers. With it, they can avoid supply bottlenecks in a shorter period of time, and use Alpas to search for alternative suppliers, saving the effort needed for time-consuming supplier maintenance. 

Does Alpas intend for purchasing to be completely automated at some point? “No,” says Isabel Poppek. “Our goal is to acquire even more data about supply chains to facilitate sustainable purchasing decisions and make supply chains more transparent long-term.” Staufen partner Frank Gröner anticipates a bright future for intelligent sourcing: “Companies like Alpas empower companies to globally search for suppliers that match their manufacturing technologies and are aligned with product parameters – targeted, fast and with a high degree of precision.” 

Portrait Founder alpas GmbH
The founders of Alpas: Nils Vollmer and Isabel Poppek

Alpas’ software helps industrial companies that purchase mechanical and electronic parts to find suppliers faster. Using artificial intelligence, Alpas extracts relevant information from online and offline sources and provides data-driven recommendations for procurement.

Alpas is winner of the WECONOMY 2021. WECONOMY brings together innovative, technology-oriented start-ups and established companies – to turn great ideas into successful companies. The Gründerinitiative (Founder Initiative) is a strong network within the German economy, which offers access to valuable contacts and many opportunities for open and intensive exchange with experienced specialists and executives. The competition is organized annually by Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V. in cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading center for innovation and start-ups, and Handelsblatt.

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