Just before heading to Essen for E-World last week, I had a briefing call with co-founder and Managing Partner, Mr. Jan van den Brom, and CEO, Mr. Bart Kroon, of Agiboo. It had been quite a while since we had last spoken, and it seems that Agiboo has been extraordinarily busy during that period. We started by going through a number of new wins that included,
- Currently implementing at a German Cocoa company where Agiboo is replacing a legacy solution. The customer required some specific functionality which was developed in coordination with the customer,
- Implementing initially for Cocoa for a US-headquartered trader of rice, grains, by-products, and other agricultural products worldwide again replacing another poorly implemented commercial solution in the process,
- Implementing for Coffee at a UK Coffee company where Agiboo is replacing another solution that was incompletely implemented and Excel,
- Implementing for Cocoa at one of the larger independent Cocoa traders in the world,
- Recently signed a Dutch Cocoa company and will start implementation next month,
- Recently signed a major grains and oilseed cooperative in South Africa, among several others.
Agiboo decided to focus in on Coffee, Cocoa and Sugar a couple of years ago and believes they have now developed very specific and fully functional targeted solutions for these commodities. “Most CTRM’s are very broad-based and don’t cover the specifics,” Mr. Kroon told me. “We are seeing a high failure rate for these general CTRM’s and many are moving to replace.”
Mr. Kroon sees a lot of semi-implemented solutions in the space where the detailed fit to requirements is lacking and there is still a reliance on supplemental spreadsheets. Yet another trend is the replacement of legacy solutions built and implemented years ago, he told me, and in this instance, it is often driven by changed banking requirements. The changing needs of stakeholders driving CTRM turnover and replacement are something that ComTech has pointed to over the past couple of years in particular. However, Mr. Kroon emphasized that the banking environment has changed, and today’s banks’ risk profile has changed considerably. However, put simply, banks don’t trust Excel.
In fact, Agiboo sees many things changing across the industry beyond the stakeholder requirements to include consumer behavior around issues like sustainability, fair trade, and other social and environmental concerns. These and other issues are driving more focus on the entire supply chain and increasing digitalization of the supply chain. All of these many changes and issues are driving the buyers in the current markets and Agiboo is benefiting having now more than 30 clients and a presence on all continents. By using the Microsoft technology stack and by focusing on standardizing the product for specific commodities, Mr. Kroon reckons Agiboo can offer a better total cost of ownership for its customers along with rapid implementations (c. 3-months).
Agiboo was founded with a mission to develop a solution that would truly meet the users’ business and technical needs; one that would be useful and affordable for small and medium-sized companies. It certainly appears that Agiboo has stepped up to fulfill that mission however, the Ags and softs CTRM space is very competitive with a broad range of CTRM solutions on offer from the likes of SAP, ION OpenLink and Allegro at one end to smaller and/or more-focused vendors like Gen10, Hivedome, iRely, InvenSoft, and others at the other. ComTech reviewed the market a couple of years ago finding a crowded space yet when drilling deeper into the specifics of a particular supply chain for a particular commodity, say Cocoa or Sugar, for example, there was much less choice than at first appeared. Agiboo by focusing in on excelling in particular under-served yet complex commodities and supply chains has developed a good position in that market it seems.