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Newsletter 02/2015

Member profile | 36 Strategies


What product/service does your company (or the company you work for) provide?

36 Strategies General Trading LLC (36S) provides procurement solutions to the GCC market. There are 3 components to our services:

1. E-Procurement Platform “Insight”: Insight, our cloud based procurement platform allows our customers to complete procurement activities spanning from obtaining internal approvals for a purchase order to submitting purchase orders to suppliers. The system logs all activities so spend data can be extracted and analyzed to uncover opportunities for savings or improvement.

2. Product Delivery: We offer a range of over 3,000 food and non-food products across 15 categories including fresh, frozen and ambient food, paper, plastics, chemicals, stationary, cleaning materials, house keeping supplies, etc primarily to the Facilities Management, Construction, Hospitality, Education and Event Management industries in the GCC. Ultimately, we have created the single largest ‘one stop shop’ for all of our business partners’ procurement requirements.

3. Procurement Consultancy - In addition to the 2 core offerings above, we deliver various procurement related projects such as Strategy Development, Sourcing, Cataloguing, Supply Chain Optimization, Business Process Re-engineering and Implementation.

How long has it been operating in UAE?

We’ve been in the UAE since September 2012 and are growing rapidly without compromising on service quality. Last year, we grew by 320% in revenue and 330% in the number of product deliveries while maintaining our service level at 99.8% DIFOT (Delivery-On-Time-In-Full).

How many employees does the company have?

Less than 50.

What were/are the early challenges in setting up this business in the UAE?

Apart from the usual fun & games associated with the business registration process and local partner selection our major challenge was to sell a concept that didn’t exist in the market. In the GCC, procurement processes range from an ambiguous paper-based ‘black holes’ through to poorly implemented complex ERP systems. Irrespective of this, the end result is lengthy non-responsive processes, which encourages employees to find short cuts to procure items, such as using petty cash, or not going through a procurement department at all.

This is where 36S is different. Our software creates a 100% paperless consumer like experience (e.g. simple shopping cart) in a B2B context allowing companies dramatically improve the procurement to pay process whilst enforcing good corporate governance. Our clients have seen as much as a 60% process improvement time in their P2P continuum. The process is combined with the opportunity to order more than 3000 items on a single invoice, delivered on a single vehicle, which in turn eliminates most of the ‘back office’ administration costs whilst also streamlining the inbound delivery process. We offer free trials to let our customers experience the value Insight brings.

In general, who are the clients/customers?

Our customers consist of professional businesses, from smaller expat entrepreneurs through to some of the largest PLC’s in the GCC, who understand the true costs to their business of working with unreliable suppliers; companies who have had enough and are no longer accepting the apparent ‘status quo’, games suppliers in the UAE like to play. Apart from the financial costs of not receiving the necessary ‘tools’ a business requires, be it construction materials, food ingredients or just stationary, customers in the UAE are very mobile thus service delivery and customer satisfaction is paramount. Therefore, having a reliable supplier base is critical to business success. With respect to actual clients, to name a few we are working with Emrill, MAB, GEMS, ADCB, FARNEK, Al Laith, 4 Corners, Oaks Group, the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

We have also completed consultancy projects such as business process and supply chain optimization projects for Al Jaber, Majid Al Futtaim and the World Health Organisation; the vertical / industry is really irrelevant as procurement and supply chain management tend to be a significant part of any organisation costs thus we are always able to identify business improvement opportunities and savings.

Is there a new product/service you are particularly excited about?

We have recently released a mobile app for our Insight software, which allows users to make real time approvals, anytime, anywhere. There is also a budget function which allows (Purchase Order) approvers to check how much has already been spent against a given budget, thus helping approvers to make fact based decisions of whether to approve an order or not. Insight is not a new product but we make monthly improvements to the software, including new features.

Does the company have one location or several branches in the UAE/Middle East?

Our Head Office is in Dubai, which services the UAE and we have a satellite office in Muscat, Oman. We also have companies using our e-Procurement software across the GCC including Qatar, Bahrain and KSA.

Who is working at the management level of this company?

The company benefits from a very diverse management team who come from Australia, Japan, Denmark, Belgium, India and Canada. The company is owned and managed by Steven Speter who is originally from Sydney Australia. Steven has been living and working in the Middle East with his wife Sandy and their two kids Tom and Sydney for the past 5 years.

What are the reasons behind this company's success in the UAE?

I think it is quite simple, we passionately believe challenging the status quo to find simple and easy to use solutions. We also just happen to be a great supplier of the basic necessities every company needs to run their business. If company chooses to work with 36 Strategies then they will have a business partner with integrity who is as equally vested in their success as they.

How has your association with the ABCD made a difference to 36 Strategies?

Absolutely; the ABCD networking opportunities have allowed me to meet like-minded individuals who are interested in creating professional business partnerships. At the same time, my family has thoroughly enjoyed the social events, which has allowed us to meet other Australian families with similar interest and hobbies.

36 Strategies are members of the ABCD


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