Home Smart 100 2010 iFindConsultants.com (SMART 100)

iFindConsultants.com (SMART 100)

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The following SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity. More about the SMART 100.

This innovation initially came to life when…

…I accepted a consulting assignment to help an ASX 100 organisation improve the way its staff sourced and selected external service providers. I was astounded at the difficulty and inefficiency staff faced in simply trying to work out which Service Providers in the market had the ideas, experience, capability and availability they needed. It went beyond business managers being frustrated at wasting time. The organization was at significant commercial risk from poor process and selection. Ironically, service providers were still struggling to find good clients. It didn’t make sense. When I realized this was common across industries, the penny dropped.

WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

1. Make it easy for businesses to identify which consultants, advisors or service providers best match their requirements. 2. Provide a transparent and robust sourcing process. 3. Provide a low-risk, low-cost sales channel for service providers.

It does this by…

…giving businesses the specific information they need to work out who they should be talking to. To do this the application helps businesses articulate what they need. It uses this information to interact with and filter service providers from across the market, resulting in a small number of highly relevant and highly targeted proposals. Smart comparison tools make selection easy.

PURPOSE & BENEFITS

This innovation improves on what came before because…

…it’s a more efficient way of identifying the best in the market. It provides more targeted and relevant information than search or directories. It delivers a sound and structured procurement process for getting 3 quotes, while being a lot easier and faster than a tender. It offers a more targeted but lower cost sales channel for Consultants and Service Providers.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

Businesses find the best matched experts in the market, saving time and effort. Procurement departments reduce risk. Consultants and Service Providers find quality clients at a fraction of the cost.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

…spending hours searching websites, scrolling directories, spruiking on social media, listening to cold calls, making a lot of calls, sending out emails, or attending endless coffee meetings. Procurement departments were unsure how you got your ‘3 quotes’. Service providers made a lot of sales visits. All in all, a time consuming and risky process.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

Online: Directories (Yellow Pages etc.), Association membership listings, Search Engines (Google etc.). Offline: personal/professional networks. We researched 297 companies last year. Less than 50% were confident in these approaches, and more than 80% were frustrated by them.

TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

…managers within businesses or government organisations that need to engage external advisors, consultants or professional service providers (this is significant – in 2009 over $1 trillion was spent with 700,000 professional services firms across AU/USA). We offer rebranded application gateways to selected 3rd party organizations: ‘Corporate gateways’ are for procurement departments who want to offer their staff some simple tools that reduce organizational risk through a simple structured sourcing process. ‘Affiliate partner gateways’ are for digital publishers and website owners that want to offer their traffic and subscribers practical business tools, and are wanting to establish a new revenue stream.

DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY

It is available for sale through…

www.iFindConsultants.com – Anyone can go to this website and create an account. This account lets them find or sell professional services. It is also available via our affiliate partners (like www.ZDNet.com.au). Some organisations provide a dedicated corporate gateway to their staff.

Our marketing strategy is to…

…create a powerful affiliate partner network – we allow digital publishers (like CBS) to add our powerful marketplace application to their websites (re-skinned to match their brand) and incentivise them to promote the service to their traffic and subscribers. We also do direct marketing via email, or viral marketing via twitter, Linkedin, blogs etc. Increasingly, positive word of mouth is our friend.

SUPPORTING IMAGES AND/OR VIDEO

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS INNOVATION

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