In today’s operating and competitive environment, global brands need to move from reaction and containment to proactively manage quality, risk and compliance in all aspects of their operations. This includes their retail locations and extends beyond their tier one suppliers in their supply chains. In 2008, Mitch Porche, Co-founder and CEO saw this complex problem, and as a result, set on to solve by founding ComplianceMetrix (CMX).
Helping the world’s largest brands deliver on their Brand Promises for almost a decade, CMX – a leading enterprise technology company – provides a single, comprehensive platform for managing Quality, Risk & Compliance, with solutions for Supply Chain Vendor and Quality Management, Operational Excellence, and Enterprise Audit. With a rich client base that include global brands and service companies operating in highly regulated markets, CMX also has customers in several industry verticals including, Food Services, Retail, Grocery, and Consumer Goods Manufacturing markets. Today, CMX’s solutions are translated into 16 languages and have over 250,000+ active users per month in 123 countries across the globe.
A Steadfast Entrepreneur
Mitch spent the first half of his career in the Financial Services industry, and previously held CIO/CTO roles in several of the largest Wall Street firms. In 2004, he set out on his own to build his first technology company, delivering enterprise compliance management solutions for Banks, Broker-dealers and Insurance companies. The company achieved rapid success and was acquired just a few years later. The lessons learned while serving the enterprise helped Mitch create the blueprint for CMX, and technology innovations, such as cloud computing, made them possible.
Providing the Stability and Flexibility of Custom Software
With a vision for creating a next-generation compliance platform, CMX set out to build an enterprise platform with two objectives; provide the stability of a purpose-built product, with the flexibility of custom software. The stage was set to build the next-generation of compliance solutions designed to solve the most complex problems in highly-regulated industries. The company’s first customer was the largest third-party auditing company in North America, and through that relationship, the CMX platform reached over 160 companies and many of the largest retail brands.
Challenges that Paved Way
Looking back at the journey, CMX’s first supply chain solution was a relatively simplistic solution to the most fundamental problem that most organizations face – accurate records on their suppliers and the products they supply. However, once that basic problem was solved, the real challenges were exposed and there was a heightened sense of urgency to address them. “In order to keep up with our customer needs, we needed to embrace and codify a culture of rapid innovation. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need the right team, supported by the right processes and enabled with the right technologies. This was a journey for us, a lot of mistakes were made, and we went through a lot of pain, but it was worth it. As we’ve grown to a company of 50 employees, we’ve been able to still innovate like a smaller team, and its magic,” Mitch recalls.
Another big challenge that CMX faced came from an unexpected place, its customers. “Coming from the Financial Services industry, we were used to a higher level of technical experience and IT support and involvement from our customers. We learned we can’t expect the same experience from industries where they didn’t traditionally depend heavily on software to operate. But we’re much smarter about this now, and we put a lot more emphasis and effort into setting client expectations upfront, implementing client processes, consulting and helping our clients manage their internal processes. It also helps that our customers have been evolving as well and are typically in a much better position today,” Mitch adds.
Team, Technology, Expertise and Track Record
Clients benefit from doing business with CMX based on its best-in-class technology capabilities, industry experience, highly consultative approach and agility. Mitch believes its primary differentiators are team, domain expertise, technology and CMX’s track record.
- Team – CMX is a company of innovators, who enjoy solving hard problems and achieving transformative results for the customers they serve.
- Technology – The CMX platform is the enabler for its business and customers, providing the ability to rapidly prototype, build, deploy and refactor safely and cost-effectively. The platform is designed to handle the unique challenges of Supply Chain Vendor and Quality Management.
- Domain Expertise – The firm has deep expertise in quality, compliance and supply chain. Over the past 15 years, the team has designed and delivered innovative technology solutions for large service providers and multi-national brands.
- Track Record – The CMX team has a proven track record of solving complex problems for the world’s largest brands. No other provider can demonstrate successful implementations with the breadth and depth of capabilities that CMX offers.
With E-commerce, challenges remain
According to the organization, while e-commerce has fueled the proliferation of trading relationships, there are still challenges to address. The first issue it sees revolves around e-commerce; in its limited view of the trading relationship, omits a substantial portion of the vital information needed to be exchanged between buyers and suppliers. International trade agreements govern trade at the highest level, with layers of local regulations throughout the value chain. Products must adhere to exacting specifications, quality and safety standards, and should be manufactured in accordance with certified standards. More recently, environmental impact and social responsibility has gained prominence with consumers and regulators. E-commerce hasn’t really addressed this level of information exchange, which creates a huge challenge for any company conducting trade today. This limitation makes supply chain visibility, traceability and transparency a challenge.
This “information exchange” problem is compounded by complex structure of trading relationships in today’s environment. Where in the past, a “one-to-many” relationship between trading partners was the dominant model; today, they can best be described as “networks” of “multi-channel” and “cross-channel” relationships. The roles between distinct participants (raw material suppliers, processors, manufacturers, transportation, distributors, buyers and retailers) continues to blur. In many scenarios, participants are both partners and competitors. The software systems designed to enable global trade (mainly ERP) are simply not designed to handle this level of complexity. As a result, it’s almost impossible for any party involved in a trade to have visibility beyond a direct “tier 1,” relationship. The lack of visibility beyond Tier-1 relationships is a huge problem and opportunity.
To be competitive and world-class, brands will have no other choice than to use technology and data for managing their supply chains, exchanging information, and gaining visibility. That visibility is critical in making decisions, for taking action, and protecting their brand reputation, market share and customer safety.
Lastly, ComplianceMetrix believes that E-commerce has set an expectation with consumers that they can see and track their goods from the point of purchase to the delivery phase, including reverse logistics. This same expectation of transparency and tracking is now becoming a requirement for consumers who want to know exactly where their goods come from. Brands will need to be able to satisfy customers’ (and investor) demands for more sustainable and responsibly sourced goods. The requirement of transparency and detailed information about a good’s origins can only be enabled by technology and the visibility beyond tier 1 suppliers.
Continuing to Innovate with Novel Technologies
Coming years will see CMX continuing to innovate with its platform and products. “Between our immediate product roadmap, customer-driven innovations and the inevitable opportunities that arise from working in a problem domain over time, CMX will be innovating for many years ahead. From a product perspective, a lot of our thinking and investment goes into how we better serve the enterprise customer. We’re also looking at ways to serve the small-mid market, who face many of the same challenges as the big companies, but with far fewer resources.”
Other innovations that CMX is looking forward to, include Blockchain and IoT. “We’re still in the R&D phase with Blockchain, but there’s no doubt it will play an important role in our offering. As IoT matures and standards evolve, IoT will play a crucial role in the supply chain. CMX is well positioned for this inevitability, as the platform to monitor quality and take corrective action to reduce risk and ensure ongoing compliance,” Mitch concludes.