If data is the new oil, then AI (artificial intelligence) must be the new gold and we’ve got both.

As a youthful, energised start-up, it could be remiss of us to go off like a greyhound out the trap and get busy building our product hoping like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ But the question we’ve been looking at is not ‘they’ but ‘who’. And every other question around that area, like why they are coming, what are they doing, how are they doing it, for how long and what are they not doing. All so we can provide insights and support to our clients.

The Pulse Market platform is in beta, we are proudly building what people want, changing what people don’t and adjusting what people do for better.

From day one we are focused on capturing data points that we can use to be better and to make changes for good in more ways than one. We have been working with Tom Trolez from Spark HQ ensuring that at the heart of our digital world, data is held, saved, used, and managed in the correct way, building a stronger backbone to our platform, helping us advise and enhance our products and service offering, helping our clients do more, in less time and win more business efficiently.

But hold on... whilst we are throwing around these buzzwords, what about the other big hitter, AI (artificial intelligence)? We are not just talking the talk on this either, the Pulse Market vision was built around a growing, ever evolving, learning, and enhancing vision. How do we continually help our clients enhance their offering through guidance, information, on-platform live feedback and artificial intelligence? So, when you’re in Pulse, it grows and changes as you do, as your world does and changes for good. The platform will feedback on content, answers, questions that score low or high. We’ll guide you on how buyers are searching, viewing and appointing businesses like yours. We’ll support effective and fast automation of responses, to give you time back.

With these two rich variables, data and AI, we can deliver our vision and help you succeed for good.


At Pulse Market we talk about bringing buyers and sellers together for good. To tell you more about why we are doing this read on. John Ellis our Chief Operating Officer, explains how we make doing business simple, seamless, fun and above all good. It's what gets the team motivated every day. 
 
We enjoy the interaction of people, the excitement of new business opportunities and building long term sustainable relationships. We are using our many years of experience of the difficulties and in-efficiencies in doing business to build an exciting new way to meet, discover, engage, and benefit from working with one another. 
 
We strive to make it fun, simple and speedy to do business within a resilient and secure infrastructure. Pulse Market is about community, participation, support and being the go-to platform for insightful thought leadership and relevant information. We are an enabler to giving back freedom, time and removing stress from existing business processes. 
 
Our purpose is to help everyone do business more effectively, efficiently and putting a smile back on our clients faces. We are Pulse, we are fun to work with and it will be a joyful experience working with all our clients, now and in the future. Many of our investors have significant experience and extensive networks, and we look forward to working with them and benefiting from their support in the months ahead. 

Outrageous cost savings 

By delivering process and template standardisation, a golden copy tender asset repository, instant vendor matching, and many more features, the Marketplace saves significant costs for all participants. 

Inituitive and user friendly 

Our obsession is to make the Marketplace a fantastic user experience. Easy to use, very intuitive and we create a reason for users to come back every day.  

Substantial time savings 

Our efficient processes, standardisation and re-usability of tender assets, significantly reduces the end to end elapsed timescales. Resources are freed up to add additional value to your business. 

Sustainability, ESG at our core 

Sustainability is core to our business. We want to help drive our members to be good citizens to their employees, communities and to the environment we all share. 

Do you want to find out more? Book a demo today.

Our guest writer, David Lewis, recently shared his daily struggles of ‘sweet talking beauty pageants’, in other words pitches to win business. David spurred us on to think even more about why the whole procurement process is a challenge for buyers and sellers

David talked through the labour intensive and costly process that sellers must complete to attempt to win new business (and maintain annually to service a client). He explained that ludicrous amounts of time (and money) are spent pulling together policy documents, accreditation, and certifications for it to simply become a tick in the box on a procurement checklist. Forget the skills, creativity magic and expertise that the agency will deliver to elevate a business.

David is one of many buyers and sellers we have interviewed to find out more about the challenges they face working their way through the laborious procurement system.

Listening to the buyers and sellers it made us understand why the procurement process is causing headaches for everyone. Procurement process was born in paper driven age, to create a paper trail and audits – it has failed to adapt to our paperless digital age. Until now.

Pulse Market’s team listened, learned, and harnessed 21st century intelligent technology and AI - and applied our brains to fixing an outdated and broken procurement system.

In summary Pulse Market is a cloud-based platform that is fixing an outdated process and transforming the procurement now fit for a digital age.

Here are some of the ways Pulse Market is transforming the procurement process:

A pre-release of Pulse Market is coming soon, and you can be the first to try it. Arrange a demo today by emailing: exec@pulsemarket.com

P.S You can read David Lewis’ full article 'The crowd goes wild when you win a contract but at what cost'

At Pulse Market we are about making people smile while doing business. We do this by giving you the tools designed to do your job easily on an online platform that is beautifully designed.  

As buyers and sellers log in to Pulse Market the first thing, they comment on is how beautiful the design is and how easy it is to use. It is no secret among the Pulse Market team that this is down to our talented designers working closely with our incredible team of software developers. Together they have designed and developed an online platform that is a joy to look at and a joy to use.  

One reason first impressions are so positive is that it feels familiar and therefore comfortable to navigate. This is because our designers haven’t over complicated functionality instead, they incorporated familiar conventions from good web design such as logo position, web friendly fonts, navigation buttons and many more subtle details.  

The secret to the positive user experience on the platform is the designers work closely with our software developers to ensure the design not only looks beautiful but it seamlessly works in harmony with the back end of Pulse Market Platform.  

The way the developers and designers work together is like an Olympic team carefully planning in great detail every step, every milestone and then working together in ‘sprints’ progressing each stage rapidly.    

P.S You can get to know Mariana and Taise in a quick fire Q&A where they talk about their training, their time with Pulse Market and some fun facts too. 

Guest writer, David Lewis, CEO of Lewis Agency shares his experiences and frustrations working within the framework of an outdated and costly procurement system - where there are no winners.

"For the past 30 years I've been in advertising and marketing the process for tendering and pitching for business has been like something from the 1920's not 2020's. An almost biased, unfair and lethargic process of sweet talking, beauty pageants and an ultimately labour intensive series of word and excel document causing confusion and disillusionment. Sound familiar?  

This isn't a finger point at procurement teams, no it's a full head to toe process that needs rejuvenated and brought into the digital times for both buyer and seller.  

Where do you start with a system that is so in need of transformation.  

  1. RFI – it must all start at the request for information stage. This must be two sided. Agencies must be realistic and understand what effort and what reward is in the proposal and forget the ‘win at all costs’ mentality’. On the other side this must be a frustrating process for procurement, sending out RFIs to the usuals suspect and a new opportunity, waiting to hear back on a million questions and trying to just/justify ‘can the agency deliver,’ ‘will they have the credentials?’ 

What about a more equal and ethical process where agencies must have a certain pre-defined set of quality accreditations, due diligence checks and automatically are pre-verified.  

Imagine a procurement team that could search and select pre validated companies that would pass any due diligence and then ask one simple question: ‘You’ve achieved our level of due diligence. Would you like to be considered for this tender. Yes or No’?  

  1. Accreditation – I think we have had a go at about every accreditation around from ISO, to FSQS, Achilles and GoSupply. The problem is that these audits/accreditations are too often done after the contact award. Okay, why should you spend time as an agency doing these before you need? That has always been my question? We spend quality time and effort on delivering the proposal RFP and celebrate the win! Great but now also comes the ‘must’ - you ‘must’ now achieve our due diligence accreditation that costs £5,000 - £10,000 man hours and to register is a fee of £2,500. Oh and you’ll need to pay this every year!  

After everyone in your business has answered the questions, you achieve a stunning 96% score. The crowd go wild. Procurement put a tick in the box, and you’re never asked about it again until the renewal invoice comes in next year! It’s only used by one procurement team and the next RPF uses XYZ accreditation which you need to start from scratch. 

But wait a minute. I’ve got 80% of the questions answered in excel, word and PDF files somewhere in a folder somewhere on our system. Let’s pull them all into a new order rename them 1.12a and duplicate, submit and try again. Manually building new records and new documents that will need updated and are out of date from the day you completed. 

What about all your documents assets and info in one system, online, secure and verified by buyers. You could easily update one and it would replicate across all providers. You can enhance and iterate these when you and your business gain knowledge or more expertise. And here’s the big one. Each and every buyer, accreditation company and organisation can gain access to them at your discretion. For one supplier we have nearly 250 different items that are managed and updated on an ongoing basis. For another we have 145. Surely, we can have quality cross-over, only using the best and most appropriate in one super slick location, which means I never, ever need to send an Excel spreadsheet again! 
  

  1.  RFPs, Proposals and Tenders – This must be the biggest challenge for advertising and marketing agencies. As I’ve mentioned the process has never changed in my 30 years in the industry… Write a brief, tender, RFP, send to the agencies you have in your little black book, with maybe the exception of one you mate used and thought was ‘pretty good’. Have each and ever agency respond in 6 unique and individual ways, with different document types, different formats, layouts and worse still for procurement 74 different excel spreadsheets with rate cards, hours, contingency, options, variables….the list goes on. How on earth are you meant to select a business based on the same criteria, virtually impossible. One company says apples, one says oranges. One says £80 per hour average, but you’ll pay for the £140 per hour senior most of the contract. 
     
    From an agencies point of view, well let’s look out that last proposal that we ‘believe’ did well. Yeah the one where someone said ‘You did a great job and it was neck and neck, nothing between you and the WINNING agency!’ So, you rejig this and that, it’s looking good. You gather the 150 policies, processes, Gantt charts, near-miss document and email (yes, email)  it to a faceless, unknown often never to be seen or heard of again. Did we win? Did we do okay? When are we hearing back? We should send more stuff! Then three months on and we hear statements like: ‘we’re waiting for head of XYZ to comment’ or ‘We’re reviewing our Far Eastern Investment process, so this will impact on your tender!’ 
     
    So, what does procurement want from a RFP, Proposal and Tender process. What about ‘best-in-class’ templates, streamlined, validated and iterated by the industry to gain the best Proposals back?  

What about the ability to automatically search and select sellers that have achieved all the red-tape and policy, due diligence in an instant and can move quickly and efficiently to the real tender needs. What about being able to separate out the tender and have it manged and scored by selected people within the business, who are the experts. They can review only the sections they are experts at, scoring each answer, giving feedback, or asking for further information on selected answers, before scoring only those questions back to the seller. And what about being able to compare proposals side-by-side and being able to see where each seller scores higher or lower, where are the gaps, which areas are critical and should be necessary, which are lesser. How about a business strong validation on you decision making. Having reviewed scored, had expert feedback and clarity when viewing each side by side, you can truly make the best decision of the business. 
 
For an agency what about a system or tool that would be able to use AI to read and offer up the best answer to the question from your massive archive of answers. This library of answers you have written and are now available to either automatically link to the question, edit, or adjust, or see which questions have scored well in previous RFPs and use the ones that work and not the ones that left you short. 

 
What about the thing we crave the most, feedback! Yes, instead of the ‘we’re delighted’ or ‘we’re sorry’ emails, what about a truly beneficial feedback loop. A system that the agency can look at and see where their weakness are, where their strengths are and work harder, bring in more expertise and be a better business for all their clients. 
 

  1. Promotion, Search and Be Found – So, there’s over 25,000 advertising, marketing and digital agencies in the UK with over 22,000 employees. They are all buying adwords, building websites, posting in social channels all to get noticed by buyers. There are sales people, the sales agencies, the talkers and the walkers. So, how do you find the agency to suit your business. We’ve all done the agency beauty pageant. We used to (but not anymore with anti-bribery rules) take clients for lunch, a drink or maybe to a social event or corporate hospitality. We’ve all heard of the ‘Wanky’ agency that has the gold bar with neon signs, the ball-pool and we’ve even done it standard pool and ping pong table. All in a vain attempt to catch the eye of the judges. 
     
    But hear lies the problem, if you are unable to see under the bonnet, see deeper into the agency, more than just scratch the skin, what are you going to see, nothing more than the material possessions and flash chat of the agencies you have in your little black book.  
     
    As I mentioned earlier with the accreditations, what is under the bonnet counts for far more than a game of pool or a tequila at the gold neon bar. So, your agency looks the part, but can they actually deliver, do they match your standards now and in the future. How about having them all pre-approved at valuable levels or accreditations from financial, risk, HR, environmental, social or governance standards. Does that give you the confidence that you’re making the right choice? 

So after my rants and 30 years or seeing it, doing it, winning the watch, what am I getting at with this article. Well it's to only state that we need change within the agency/procurement alignment.  

We have some of the finest creative agencies in the world running innovative systems, platforms, and technologies. We can render pixel perfect CGI images and animations, build online tools that help detect health problems, we mine data and build tools to offer solutions to that one in a million individual. But we are running and answering RFPs, Proposal and tenders like something out of dark ages.  
 
Who’s going to help get the advertising and marketing world to address this problem?" 

We'd like to thank David Lewis for sharing his personal experience and highlighting the challenges sellers are facing while pitching to 'win a watch'!

For a live demo of Pulse Market contact us today.

We began developing Pulse Market in response to demand within the RegTech and FinTech industry to overhaul the outdated and time-consuming process of procurement.

We soon discovered the challenge of finding compatible businesses to work with impacted every sector. 

Our inquisitive nature led us to dig deeper, find out exactly which issues caused the headaches and develop the solution. 

Our team interviewed over 70 leaders from the world of procurement to understand their daily challenges. Here are snippets from the interviews that highlight the recurring problems that cause their headaches. Read on and tell us if you can relate to them.  

A tier 1 asset manager told us: ‘We miss out on some of the best solutions because we don’t know all the solution vendors’.  A statement echoed throughout the interviews. At Pulse Market we simplify and standardise procurement. We harness technology that finds, filters, and selects compatible business partners from the whole industry, based on their unique requirements. This enables fast and fair comparisons with the ability to invite tried and trusted vendors to tender and discover new talent. The platform also creates an audit trail – this enables organisations to adhere to good governance while efficiently selecting vendors based on preferences.  

‘Procurement processes are complicated and take far too long to conclude’ said another interviewee. Well, here at Pulse Market we are streamlining the process. That’s why we designed a platform that is easy to use, makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues and simple to answer the questions asked by respondents.  

Another statement repeatedly said was: ‘There is a lack of standardisation across the board for RFP/RTI.’ Pulse Market’s team researched and collated hundreds of RFP and RTI questionnaires to develop standardised templates. The range of customisable templates available on the platform streamlines and speeds up the process of creating RFPs and RTIs. Better still, the questionnaire templates are easy to share with colleagues and respondents and together they can answer and track comments. 

We reached out and interviewed the sellers who also struggle with a costly procurement system. A CEO of a top digital marketing agency told us: ‘We waste over £250k a year in completing unsupportive procurement platforms. We’d be better giving this time and effort back to our existing clients.’ The tools, like our Pulse company page, enable sellers to showcase their business, respond quickly and above all attract compatible businesses. 

The valuable insights gathered during the interviews confirm that there is a demand to overhaul the process and remove the hard work for a more enjoyable experience. 

You can read more about the Pulse Market tools or request a personalised live demo at exec@pulsemarket.com

As a team of inquisitive people who are keen to keep our finger on the pulse, we needed to challenge our concept and validate our product during the Beta Test.

Who better to ask than those individuals on the frontline? The buyers and the sellers dealing with the everyday challenges of an outdated procurement process that eats up time and money that we all know could be better spent elsewhere on the business.

That’s why we set up user groups and hosted over 70 interviews to validate and test the concept of Pulse Market. We invited leaders from the world of procurement, with a diverse range of backgrounds from a large, Tier One Edinburgh-based Asset Manager, a UK insurer, a Irish bank, a mix of FinTechs and marketing agencies. The purpose of the user groups and interviews was to allow us to ask questions and for the users to feedback their views while sharing their own experiences and challenges with people in similar roles.

Each person was there to challenge us, challenge the Pulse Market concept and challenge the product features. On the surface each person was different with a unique experience and a unique perspective to bring to the group. It soon became apparent they all shared the same challenges and pain points – ones we had identified early on and new ones we discovered during the user group meetings.

The user groups have been an incredible source of knowledge and we’re grateful to everyone who took part and generously gave up their time and knowledge. Their conversations and insights have sparked many more innovative ideas that the team are already working on to add soon to Pulse Market.

We’d like to thank everyone for giving up their valuable time to work with us and provide their honest feedback and huge amount of encouragement. With their insights we’re confident Pulse Market is a solution that will transform how buyers and sellers will do business for good.

If you would like a demo simply email exec@pulsemarket.com today.

Product Prototype 

The first six months of the Pulse Marketplace journey has certainly flown by. Since September, the founding team and vision has now been enhanced through the addition of new team members, clients, advisors, product priorities and lots of discussion! Armed with a clear initial vision, we began a series of over 50 one-to-one interviews with senior executives from Asset Management, FinTech, Digital Marketing & IT Services. There was very loud agreement from these sessions that the current way of doing B2B procurement is highly inefficient resulting in lengthy buying cycles and huge costs.  

And there was also general positivity for our vision of how to resolve this problem. Indeed over 20 companies have so far signed up to become members of our inaugural Pulse User Group to help guide & support our product evolution. In November, we took their feedback onboard and put pen to paper to produce a set of early product wireframes. We workshopped these with 13 of our User Group members in a series of four 1.5-hour sessions (2 buyer & 2 vendor). These provided some very powerful insights which have driven the immediate product roadmap priorities.

Our Product Development Queue

In particular, 3 key core areas have jumped to the top of the Product Queue:  

The Future's Bright

Since the start of 2021, we have been engaged in our first, “seed” funding round & flush from early successes, we have now begun to build out the team, adding UI/UX designers, developers, QA, marketing & client service resources. By March, we’ll be eleven employees and can see the good folks at Coupa & SAP Ariba already quaking in their boots!! We have also now turned the sod of our new product, and our developers are building out the first version. In February, we will be inviting the User Group members to engage with our first product prototype, with a view to getting early feedback.  

Our goal is to have an Alpha version of the product available in Q1 and then in Q2, we hope to generate the first little bit of early revenue. In so doing we will finally put paid to our Four-Pre’s - “pre-product, pre-client, pre-revenue & pre-investment”, and begin in earnest the next chapter! 

 

We Have Lift-off!

It has been a very exciting experience over the past 8 months or so, discovering with your help, what your pain points are around business-to-business procurement and tendering of services, and where we can focus our efforts to best effect in addressing these.  

Our vision for the Pulse Marketplace is to make simple, intuitive, and efficient, the process whereby businesses engage with other businesses to buy and sell services.  

In doing this, we see a need to produce three products/services in one:  

  1.  An intuitive procurement tool to support businesses looking for potential vendors, and then to run a straight-forward, online process to select the best fit for them (a kind of Tinder for Corporates).  
  1. A Vendor Console, which allows a vendor to manage their proposals in an organised and consistent manner, by reusing assets (such as responses to standard questions (e.g., security, financial, governance), company documents (such as certifications, org charts, accounts, etc.) as well as marketing materials (such as videos and product sheets) all in a safe, secure, simple repository.  
  1.  A marketplace, which brings together both sets of users above to review, “peacock” & engage with one another. 

Get Hands-on With Our Prototype.

Today, we would like to share with you, our now 20+ user group of early adopters, exclusive access to an early prototype of the Vendor Console.  

The video below shows some highlights from the prototype, which specifically covers the Vendor Console, the part of the Pulse Marketplace where a vendor can manage their proposals, their Pulse profile, and critically the repository of assets (documents, answers to RFP questions, marketing materials, etc.) that allows them to respond quickly to tender opportunities, both “on Pulse” or to export for use off the platform.  

And we are looking for User Group members to participate in a 30-minute user-experience workshop next week. This will be fun, first hands-on interaction with our new product; no expertise required. In this session, we will use tracking software to follow your progress as you complete a number of “missions” in trying to use the prototype. This will provide invaluable information on how well we are doing in our core mission to provide an intuitive, simple user experience, and where we need to improve. If you would be willing to participate, please email me at moshea@pulsemgtco.com 

Join Our Prototype User Experience Workshop.

Sign-up for the 30 min UX workshop next week, where we will be taking our User Group through the prototype. 

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