Pulse Market is proud to sponsor the Causeway Exchange Network ESG business seminar. We'll be joined by event supporters Enterprise Ireland on 6 of October, in Edinburgh, at the stunning Waldorf Astoria.

As you know here at Pulse Market we love partnering with organisations that champion SMEs and make doing business simpler. That's why we're delighted to share this exciting news that we're sponsoring Causeway Exchange's next business seminar: 'ESG and supplier management - the truth about finding your competitive advantage'.

Buy your tickets today from Causeway Exchange

About the seminar

Pulse Market, Causeway Exchange and Enterprise Ireland are bringing experts from Scottish and Irish blue-chip businesses, procurement bid teams and ESG/Net Zero experts together to discuss the biggest challenges businesses face in relation to ESG and suppliers as we face a recession.

The panel of experts will present best practice in supplier management and show how these strategies can be implemented in your business so as to attain your ESG goals.

Why the theme ESG and supplier management?
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rules, alignment and enhancements have been at the heart of many business requirements in the recent years. None more so than with the rise of awareness following COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Businesses are now looking for their suppliers to act, raise their game, and be accountable/aligned with their vision. 

Whilst ESG has been a key business issue for some time, a greater need has arisen to have total accountability for you suppliers and supply chain. Recent events such as the Russian invasion on Ukraine, and the sanctions imposed on Russia, have ignited a demand for suppliers to be fully accountable and understand where they are buying their goods and services.

Suppliers having total clarity (look-through) of their suppliers, with due diligence completed, validation of infosec, and accreditation across ISO, ESG are the businesses staying ahead of the pack and winning business. Discover how your business can gain the competitive edge by coming along to the Causeway Exchange business seminar.

Buy your tickets today from Causeway Exchange

(Tickets £35 for Causeway Exchange Members £50 for non members)

Follow our socials to hear more from the panel experts and be the first to hear the exciting updates about this event.

Join us and hear from a panel of procurement specialists. 

Register now for the Procurement in the Digital Age Webinar starting at 8.45am - 9.45am on Wednesday 8 of June.

Sign up today

The theme for the day is Procurement in the Digital Age – it’s a game changer. The session promises to be an informative discussion with a panel of visionaries and experts who are transforming the world of procurement.  

Panel of experts from the world of Procurement

Introducing the Panel 

What's covered? 

We'd love you to join us.

Register today

We are delighted to be hosting our first webinar with a strong panel of speakers from the greener business world and 4th sector. We have chosen to host the 'Invest in our Planet' webinar on Friday, 22 of April to coincide with Earth Day.

Come along to the webinar for a lively and informative discussion. Discover practical steps you and your organisation can take to help your people and the planet.

Register for Invest in Our Planet Webinar

We'd like you to get to know our speakers so here are some short introductions so you can get to know them a little bit better.

man wearing white shirt in front of Scottish landscape
Gavin Tweedie

Gavin Tweedie

Gavin Tweedie is the co-founder and chairman of the social enterprise Net Zero Nation Ltd and Scottish Net Zero community which he helped establish in January 2021 with the Scottish Business Network and James Napier at CBN Expert. The organisation has grown to over 1000 members and mobilised over £1bn in annual revenues to sign up to the UN Race to Zero.

Discover more about Net Zero Nation

Ellie Marshall

Ellie Marshall

Ellie Marshall's role at award-winning Scottish solutions business Eco involves driving forward new ideas, bringing people together and delivering results which enable the firm to lead where others follow. As Executive Assistant to Managing Director and founder Eddie Black, she plays a central role in the adoption and development of innovations including the launch of EcoGoZero, the company's portfolio of net zero products.

Discover more about Eco

David Reid

David Reid

Fuel Change is a social-enterprise movement that taps into the potential of Scotland's youth to solve the decarbonisation challenges faced by industries worldwide.

Discover more about Fuel Change

Aimee Doole

Aimee Doole

Aimee Doole is passionate about collaborating with businesses on their Net Zero journey and showcasing the role of culture and technology in creating a mindset where businesses can drive positive change - prioritising their people, the planet and profit with no trade off. Aimee's background is in strategy, marketing and communications and she has had over 10 years in the strategic brand development space primarily in the technical and engineering world. Her energy and enthusiasm has allowed brands to reach new heights across a wide variety of industries and gain national recognition and multiple awards. An accredited Workplace Innovation Practitioner, Aimee has also led many cultural and people engagement initiatives to support business growth and is regularly asked to speak at conferences both in the UK and internationally.  

Discover more about Booth Welsh

black and white headshot of smiling man in a business suit
David McDonald

David McDonald

David qualified as a management accountant with Scottish Equitable and is a seasoned Finance and Operations Director with board level experience in several sectors. As Director of Sustainable Development at UNITE Group plc, he was responsible for leading the strategic response to the emerging low carbon landscape within property development and operations. David has been involved in policy work, and helped to develop and present the first renewables route map to HM Treasury and to a parliamentary committee in 2001. He is an expert in capital investment appraisal for renewable energy and infrastructure assets.

John Dowdall

John Dowdall

From Dublin, Ireland, John has worked in the funds industry for more than 25 years. In his early working life this was in financial services firms in the newly growing International Financial Services Centre in Dublin, with firms like Fortis (now BNP Paribas) Banque International a Luxembourg (now RBC) & Investors Bank & Trust (now State Street).
After that John Moved into the data and regtech market with SIX Financial & MoneyMate , where he created the regtech firm Silverfinch.

Discover more about Pulse Market

We'd love you to join us for the Invest in Our Planet webinar.

You can find out more about the Earth Day webinar here

You can register here

Join us on zoom for our Earth Day Webinar at 8.45am - 9.45am on Friday 22 of April 2022.

The global theme for the day is ‘Invest in Our Planet’. That's why we are gathering a panel of experts from six different organisations with a shared passion for helping individuals and businesses reduce carbon emissions and urgently tackle climate change.

Register for our Earth Day webinar today.

The event will be a fantastic opportunity to be part of the conversation and you will take away a plan of action to help your people, your partners and the planet.  

The lively session promises to be an energetic, informative and interactive discussion with a panel of experts from the greener business world.  

Meet the Panel 

What is Pulse Market doing for Earth Day? 

At Pulse Market we want to be a business that does more than just talk about climate change. That’s why on World Earth Day we’re giving away our ESG Passports to webinar attendees. 

We don’t want you to miss out!  

Reserve your space today and guarantee an ESG Passport for free for your organisation.  

Register for Earth Day Webinar here

If you are unable to attend on 22 April, you can still register to receive both the webinar recording and a Pulse Market ESG Passport.  

You can visit Earth Day website to find out more about the movement that has been growing since 1970.

We're looking forward to you joining our webinar on Earth Day 2022.

Register for our Earth Day webinar today.

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.

A whirlwind of a month

I am very pleased to welcome you to our second ever Pulse Marketplace User Group newsletter. I would like to start by thanking those that responded so positively to the first newsletter and to those who signed up to our first ESG working group.  

This month we are very excited to introduce the first Pulse prototype. The growing product team has put a lot of effort into this and we are very eager to get your feedback. The prototype focuses on providing functionality specifically for the vendor community within our marketplace. We have included a short video later in the newsletter to introduce it and would like to invite you to participate in a 30 mins hands-on workshop next week, where we will measure user responses.  

This month I am delighted that we can introduce three new recruits to the Pulse team. Tim Murphy has joined us as Chairman, and will bring years of financial services, corporate finance, and general start-up know-how to support our senior team. And Nina Krstičević and Cathal O’Shea have joined the product & client service teams respectively, and both are repeat offenders, having worked with one or more founders in a past life! 

Fresh from completing our seed funding round, I would also like to thank and welcome our new investors to the Pulse journey. It was very heartening indeed that we ended up 90% oversubscribed after just 4 weeks. 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. 

Finally, we have an update from the inaugural Pulse ESG working group, which was held on 18 February, and which promises to provide a dynamic forum for our clients and the industry more broadly to lead and embrace all things ESG.

It is with great pleasure that we have managed to secure an industry stalwart as our new Chairman. With extensive experience in financial services and building start-up's that fly, we welcome Tim Murphy to the Pulse team. 

I’m delighted to introduce myself as the latest addition to a very exciting team here at Pulse Marketplace. And I am very much looking forward to working closely with the team in my role as Chairman.  

I first came to know two of the Pulse founders, John Dowdall and Michael O’Shea, while doing some consulting work for them at their previous entrepreneurial venture, Silverfinch, which was part of the MoneyMate Group. It was evident then, as it is now again at Pulse, that they had no shortage of ambition. Since the successful sale of MoneyMate and John and Michael’s subsequent exit, I have followed very closely their progress, in particular over the past 9 months, as they took the embryo of an idea and turned it into something that has now gathered considerable momentum. I have since met John Ellis and the rest of the team and am very excited and impressed by the prospects to build something very special here.  

My background is in financial services – I began my career at EY in Boston auditing Banks and other financial services firms, then joined the financial services industry in 1994 when I took a role with IBT, now part of State Street. I moved to Ireland with IBT  24 years ago in April, then soon joined BNY Mellon to run its then joint venture with AIB. During my 15 years at BNY Mellon, I held several senior positions within the Irish and European operations. Since departing BNY in 2012, I have been involved in corporate finance consulting and working as an Independent Director for several firms. In 2015, I joined some former colleagues from my BNY Mellon days at DMS Governance, where, as COO and CFO, I helped them prepare for global expansion and transformation into a leading third-party Manco, culminating in a successful refinance in 2019. I continue my corporate finance and board work today, along with investing in early stage fintech and regtech ventures. 

I volunteer my time as a board member of The Social Care Workers Registration Board in Ireland, and in governance roles at Basketball Ireland, where I was a board member for 6 years. Despite my 24-year absence, I remain a loyal fan of Boston sports teams, particularly, the New England Patriots, and despite his change in teams, cheered Tom Brady onto his seventh Super Bowl victory a few weeks ago.  

Tim Murphy 

A warm welcome to the first Pulse Marketplace newsletter. I am excited to share our story of 3 guys solving the world’s problems in a Dublin bar, through to the startup of our business, Pulse Marketplace. After a few beers, our attention turned to what we could collectively do to make a positive impact in business, in our communities and for our planet. Using our collective 90 plus young years working within Financial Services, we discussed current pains that exist in business that do not readily have solutions. Our attention narrowed to Tenders (RFI, RFP) where huge amounts of manual effort are expended on inefficient and ill-defined processes. There is no standard approach from buyers of services resulting in chaos and pain for solution providers.  

We aim to embed ESG (Economic, Social & Governance) within the Marketplace by encouraging and educating every member of our community. Our ultimate goal is for the entire Marketplace to be carbon neutral. How fantastic would this be.  

We started with two Dublin and one Edinburgh founders, we now have another Scottish addition, one Spanish developer and two Brazilian UX Designers. We are big on values, culture and diversity and this is proven through our recruitment strategy. 

Thanks for reading and looking forward to engaging with our followers on a regular basis. 

Michael O'Shea, CEO


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