COVID-19 Broke Business Supply Chains, Coupa Software is Helping Customers Re-Build with Community 

Dr. Madhav Durbha
Dr. Madhav Durbha
VP of Supply Chain Strategy, Coupa Software

Dr. Madhav Durbha is the Vice President of Supply Chain Strategy Coupa Software, where his team helps customers and prospects solve various supply chain challenges. Prior to Coupa, Dr. Durbha held positions at LLamasoft, Kinaxis, JDA Software and i2 Technologies, Inc. With more than 20 years in the supply chain industry, Dr. Durbha has broad experience in strategy & process consulting, supply chain software, program management, software application development & deployment, machine learning and data science. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Florida and his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras.

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COVID-19 Broke Business Supply Chains, Coupa Software is Helping Customers Re-build with Community 

COVID-19 continues to have an impact on businesses of all sizes from revenue, to work from home, and supply chain disruption. In the early days of COVID-19, warehouses and factories closed, which led to the back-ordering of goods. This combined with small businesses going under, post office delays, and business fraud climbing to an all-time high, has led to a significant supplier shake-up and more uncertainty in the market than ever before.

As we’ve moved into 2021, supplier volatility has only continued. To address this, Coupa created new capabilities and product offerings to help customers take on the increasingly complex world of supply chain planning and supply chain management.

Rewiring the Supply Chains of The Future

Supply chain resiliency and agility are taking center stage this year. “We are witnessing an unprecedented shift in what businesses are demanding to effectively manage their supply chains. They need instant visibility, agile planning capabilities, and timely risk mitigation support,” said Rob Bernshteyn, chairman and CEO of Coupa.

With our most recent acquisition of LLamasoft, Coupa Supply Chain Design & Planning delivers smarter, faster supply chain decisions — built on a comprehensive data model and powerful AI — seamlessly executed through the world’s leading Business Spend Management (BSM) platform. Together, we will help organizations everywhere maximize the value of every dollar they spend with the intelligence and supply chain analytics needed to quickly pivot and respond to changing market conditions.

Unifying supply chain design and planning with procurement, Coupa delivers the science behind smarter, faster supply chain decisions. Modern business spend management unifies traditionally siloed areas of spend for a more holistic organization. With sourcing, supply chain, procurement, accounts payable, and treasury working together, the entire business can better prioritize business spend and risk.

New supplier insights provide sourcing and supply chain managers with enhanced insights to create the optimal supply chain for their organization. While cost reduction will always remain a focus, more often the best decisions require the right balance of profitability, service, risk, and sustainability. Coupa provides these insights for over half a million suppliers, including attributes such as supplier diversity, risk scores, and ratings.

Performing end-to-end supply chain orchestration for greater visibility with a digital supply chain twin has never been easier. Through this process, companies can move away from episodic one-off reviews of supply chain design to a continuous design. Built with one common data model, AI, a rich algorithm library, scenario planning, and simulation analysis, and a platform on which tailored apps can be deployed and democratized, organizations will be well prepared to evolve operational and business models as conditions change.

Leveraging Community-Powered Insights for Smarter Decision Making

In addition to these enhanced capabilities, the coming together of LLamasoft and Coupa opens up tremendous opportunity to facilitate aligned decision making between sourcing and supply chain functions. This suite synergy allows for direct materials and transportation sourcing and execution informed by an optimal supply chain design. Coupa’s Community Intelligence identifies sourcing risks and alternate sources of supply. In turn, Coupa Supply Chain Design & Planning powered by LLamasoft can use these insights to prioritize alternate sources and enable optimized product flows from source to the end customer. Key benefits of this approach include:

  • Amplify sourcing initiatives throughout the supply chain with AI-powered sourcing and supply chain modeling. These advancements give sourcing managers greater control and speed. For sourcing professionals, this is equivalent to driving a race car compared to a bicycle — while still achieving significant cost savings.
  • Take the guesswork out of sourcing and catalog creation with catalog prescriptions that suggest actionable ways to build catalogs based on best practices from the community.
  • Measure business spend impact by surfacing community-powered diversity and sustainability insights when selecting suppliers. Only Coupa has a comprehensive database of suppliers classified as women-, veteran-, or minority-owned. This allows supply chain leaders to achieve their sustainability and diversity targets.
  • Exchange insights and lessons learned with peers on Coupa’s new Community Spend Matchmaker. For example, when a sourcing manager runs an event for goods, they will be connected with sourcing managers who have run similar events to share insights and spend smarter together. 


Diagnosing Supply Chain Weaknesses Before Disruptions Occur

Coupa is helping customers monitor and prepare for supply chain uncertainties with new capabilities such as the ability to:

  • Track credits, discounts, and more with digital payment reconciliation. When COVID-19 hit, a lot of businesses went on hold. This led to an increase in orders being put on hold and ultimately business credits or future discounts applied. Coupa Pay now tracks credits to avoid the manual labor of cutting checks for each adjustment while providing assurance that promised discounts are delivered.
  • Reduce supplier risk for thousands of contracts at once with mass re-papering of contracts. Since COVID-19, businesses have realized the importance of contract clauses, particularly when it comes to cancelation and force majeure clauses. Coupa now makes it easy to update thousands of supplier contracts at once and send them for approval.
  • Monitor risk in real time with fraud alerts for suspicious activity. Coupa provides the ability to notify finance managers when a risky or suspicious purchase order has been submitted and highlights the reason for suspicious spend.

Business leaders who are driving successful supply chain transformation in their organizations outmaneuver their peers during times of disruption and adapt with agility to achieve continuous, profitable growth. The unification of business spend with supply chain and sourcing synchronization is the dawn of a new era — and Coupa is leading the way.

Harvard Business Review eBook Global Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the eBook and watch the webinar replay of the Harvard Business Review's "Global Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World" to learn more about the future of global supply chains and where to focus at this critical time.