Mercado Labs Helps Its Customers Measure Supply Chain Progress and Success with a White-Labeled Solution from The Owl
Mercado Labs is a supply chain platform that improves the way companies buy and move products they sell. Their platform automates the global supply chain across the first mile so importers can plan, buy, and move products online with ease. Millions of data points are stored and accumulated over time in their systems. By powering supply chains with Mercado, international importers can automate purchasing through a digital order, validate updates through changes and controls, and generate commercial documents to automate the accounts receiving and clearing process.
Challenge: Building in-house analytics or outsourcing?
Mercado’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrison noticed a gap in the market. Clients had an increasing interest in analytics tools that would allow them to measure the success of their supply chain progress. While Mercado had all the data stored in their systems, their analytics were not easily displayed to customers. Rob was confronted with a decision, build an analytics tool internally or outsource the task.
Building Mercado’s own internal analytics system would have cost the company time and money. Rob was looking for a solution that could be implemented quickly.
Mercado had all the data but lacked the capability to easily leverage it. The way data was being interpreted for importers relied on spreadsheets, which made it difficult and timely to put together ad hoc reports for internal teams and their clients. Spreadsheets do not visibly display opportunities for improvement, trends, or financial leakage. Clients were looking for clear insights that were easy to interpret and understand.
When evaluating other analytics tools, Rob was introduced to The Owl’s CEO Hugo Fuentes. The Owl offers robust analytics that connects to the company's data source, interprets, organizes, and presents the data in a visually appealing, easy to navigate platform. The Owl’s ability to create data models that would integrate into Mercado’s platform and combine data into relevant information for their users proved beneficial for Mercado.
The implementation process began with regular meetings that allowed The Owl team to understand Mercado’s application and how they could deliver value to customers. The most important part of the process was having a common language that both sides would understand.
“The Owl’s team of experts had a thorough understanding of how supply chains work which was a huge asset to the company. The implementation process was smooth, as The Owl did most of the heavy lifting,”
– Rebecca Rizzuti, VP of Customer Success for Mercado
The Owl then began to understand what types of insights could be created with the data Mercado had. They put together data models and a proposal for Mercado that outlined what would be valuable for their users. Once the proposal was approved, The Owl team moved forward with the application design and then integration. All Mercado had to do was provide an end point where all the data was available, and then The Owl developed an adapter that connected to their API. This made it easier for The Owl to extract all the data.
A key advantage of The Owl platform is that it provides a high-level perspective of the business for both the everyday user and executives. Users can view the high-level overview but also drill down for further details. Mercado previously had to develop table reports for each individual user based on spreadsheets. Using The Owl, they can now create the same reports in half the amount of time, accompanied by data interpretation and follow up action items. Also, when Mercado is providing demos of their solution to prospects, they can do so with added confidence by demonstrating the advanced just-in-time analytics displayed using The Owls platforms. Their decision to white label The Owl was to deliver a seamless brand experience for customers.
There were a few major components that needed to be settled prior to moving forward with a white-label solution from The Owl and to make it work logistically. The Owl engineers needed to be able to get past Mercado’s firewalls and successfully implement the software.
Finally, pricing was an important consideration. The Owl needed to offer a level of affordability that would allow Mercado to pass its value along to clients without impacting the bottom line.
The decision to work with The Owl as an extension of Mercado’s analytics has saved the company significant costs and effort.
“The software was integrated into our system within a few months, and the understanding The Owl team had of our business and the supply chain industry allowed us to create a solution that would uphold the most value to our customers. Now, our platform stands out with new prospects due to the added data analytics The Owl provides,” Garrison said.
The 3-month end-to-end implementation process also cut development time for Mercado by 30-40%. Response times from The Owl’s team has been quick, and the platform has been an attractive selling feature, allowing Mercado to prospect 5x the number of clients.
"The decision to outsource our analytics by white labeling The Owl’s solution has saved Mercado time and money, allowed us to reach more clients, and offered a more reactive service,"
– Mercado’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrison