Changing the Game: ConnXus Builds Killer App for Supplier Diversity

Rod Robinson’s ConnXus is streamlining the supplier diversity industry for some of the largest companies in the U.S. They provide clients like McDonald’s (MCD +0.67%), Harley Davidson (HOG +1.23%), and Coca-Cola (KO +0.86%) with software they can use to identify qualified diverse suppliers and manage their spending, reporting, and tracking. The idea for ConnXus comes from Robinson’s past role as Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for Cincinnati Bell (CBB +1.61%), a $1 billion telecommunications company. In the CPO role he had frustrations around reporting against supplier diversity goals, compliance on commitments made to clients, and meeting targets set by the government. “There were lots of manual processes and duplicative efforts to identify information on minority-owned businesses,” said Robinson. He founded ConnXus in 2010 after looking into whether there was a platform that could identify qualified suppliers and create transparency on spend, reporting and tracking data down and across the supply chain. With this data ConnXus can scale its impact by constantly providing new features and functionalities. Half of the 28 million small businesses in the U.S. are either woman or minority-owned. ConnXus has 2 million small business certified suppliers on its platform. Robinson sees a multiple billion dollar opportunity in the supplier diversity management marketplace and is positioned to continue capturing more market share.

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