I had the opportunity to participate in a recent briefing with executives of RollStream, Inc. This SaaS based, supplier information and community management technology provider has a keen focus on supporting B2B related supply chain relationships. I must admit that I was impressed with both business approach and breath of information management functionality, particularly in the area of managing supply risk.

RollStream’s customer base has some marquee names and includes anchor participants in healthcare distribution, grocery and manufacturing related supply chains.  Its technology addresses business process support needs typically found among procurement, product management and other supply chain constituencies. The RollStream Community Platform functionality addresses supplier discovery, on-boarding, compliance management, collaboration and performance scorecarding.  Support includes the ability to track supplier information, communications and certifications from a single system repository, with access controls and regulatory compliance considerations. This can be an even more important need in the critical area of supply chain risk management.

What impressed me the most was this vendor’s design approach, which stems from social media design.  RollStream is quick to point out that its applications are more focused to the way people tend to collaborate and interact within a process or community.  That could include profile data, photos, project activities or information exchanges.  That should prove attractive to those firms with work teams that are quite comfortable with a social community approach or want to move in this direction. While we did not have the time, I hope to witness a demo of the platform at a later time.

The one drawback I should note for our readers is that RollStream’s platform per se does not support transactional or planning processes but can complement such processes via partnerships or other integration  Then again, there are many supply chain planning or transactional focused collaboration platforms that do not include the informational management capabilities within RollStream.

Bob Ferrari