Building a smarter supply chain

May 14, 2018  |  3 min read

Today we’re announcing that we have raised a $12 million funding round led by Menlo Ventures. I’m also excited to share more about the problem we’re tackling at Alloy and the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.

Alloy’s mission is to help companies operate more responsive and efficient supply chains that intelligently adjust to consumer demand. Sounds simple, but in practice, supply chains are incredibly complex networks, spanning dozens of companies and countries with an ever-increasing array of products. They move $20 trillion in goods every year! It takes an incredible amount of coordination to get the products that we take for granted — like bananas, cars, and toothpaste — into our hands. They’re manufactured, checked, moved, stored, picked, packaged, and shipped multiple times before they ever reach us.

My co-founders and I started Alloy because, for all their complexity, supply chains lack a modern technology platform to connect and optimize them end-to-end. It’s a huge problem, so we knew that we needed to tackle one area at a time in order to do excellent work. We started with consumer demand. Why? Because the entire purpose of a supply chain is to serve the end customer, and yet this “demand signal” is often poorly and inefficiently measured.

A typical consumer goods company often sells through dozens of partners — including traditional retailers and ecommerce sites — as well as directly to consumers. As a result, companies don’t have full, easy insight into how their products are selling across channels, retailers, and geographies. They struggle to see and manage inventory across these vast networks of distribution centers and retail stores, resulting in operational inefficiencies and lost revenues.

Alloy’s platform connects and aggregates the data siloed among retailers, distributors, third-party logistics providers, manufacturers, and suppliers that are involved in servicing demand. We track point-of-sale, orders, inventory levels, freight movement, forecasts, and production schedules to provide a single point of truth about your demand, your inventory, and whether your supply and demand are balanced.

Our application provides full visibility into your products — where they are and how fast they are moving — along with smart notifications that automatically flag problems and opportunities, including out-of-stocks, deviations from forecast, excess inventory, shifts in demand patterns, and more. We invest heavily in our user experience, and are proud that our users span all sorts of divisions within our customers, from sales and marketing to supply chain and finance.

I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished to-date. We have assembled an amazing group of doers. We have also been fortunate to work with a great group of forward-thinking customers that share our vision for the future of supply chain technology, ranging from strong young brands like eero and Walker & Company to multiple Global 2000 corporations.

But our work has just begun. With this additional investment, we will accelerate our product development, scale our go-to-market team, and help our current and future customers build more responsive, smarter supply chains. If you would like to learn more, please reach out. Or come join us, we’re hiring!

Joel Beal
Posted by Joel Beal