Keelvar is helping the world’s biggest firms to source goods
Keelvar was founded following seven years of research by Alan Holland, a former University College Cork (UCC) computer science lecturer.
The company helps some of the world’s biggest firms to optimise the sourcing of goods and services by improving speed and spend.
Managing €60bn of the approximately €2tn worldwide spend is software developed here in Cork by Mr Holland’s team in Keelvar.
Customers today include CocaCola, Daimler, BMW, and Siemens spanning across industries, from electronics to automotive to food and beverages.
Keelvar’s headquarters in Cork is growing significantly, with the office doubling in size in the past two years — it now has almost 40 staff.
Few other Cork companies its size and dynamic have a customer base that spans the magnitude of Keelvar’s.
The company draws on the pool of high-quality computer science graduates in Cork and is steadily hiring locally.
Innovation is central to Keelvar’s way of working.
More than 80% of its expenditure is on R&D and the company holds a belief that diligent reinvestment in its product yields a flywheel effect, whereby the product quality sells itself and the company garners a faster and more efficient sales pipeline via customer and bidder referrals.
Keelvar has defined a new category of strategic sourcing software and is supplying this to global enterprises.
This new category is sourcing automation, a software framework that allows sourcing teams to automate their sourcing processes.
Sourcing automation uses sourcing bots to set up and run events, with the sourcing team simply answering questions from the bot and then approving the event before the event is executed and run by the bot.
The results are then provided to the sourcing team.
Sourcing automation uses an organisation’s past events and historical data to learn and to identify patterns and best practice within the organisation.
This allows the sourcing bot to make intelligent recommendations to the team when setting up an event.
Despite its global reach, Keelvar is very proud of its Cork roots and heritage with both the company’s UCC origin, CIT Campus location, and the initial paying customer being Cork City Council.
The company plans to increase staff numbers to 85 by the end of 2021 and has identified a new office location in Cork.
“We’re proud of our UCC research origins and firmly believe that advanced scientific breakthroughs can be key to building category-leading world-class companies,” Mr Holland said.
“It also makes the work more exciting and challenging.
“Being a finalist in the highlycompetitive Cork Chamber Awards is a huge honour and is a testament to the fact that consistent hard work can build international success.”
Keelvar was founded by Alan Holland in Cork in 2012 as a spinout from University College Cork’s computer science department.