Scoutbee is thrilled to welcome Mark Masterson as our new General Manager, EMEA. An experienced VP / Managing Director with almost 30 years’ experience, Mark has a proven track record in helping startups land and rapidly grow their business in the European market. We sat down with him to find out a bit more about him and the impact he’s hoping to make at Scoutbee.
Mark, you joined the company in February, 2023. Why did you choose Scoutbee?
Honestly, the number one reason was the technology. I’ve been interested in the application of AI and big data on supply chain issues for quite a while now, and I’ve seen Scoutbee define the market in terms of advanced supplier scouting.
But it’s the way Scoutbee is doing this with knowledge graphs, etc. that means we have a real chance of building the first true supplier data platform for big enterprises. I’m excited by the potential of that to be a game changer for how companies and suppliers get value out of their relationships, and how enterprises can underpin their corporate goals.
What’s a typical day like for you and what do you like most about your job?
Well, it’s a bit too early to say at the moment – “in at the deep end” would be an understatement! We’re creating the environment, processes, and systems for the next stage of our growth and, alongside our CEO and the executive team, I’m involved in just about every aspect of that.
I guess my main tasks involve setting the sales team up for success, further deepening our relationships with our highly supportive customer base, developing some very strategic partnerships, and trying to bring all of this together into a go-to-market strategy.
And I guess that answers the second part of your question – I like the variety and the opportunity to have a real impact on the business.
With such a busy schedule, how do you achieve a work-life balance?
I’ll let you know when I’ve worked that out! Seriously though, I’m very much in the ramping-up phase at the moment, and the business is building out the strategy and tactics for the next couple of years so things are pretty crazy. I’m sure I’ll find a rhythm soon – once we’re fully into “execution” mode.
Considering your extensive experience to date, what impact are you hoping to make at Scoutbee?
Gregor, our CEO, has been assembling and tweaking a team to help drive his vision for the company. He hired me because, as he put it, I have a strategic mindset, but I’m also scrappy! I’m hoping what he meant by that is that I can support him in further refining the strategic direction of the company but, at the same time, I’m experienced in turning vision and strategy into real, tangible, measurable actions.
Scoutbee has been building great tech for several years. It’s now time to come out fighting with all of the assets that have been assembled and really establish ourselves as the leading supplier intelligence company.
More than ever before, procurement leaders are having to be increasingly dynamic in the way they work with suppliers. Can you tell us a bit about the value that SCOUTBEE Intelligence brings to the table?
Well, our tagline is “Better data. Better decisions. Better world.” What we mean by this is that our advanced data management capabilities can help companies find the right data from the myriad sources they have to deal with, leverage that data to develop insights that really help the business make the right decisions, and use all of that enriched intelligence to support their ESG commitments. All of this will make them more resilient, more agile, and more ethical in the way they conduct their business and work with their supply networks.
With so many providers out there, how can we make sure that Scoutbee stands out?
Our customers. We have some incredible companies working closely with us to deliver innovation and value. It’s these real, tangible developments for real-world situations, built upon state-of-the-art technology, that make Scoutbee different from any other companies that might be considered our peers. Watch out for some incredible customer testimonials in the coming months (and check out all of the great case studies we’ve been lucky enough to publish already).
You have particular experience in combining cloud software and “big data methods” to drive value through digitalization. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
There’s a bit of “buzzword bingo” there, but I’ve spent the last 26 years working with innovative procuretech startups. I’ve been through the evolution from on-premise software to cloud-based solutions, and I’ve helped define the new value proposition for the companies I’ve worked with.
As the market has just about fully adopted the cloud paradigm, another major shift has come along where suddenly data is king. There’s so much information at such a high velocity that managing it has become both a risk and an opportunity.
It’s a risk because companies have no excuse anymore to miss an important event or change that could damage them or their customers, and an opportunity because those companies that put in place the digital infrastructure, and the systems and processes to handle this tsunami of information, will have a major competitive advantage over their rivals. I think my experience across all of this gives me the ability to really help enterprises navigate these changes.
What are your hopes for our industry?
That question has a lot of different answers. I’ve seen massive wastes of time, effort, and money on poorly deployed systems, so one hope is that companies will finally realize that processes are only as good as the data that drives them. They should be adopting a “data first” strategy in all of their planning.
But, at the other end of the spectrum, we have an opportunity to use these new tools to shine a light deep into the ways our large companies work with their complex, global supply chains, and help those companies more easily make the right choices that reflect the ethical and sustainable demands of their customers. That’s a great reason to go to work.
We’d like to thank Mark for taking the time to talk to us!