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Global Locations | 60+        Vendors | 2,500+

“The software is user-friendly, the implementation was seamless and the after-sales service is exceptional.” - Michael Adams, General Manager Global Strategic Sourcing


Customer Profile

Company - Inchcape Shipping Services
Location - Global, with Headquarters in London, UK
Description - An international Port Agency, delivering agency services, financial management, crew logistics and managed solutions in over 60 countries.
Key Stakeholders for Gatekeeper - Procurement and International Port Teams


Inchcape Shipping Services is a global Port Agency business with locations around the world. Their geographical spread, coupled with increasing compliance demands from customers, brought them to market for a Vendor Management Solution in late 2017.

Their primary goal was to provide superior service to their customers and win more business by:

  • Standardising and improving compliance procedures across their 60+ global locations.
  • Creating robust, auditable records of those compliance procedures, which could be shared with customers as part of their periodic reviews.
  • Creating a central overview of their vendors, thereby removing the reliance on the distributed teams to provide vendor information to head office.

Inchcape embarked on a comprehensive sourcing process with 11 potential solutions, resulting in the selection of Gatekeeper.

As part of this process, Inchcape was impressed by the implementation methodology and seeing this in action felt this was "seamless". As a result, Gatekeeper has helped bring clarity and rigour to Inchcape’s vendor management processes.

Where customers have particularly stringent requirements relating to Supply Chain Risk Management, Gatekeeper's reporting and monitoring capabilities have helped support Inchcape as they look to win more business.

Having now worked with Gatekeeper for well over a year, Inchcape have not only extended their initial agreement but now consider Gatekeeper:

“An integral part of us being able to meet the constant, high Supply Chain Risk Management demands of our customers.” - Michael Adams, General Manager Global Strategic Sourcing

Why Gatekeeper?

Visibility: Gatekeeper not only provides instant oversight of Inchcape’s global vendor relationships, associated costs and compliance statuses but also tracks all activity relating to each vendor. This results in fully-defendable and auditable timelines showing who has done what and when, with automatic prompts for further action as required.

Usability: With a diverse and distributed team, Inchcape knew that whatever system they chose would need to be as user-friendly as possible. The volume of users required a system that could be utilised with minimal training. Adoption would be crucial to the success of the project. Gatekeeper’s clean interface and layout was a key selling point.

Value for Money: Gatekeeper was not the cheapest option amongst the eventual shortlist of four, but its combination of unlimited users and powerful collaboration tools was by far the best fit for Inchcape’s substantial international footprint.

Potential For Integration: Inchcape highlighted integration with their Master Data System as a future project that would need to be completed successfully. Gatekeeper’s flexible APIs and commitment to ongoing development made it the logical choice.

The full story

Inchcape is a global Port Agency business, which manages secure port logistics for some of the world’s largest vessel-owning companies.

At each of their 60+ international locations, they work closely with local vendors to deliver a seamless and market-leading service to their customers.

The need to deliver that service consistently, and to a high standard, across their network was one of the driving forces behind them coming to market for a Vendor Management Solution.

This was coupled with growing demands from their customers in relation to compliance and auditing. The shipping industry as a whole was placing an increasing priority on staff safety, and this was being reflected in more stringent compliance requirements around their people’s movement and accommodation, whilst in port.

This provided an opportunity for Inchcape to set the standards for the industry, exceed the expectations of their customers and create a strong platform from which to grow.

Where previously their process for managing vendors had been inconsistent between locations, they envisioned a future where vendors were vetted and managed from a central office.

Making that possible would require commitment from all areas of the business and, crucially, the right technology.

The first step was to explore the option of creating a bespoke vendor lifecycle management platform in-house. However, this was deemed to be unfeasible due to constraints on their technical resource and the complexity of the requirements.

Having elected to look externally, they researched the market and assembled a list of 11 potential suppliers. Following initial conversations, this list was reduced to the four strongest, who were invited to demonstrate their products in more detail.

From this process, it became clear that Gatekeeper’s platform represented the best combination of immediate capability and usability, whilst also offering the option to integrate with their internal systems further down the line.

With regards to the key issue of pricing, the Inchcape team’s view was that it:

“...would always be a consideration but we needed to ensure that we were also getting value for money and that we were not spending money on promises that could not be fulfilled.”

The responsiveness of the Gatekeeper team through this process also stood out, demonstrating a strong desire to win the business and deliver for Inchcape

The Implementation Process

Gatekeeper’s customers each receive a tailored onboarding process to help derive value from the system as quickly as possible.

When working with Inchcape, this involved initial scoping with the IT team to ensure that security standards were met and then a tailored process including:

  • A clear implementation methodology and related reporting
  • A dedicated Professional Services Lead and Account Manager
  • Scheduled weekly calls for configuration and training
  • Managed data configuration and import

Summing up this phase, Michael describes it as:

“The smoothest part of the process … The software is user-friendly, the implementation was seamless and the after-sales service was exceptional”

Working with Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper has delivered against the original requirements set out by Inchcape by bringing clarity and consistency to their international vendor management processes.

Having rolled Gatekeeper out to their largest strategic locations, Inchcape has been able to make rapid progress to value and demonstrate the capabilities of the system to the remainder of their locations.

Using Gatekeeper has assisted Inchcape with their contract planning, enabling local staff to suitably prioritise their workloads, whilst simultaneously providing head office with the desired level of insight into operations around the world.

Vendor compliance processes have been standardised across these different locations, meaning that Inchcape can improve the consistency of its offering.

This consistency is what makes them attractive to their global customer base, who know they can expect the same high standards, whichever continent they happen to be working in.

And not only that, evidence of a specific vendor’s compliance and performance is available in just a few clicks, at any time, using Gatekeeper’s intuitive platform.

With Inchcape having been able to quickly generate value from using Gatekeeper, they have been happy to extend their initial agreement and to schedule the planned integration with their master data system.

The view from Gatekeeper

“When it comes to vendor management, Inchcape represents as close to a perfect use-case for Gatekeeper as it’s possible to get.” - Patrick O’Connor, Director

Inchcape is a complex, globally distributed business, needing to centralise its vendor management processes to meet stringent compliance demands from customers and stakeholders.

Gatekeeper’s platform is ideally positioned to help. Our powerful solution provides:

  • A central repository of global vendors that’s easily searchable and accessible from anywhere
  • An aggregate view of the vendor data, making reporting straightforward and insightful, and which facilitates cost reduction and consolidation
  • Automated workflow management, which cuts down on administration time
  • Auditable records of activity against each vendor to show current compliance status and historic performance
  • Role and permission-based access allowing for effective delegation across team and location

For businesses looking to mitigate supply chain risk and maximise the value gained from their vendor sets, Gatekeeper is the logical choice.

To find out more about how Gatekeeper can help your business grow sustainably, please contact us today.

Ian Bryce
Ian Bryce

Ian writes on a variety of topics, bringing together his own knowledge and experience with that of industry experts.


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