May 6, 2021

Simfoni’s eProcurement Solution chosen by Gulftainer

Tom Swallow
2 min
Gulftainer logistics has chosen Simfoni eProcurement solutions for its digital transformation strategy that involves better spend management
Gulftainer logistics has chosen Simfoni eProcurement solutions for its digital transformation strategy that involves better spend management...

Procurement has become a primary focus for large scale supply chain companies as digital transformation becomes an integral part of continuous development. 

One of the world’s leading container shipping ports in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is run by Gulftainer, who has recently taken on Simfoni as a partner in its strategy for digital transformation. 

Gulftainer runs port logistics operations across the UAE, Saudia Arabia (KSA), Iraq and the United States (US).

The company announced that they had chosen Simfoni as a comprehensive provider of eProcurement processes.

Who is Simfoni?

Simfoni offers digital solutions for procurement analytics and spend automation, specialising in “the provision of digital technology that streamlines the procurement process”. 

The aim of the company’s existence is to provide its customers with value through machine learning and artificial intelligence to save them time and money while identifying ways to reduce risk.

Simfoni’s Operations Manager, Zoya Ali Khan, spoke about the benefits to its clients. 

“For Simfoni clients, the time allocated to optimising value is probably the most important measure of success. The current economic environment makes this metric even more relevant than ever,” explains Khan.

“We are able to leverage our market knowledge and subject matter expertise to source deals that generate significant savings right from the very first order put through the platform.”

According to Chirag Shah, Chairman of Simfoni, the commercial procurement model offers a “Pays As You Save” function. 

This gives the client the ability to link the digital transformation cost to the “level of spend adoption, and the benefits achieved,” making it “the most accessible eProcurement implementation available anywhere in the market,” says Shah.

A Thriving Partnership

According to Engineering - Procurement Head at Gulftainer, Pietro Nesti, it began working on the procurement process with Simfoni just six weeks ago. 

Understanding the barriers to implementing eProcurement, Nesti explains how satisfied the company is with the technology. 

“eProcurement implementations are notorious for poor levels of adoption and complications with configuration. The Simfoni system was configured and operational within the first week”, said Nesti.

He claims Gulftainer has obtained an 80% adoption rate of the technology, by end-users, in its second month of implementation. 

“End users love the system and find it easy to use with faster cycle times and greater choice.”

Likewise, Shah is satisfied with the outcome of the partnerships.

“It is wonderful to witness yet another client valuing the benefits of our solution, and I am very grateful to the Executive Board of Gulftainer for putting their faith in us.”

For more procurement, check out the latest issue of Procurement magazine

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Jun 13, 2021

How Covid-19 Shook Up the Who's Who of American Retail

3 min
We check out the new Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 analysis report to see how Covid-19 shook up the who's who of American retail

According to the new Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 analysis report, the massive shift in ecommerce habits due to COVID-19 resulted in a windfall for the US’s largest retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Target.

The study found that the top 500 companies generated a combined total of $849.5 billion in online sales in 2020, representing a 45.3 per cent increase YoY, the largest jump since Digital Commerce 360 began tracking the statistic in 2006 and more than double the median growth of 18.0% seen over the last decade.

Although retailers of all sizes saw an uptick from online sales, in large part, throughout the pandemic, customers looked to familiar big name brands to fulfil much of their essential needs. Demand for items began to spike as manufacturing in Asia was forced to shut down, causing supply chain shortages. As large retailers tend to hold more inventory, this became a crucial differentiator for customers, says Digital Commerce 360.

Combined, Walmart Inc., Inc. and Target Corp. added $265 billion in US revenue to the $791.70 billion U.S. ecommerce market in 2020, accounting for a third of the market.

Considering the need for people to stay busy during lockdowns as well as the requirements of homeschooling, it’s not surprising Joann, a crafting company, showed the fastest online growth of Digital Commerce 360’s top 500.

  • In 2019, the bottom 100 of the top 500 registered the fastest growth while the top 100 showing the slowest growth rate. In 2020, however, the analysis showed the opposite, the top 100 largest companies grew at a rate greater than that of the whole, and the top 10 on the list enjoyed a growth rate even faster than the top 100.


  • In 2020, collectively the top 10 grew web sales 52.5%, almost five percentage points faster than the top 100 and accounted for 62.8% of Top 500 sales, up from 59.9% in 2019.


  • Who made the top 10 was shaken up some. For example, Walmart made it into the second spot, both Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. crept into the top 10 for the first time, landing at No. 8 and No. 10 respectively

Segments of retail that enjoyed fueled courtesy of COVID included toys and hobbies, jumping an average of 24 spots in the rankings and food and beverage merchants moved up an average 23 ranks. In contrast, apparel retailers dropped an average 15 positions in the Top 500, whereas jewellery retailers fell an average of 10 spots.

Although Digital Commerce 360 attributes some of the growth to stock positions and the ability of large retailers to manage supply chain issues, even the largest internet retailer experienced disruption. In March of 2020, during the first save of the US pandemic, even the Amazonian giant found themselves running into meeting customer commitments and delivering orders on time. Order cancellations and extended lead times became commonplace. For a time, Amazon stopped fulfilling orders for items considered “non-essential”.

Despite the issues, Amazon maintained its spot as the top online retailer in North America by a large margin, representing 35.7% of all Top 500 sales. Although it should be noted that the share is down from the 36.7% it saw in 2019.

At the outset of the pandemic Etsy, a solely ecommerce company focused on handmade, vintage items and craft supplies, was expected to perform poorly. However, as supply chain shortages for face masks caused a sudden need for cloth masks, many began to turn to Etsy, tripling its stock value by June. 


You can check out the new Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 analysis report here.

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