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In this episode of AOP Introducing, Helen Mackenzie speaks with Matthew Haber, CEO and co-founder at Cofactr. Before finding procurement, Matthew co-founded an engineering firm that tackled projects across a wide spectrum, from themed entertainment to self-driving cars – building both the hardware and software.

Leveraging his experience, Matthew transitioned to consulting on tech strategy and engineering for giants like Google and Amazon after exiting the engineering firm to private equity. He then reworked his expertise, co-founding an electronics contract manufacturer that later became Cofactr, an electronic supply chain execution platform used by aerospace, defense, MedTech, and robotics manufacturers.

“We felt like we had a lot of frustrations with some of the analog processes that we were experiencing with our contract manufacturers, particularly around procurement, making sure that all the parts were going to be there so that we could produce on time,” said Matthew. “We felt there was an opportunity to build a contract manufacturer that leveraged software to manage those kinds of processes more efficiently.”

Cofactr worked with a company called Stoke Base, which builds rockets. Cofactr help them manage the procurement and inventory of critical electronic components, reducing lead times and risks associated with delays. The platform’s modularity allows for quick implementation and integration into existing systems, with the option for pilot programs for larger enterprises.

Given the importance of proactive strategies, companies can mitigate the risks associated with just-in-time procurement by identifying parts that need to be purchased sooner due to long lead times or high volatility.

“How do you manage the materials? How do you make sure they show up on time? How do you do that in a risk-reduced, cost-effective way?” asked Matthew. “When we started building the software for ourselves as a contract manufacturer, we got a lot of positive feedback.”

Cofactr’s origin story as a solution to the founders’ own frustrations with procurement in contract manufacturing underscores the value of addressing specific pain points in an industry. By solving a problem for themselves, the founders created a product that resonated with a broader audience.

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