Autonomous Sourcing overview

The user guide provides an overview of the features and functionality of Keelvar’s Autonomous Sourcing. It details how to use Keelvar’s sourcing applications within the Autonomous Sourcing framework. It describes the different roles, actions, and operations involved when using a Sourcing Bot, and explains the user interface and key interactive elements presented at each stage of the Autonomous Sourcing process.

This article describes the key concepts and terminology of Autonomous Sourcing and provides high-level explanations of the applications, users, and processes involved.

Autonomous Sourcing Version 2 is now available. If your navigation bar displays the 'Fulfillment' tab, you are operating in Version 1 of Autonomous Sourcing. Your CSM will be in touch soon to migrate you to Version 2.

Additional resources

For additional information about getting started in Keelvar, including setting up your account and configuring account settings, see the Getting Started section.

If you require technical support for an issue not covered in this guide, contact our Support Team.

Some user interface and interactive elements, including tabs and menu items, may differ depending on the type of configuration used by your organization. Some of the examples in this guide may not be present in your organization’s configuration.

What is Autonomous Sourcing?

Keelvar’s Intelligent Autonomous Sourcing is a platform that leverages the power of Sourcing Optimizer, the searchability of Fulfillment Optimizer, and the speed, efficiency, and automation of Sourcing Bots to simplify and streamline your sourcing operations.

Autonomous Sourcing is a collaborative process involving requesters, approvers, and a Sourcing Bot that enables your organization to quickly launch bid events for new rates when existing rates are unavailable or unsuitable. While the majority of the sourcing workload is performed by the Sourcing Bot, user action and decision-making are required by requesters and approvers in your organization at key stages of the process.

High-level overview of Sourcing Automation
Figure 1. High-level overview of Autonomous Sourcing
  1. The requester uses Fulfillment Optimizer to search for and request new rates.
  2. The Sourcing Bot is launched. It notifies the approver of the request, who then reviews the request details and approves the request.
  3. The bid event — spot bid or mini-tender — is launched. The Sourcing Bot messages the invited Suppliers, asking them to bid on the requested items.
  4. After the bids are received and processed, the Sourcing Bot presents the approver with its recommended bids. After the approver awards the suppliers, the Sourcing Bot messages the awarded and unawarded suppliers, and updates the rate card.

What is Fulfillment Optimizer?

Fulfillment Optimizer is a smart hub for contracted rate discovery. It is a live digital rate card that stores your organization’s contracted rates. You can use it to search for available rates, request new rates, and update it with new contracted rates.

What is a Requester?

A requester is a user in your organization who can look up and request rates using Fulfillment Optimizer.

What is an Approver?

An approver is a user in your organization who approves or declines rate requests initiated by a requester. Approvers manage rate requests using the Sourcing Bot and have the final decision when awarding lanes. Approvers can also search for and request rates.

What is a Supplier?

A supplier or bidder is the company that provides rates for the goods or services you are sourcing.

What is a Sourcing Bot?

A Sourcing Bot is a category-flexible intelligent system designed to perform and automate time-consuming sourcing tasks to speed up and improve your sourcing process. Within Autonomous Sourcing, the Sourcing Bot is another team member and the intermediary that connects the processes and actions of Keelvar’s sourcing applications, the requesters, the approvers, and the suppliers.

What can a Sourcing Bot do?

Sourcing Bots have a wide range of functionality depending on the sourcing category and the implementation used.


Check_icon_2.png Look up the rate card Check_icon_2.png Validate bid data
Check_icon_2.png Provide alternative lanes Check_icon_2.png Open and close rounds
Check_icon_2.png Generate request summaries Check_icon_2.png Evaluate scenarios
Check_icon_2.png Notify requesters and
approvers of updates
Check_icon_2.png Generate award
recommendation and summary
Check_icon_2.png Determine invited suppliers Check_icon_2.png Update the rate card
Check_icon_2.png Message invited suppliers Check_icon_2.png Message awarded and
unawarded suppliers


What is a Logistics Botline?

The Logistics Botline is a group of Sourcing Bots designed to automate the sourcing process for transport categories. There are two types of Sourcing Bots in the Logistics Botline.

  • Ocean Bot: A Sourcing Bot for ocean freight transport events.
  • Air Bot: A Sourcing Bot for air freight transport events.