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The supply chain renaissance - Kinaxis CEO John Sicard's prescription for transformation

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan May 10, 2022
There's a perfect storm out there and Chief Supply Chain Officers are facing up to some big challenges.

John Sicard

We are at this very moment experiencing what I call a supply chain renaissance – a generational shift in how supply chains will operate for decades to come.

So said John Sicard, CEO of supply chain management specialist Kinaxis, as the firm turned in Q1 numbers that saw revenues of $98 million, up 70% year-on-year.  Other stats of note:

  • SaaS revenue grew 22% to $49.3 million, while subscription term license revenue was $23.5 million versus $2.1 million for the comparable 2021 quarter.
  • Maintenance and support revenue for the quarter was $3.9 million, up 26% year-on-year.
  • The firm’s ten largest customers account for 40% of total revenues, compared to 27% in the comparative period.

It’s a strong performance, at least in part reflective of being very much in the right place at the right time with macro-economic and societal ripple effects creating demand. As Sicard noted:

Supply chain is going to be a growing imperative for many years to come. I fundamentally believe this is becoming urgent. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. It might have started with weather events… port strikes, and then the pandemic hits, and then there's war, and then there is fluid inflation.

Challenges hitting different parts of the world and recovering at different rates, this is really informing management teams all over the world and a recognition that if we’re going to absorb this level of volatility - and I’d say the ferocity of volatility - then something needs to change. They need to become more agile. And I think that is was really fueling our momentum. Momentum begets momentum, and we are experiencing it right now here at Kinaxis.


Speed is a factor that’s coming to the fore, argued Sicard, pointing to the firm’s RapidStart initiative:

RapidStart was very much born out of many conversations I was having with Chief Supply Chain Officers that told me exactly that I need to deal with symptoms first before I can deal with cure. I need to be strong enough, if I can use that analogy. RapidStart continues to be, what I believe, unmatched in the market the ability to shake hands and go live inside of a 12 week period. In fact, the one recent life science customer I want to say it was six to eight weeks to their initial go live which I think is revolutionary right there.

We are seeing continuation of pick-up on that theme. Although depending on the size, it's not uncommon for an enterprise class customers to say, ‘Look, I love this RapidStart, I need to go live as fast as possible, but I need to embellish the starting point just a bit’. And so we might see something in the sort of four months time horizon for that initial go live. It continues to be very strategic to us at something that we lead with, and obviously for mid-markets, it is extremely well received.

He added:

Part of the beauty of RapidStart is it uses a prescribed set of data that is very, very typical and, I would say, uniform across the customers that we serve. There may be some industry-specific one-offs between say, high tech electronics and life sciences and CPG. There will be some certain data elements that existing one market vertical that does not exist in the other. But those are completely encapsulated in the, what I'll call the dosage of RapidStart.

And RapidStart is encouraging customer traction:

Exactly as the thesis had predicted, lowering somebody's fever and making them feel stronger leads to them doing more, adding more value. So expansion is a very natural side effect I would say of getting to that, getting to that stage. We have already seen significant expansions across multiple accounts that have already started with with RapidStart. It's where they start; it’s definitely not where they expect to end in their transformation journey.

My take

A solid performance. Look out for more customer success stories coming out of this week’s Kinexions conference in San Diego or visit the diginomica Kinexions22 event hub.

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