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Supplier Hub Discovery


is a set of activities done to yield shared knowledge, and structure and inform anticipated design decisions.

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TL;DR: Group Collect believes the utility of its Supplier Hub product is obscured by the product’s unintuitive user interface and has asked Flagrant for help.
Longer version: In June 2022 Group Collect CEO Corey Black contracted Dual Boot Partners to develop an initial prototype of his Supplier Hub product concept. Envisioned as a pay-to-play directory of organizations (“suppliers”) from whom tour operators (“operators”) might purchase products/services, the Supplier Hub promises to lower operating costs for both parties.
Around the same time, Corey contracted Flagrant to develop a related product called Group Tour Ops (GTO) (see the background section
). Whereas the Supplier Hub is meant to make the market between suppliers and operators more efficient, GTO seeks to improve and standardize operators’ trip management workflows.
In July, Corey commissioned demonstrating how suppliers might add information to the Supplier Hub. Corey later shared this video at one of the annual trade shows he attends every August, but didn’t get the response he wanted from suppliers. Corey later terminated his contract with Dual Boot Partners, and directed two of his colleagues, Bud Geissler and Sharon Keating, to provide more hands-on to suppliers.
Bud and Sharon believe the product does not do a good job of communicating its value on account of its poor usability. In February 2023, Corey asked Flagrant to improve the Supplier Hub before his annual trade show-tour begins in August.
Because Flagrant is largely unfamiliar with the work done to date, and we haven’t yet established clear success criteria (outside of “improving the product’s usability” before August), we propose conducting a brief discovery effort.


Over the next few weeks we want to:
Generate shared knowledge by reviewing the work done to date (the app itself, prior documentation, etc.), talking to stakeholders, and moderating usability tests with prospective customers / suppliers
Achieve consensus on the problem space by identifying the problem(s) to be addressed (which could include everything from problem statements to usability errors) and their relative importance to one another
Collaboratively chart at least one path forward by describing desired outcomes that include (but are not limited to) a demo-able website that meets user needs, business needs, and technical requirements that is free of its known defects (such as being “mobile hostile”). Ideally, our path(s) forward include success metrics and milestones such as the dates after which we’ll have fixed a majority of the usability bugs we’ve identified

Parallel goals

Make it easier for the team that will deliver the Supplier Hub to conduct
Inform the Supplier Hub’s go-to-market strategy
Build relationships (and shared understanding) we’ll need to effectively deliver

Motivating questions

What problem(s) does the Supplier Hub exist to solve?
Why is it important to solve this problem?
Why is it important to solve this problem now?
What solutions already exist to solve this problem?
Why didn’t this succeed the first time?
Which usability errors do we know about, and what is their relative priority?
How are things currently working?
Which significant (technical, design, business) decisions have already been made? What can be changed and what must stay the same?
Who are the users, how will we qualify them to participate in research, and how will we recruit them? (Will we pay them?)
What materials should we reuse or build upon?
What tasks should they be able to complete in the app?
What does success look like for the Supplier Hub by August?
What value will Group Collect derive from the product?
What value will users get from the product?
How should we measure the Supplier Hub’s success?
What does an MVP look like by August?
To what extent should Supplier Hub exist as a “standalone” product vs. part of the GroupCollect ecosystem?
What is the relative priority of Supplier Hub vs. Group Tour Ops?
Which front/back-end languages do Corey’s major product initiatives have in common — for example, Ruby, Javascript, etc — and what plans are there to align around common architectures, frameworks, etc. to make them more maintainable/sustainable?
To what extent should the Supplier Hub, Group Collect, and/or Tour Ops Pro brands exist as distinct entities?
How should we approach delivery?
What constraints should we be especially mindful of?
Who is on the team?
Who is the product owner/sponsor?
What onboarding will new staff require?
Which documentation will we (co)create?
Which documentation will we update?


Discovery lead (“responsible”): Andrew Maier (25%)
Lexi <> (100% UX)
Kaila <> (100% Design)
Joyce <> (50% PM)
Jim <> (50% Technical)
Product owner (“accountable”): Bud
Observers (“informed”): Corey, Bud, Sharon, Allan
GTO team


About six (6) weeks. Beginning 03/06/23, ending 04/14/23.

Planned absences

Andrew OOO 03/08–03/09
Jim OOO 03/08–03/09
JB OOO 03/08–03/09
Lexi OOO 3/20 and 3/24, 3/27

Anticipated outputs

Supplier persona
Draft problem statements
Co-design possible solutions to those problems (for example, a course you could sell to help people differentiate between margin and markup)
A list of functional requirements
A scoping workshop, defining what’s in-scope and out-of-scope
Project glossary
Create a concept model for proposal management ()
Project Plan (this document)
Research alignment workshop
Recruiting and screener strategy
Discussion guide
User research report
Competitive analysis
Summary report with a description of the steps we took and why
List of functional requirements, user requirements
Business Model Canvas
An updated pitch deck*
Brand Strategy Workshops*


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