Cobra Technologies Diversifies Supply Base

COBRA Technologies


Cobra Technologies is the leader in the design and manufacture of video pipeline inspection equipment, pipeline data collection and management software for sanitary and storm sewers. Cobra has a track record of success in meeting the demanding requirements of the inspection industry. For nearly 20 years, Cobra inspection units have been sold to municipalities, contractors and government entities.

Business Challenge

Finding qualified suppliers for custom parts and components is often like playing a game of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe”. Especially in these economic times, with many manufacturing companies having gone out of business, finding competent suppliers that have the right capabilities and capacity can be a difficult task. There are a variety of ways companies have traditionally found suppliers, including on and offline directories, trade shows, search engines and advertisements. However, these methods of supplier discovery are fairly superficial, making it difficult to find suppliers precisely matched to your needs that have capacity – at the exact moment you need them. It is also difficult to gain immediate visibility into references and pricing.

“We had a small group of local suppliers that we had worked with in the past. We were looking to add to our supply base and ultimately find additional suppliers that made quality parts, at a lower cost while reducing our overall lead time.” ~ Ken Hockstein, Cobra Technologies Corp.


Prior to, Cobra Technologies utilized traditional methods of supplier discovery and had little visibility into true market pricing. Additionally, their lead times were often as long as several months. Cobra Technologies was looking for a platform to source their new parts and components as well as discover quality suppliers who would partner with them in reducing overall costs and minimizing lead times.

“We had heard about for several years. Last year, we decided to just give it a try. We are thrilled with the results.” ~ Ken Hockstein, Cobra Technologies Corp.

Cobra Technologies has been using the Basic Sourcing platform and Marketplace since April 2010. The Basic Sourcing platform includes all Starter edition features such as Simple RFQ (Request for Quote), NDA and Sourcing Dashboard, but also incorporates Global Supplier Discovery, a Full-Audit Trail, Service and Support and Priority RFQ Release.


Cobra Technologies currently uses for almost all new parts orders. After submitting an RFQ to the Marketplace, Cobra receives, on average, 6 – 10 qualified Supplier responses. From there, the sourcing platform makes it easy to compare quotes to baseline and target pricing. supplier ratings and references are also reviewed to ensure a comprehensive due diligence process and that work is awarded to the best supplier at the best possible price.

“Finding quality suppliers is very important to us and we have found the rating system very helpful. When going through the sourcing process, we take a look at the supplier capabilities and equipment. Many times, with a new supplier, we will award them a small order for a simple part. If the work is performed to a high standard, we will award them larger, more complex work in the future.” ~ Ken Hockstein, Cobra Technologies Corp.

“Through, we have been able to not only find suppliers who have consistently provided us with high quality parts, but we have also substantially improved our pricing and lead times. On individual parts, we have seen as much as 50% cost savings and our lead time has gone from a few months to around three weeks.” ~ Ken Hockstein, Cobra Technologies Corp.

Some results that Cobra Technologies has obtained:

  • As much as 50% savings on individual parts
  • Improved time to market
  • Quality of parts produced has increased or remained the same
  • Developed new long-term supplier relationships and successfully diversified supply base

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