Lukas Wawrla, Jakob Manz & Tim Grunow, Co-Founder
Following the coronavirus crisis, organisations rebound and pivot as “data silos” could soon be a ubiquitous term. Before the necessary shifts businesses were making due to Covid-19, a survey by McKinsey reported that total budgets for data-related initiatives would increase 50 per cent across 2019-2021 compared to previous years; a large part is likely to come from simply better understanding and managing data. Most frequently, due to the sheer size of an organisation, silos form as decisions are made that best suit the needs of the team or budget at the time. In addition, competing demands and timeframes then lead to ongoing fractures that prohibit alignment in the organisation.
While this challenge might exist throughout an organisation, the procurement of data is an inherently complex and daunting task due to the large amounts of information companies need to process. The siloed data can be clustered into internal demand, supplier, pricing, and external information. Many organisations still execute and analyse most sourcing events using arduous manual processes in Outlook & Excel. Not having these data points readily available can be especially problematic when the best value for the organisation requires balancing the cost of goods and services with other decision factors. The lack of consistency and availability limits the ability to capitalise on the data and create insights and learnings for future sourcing events. Next to missed savings opportunities is the actual cost of data silos, especially in risk management and sustainability. The need for transparency allows organisations to develop clear sustainability targets and supply chain risk management strategies. This is where Archlet has been carving out a niche for itself. The company moves a business’s strategic sourcing activities from Email and Excel to one central platform with its guided approach to sourcing optimisation, AI-based algorithms and an intuitive user interface to make complexity in sourcing manageable and results more impactful. “Sourcing optimisation can support holistic decision making by connecting disjointed and scattered information,” - Fabian Lampe, Head of Marketing at Archlet.
Enabling Holistic Sourcing Decisions for Strategic Business Partnering
Archlet is a user-first sourcing software that helps procurement make better sourcing decisions faster. From large enterprises to SMEs, the firm believes that easy to use and data-driven sourcing decisions should be available to every company, regardless of their industry or maturity. The Archlet Sourcing and Sourcing Optimization Apps is designed to provide users with the focused sourcing and negotiation features required for a modern procurement organisation, independent of spend categories. Its apps can be used either standalone or augmentated to existing procurement suites via API integrations to ensure they effortlessly blend into a company’s technology ecosystems and naturally drive adoption. Users can cut project timelines in half and spend more time developing strategic negotiation scenarios with stakeholders in one centralised platform. The Archlet platform uses advanced sourcing analytics to improve the data quality and highlight negotiation opportunities to make sourcing events more collaborative, data-driven and fast.
Sourcing optimisation can support holistic decision making by connecting disjointed and scattered information
Archlet enables users to quickly collect and manage pricing proposals by proactively validating the information, inconsistencies and price outliers to improve the data quality in the sourcing process. Users gain detailed insights on cost drivers and competitive cost comparisons. Thus, identifying and highlighting the most extensive negotiation opportunities allows for the most efficient feedback processes with suppliers. In addition, it also enables users to create and model sourcing scenarios based on Archlet’s combinatorial optimisation algorithms that reflect unlimited external and internal business constraints. The platform empowers users to run data-based supplier negotiations by combining its sourcing optimisation and AI-driven opportunity guidance. “Holistic sourcing decisions need to be realistic, repeatable and sustainable,” - Fabian Lampe, Head of Marketing at Archlet.
The modular nature of the Archlet allows buyers to either create end-to-end sourcing experiences directly within its platform or to use their current RFQ tool in combination with the Archlet analytics and scenario optimisation apps.
Archlet’s solutions are category agnostic and support all sourcing categories. While most of its clients currently start with categories such as raw materials (vitamins, ingredients, etc.), packaging (flexible, rigid, corrugated), logistics (road, air and ocean freight), MRO or professional services, the company views relevant use cases across most direct and indirect categories.
Advanced Sourcing made Simple and Smart
Holistic sourcing decisions need to be realistic, repeatable and sustainable
Technology drives information’s true efficiency and impact by making it available during the decision process, and Archlet has explored where sourcing optimisation fits into the technology stack. Organisations need to establish a clear understanding of the desired outcomes with the flow of information to make data actionable for important decisions. That said, much of the inefficiency and lack of use of existing data stems from one of these pieces not being in place or thought through. An MS SharePoint or a local file drive can’t be the solution, but part of the problem. Furthermore, while data on suppliers like performance, risk, sustainability, diversity, or performance scores are often captured in systems, they are rarely integrated into an organisations’ sourcing tool or decision process.
Advanced sourcing software can mitigate the challenges from Excel-based analytics or disjointed systems, empowering companies with actionable decision-making insight. However, most conventional sourcing software is often rigid and complicated to use, resulting in low adoption and limited value add. Archlet believes that Procurement teams deserve innovative and flexible tools with high usability to make the complexity in sourcing manageable. The company focuses on delivering the most innovative and most intuitive sourcing application that solves the problems of most buyers and makes them the hero in every negotiation. Archlet was established in 2019 out of a data science consulting project at ETH Zürich to rethink strategic sourcing applications because their initial clients operated in a world dominated by Outlook and Excel spreadsheets. The company immediately saw the impact of data-driven strategic sourcing while solving its client’s everyday sourcing challenges. Today, Archlet combines its data science and machine learning background with deep hands-on procurement expertise to rethink strategic sourcing and empower buyers.