Achilles occupies a space it has made very much its own in the procurement solutions market over the last 20 years, with little direct competition. With its origins in Scandinavia and the UK, it has become the largest player in the world in the field of supplier qualification and information management. Its genius was in seeing the opportunity to build this around industry "communities" – getting firms in the oil and gas industry or utilities to use a common system to manage suppliers and potential suppliers.
Achilles take responsibility for managing that database, including verifying that the information suppliers provide is accurate – something the firm can do better than most because of its physical footprint and offices all around the world, from Argentina to Australia, from India to Ireland. Here is how the firm explains itself:
"Achilles creates and manages a global network of collaborative industry communities, allowing trading partners to share high quality, structured, real-time data. Using cloud-based technology, we act as an independent partner providing validated data and insightful analytics to enable buyers to manage risk, and suppliers to increase market reach in their sector".
In recent years, a new management team has implemented major changes, moving to a more standardized software platform, and perhaps orientating the firm generally more as a cloud based software firm rather than a services provider. That transition has taken time, but the business has remained successful and now serves a wider range of industry sectors – areas such as transport and automotive have gained traction.
So if Achilles covers your industry, it is certainly worth looking at whether the firm can help reduce your supplier identification, qualification and management burden.