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The A to Z of Spend Matters ‘Future 5’ 2021 list — Introducing Archlet

10/25/2021 By

As markets evolve, grow and mature, so supply and demand changes. Businesses must continue to adapt and so must the tools they use to support them. The procurement technology market too is rapidly evolving to respond to changing needs, talent maturity, compliance, regulation, risk, faster time-to-market and more. It’s not easy for heads of procurement to keep a watchful eye on the new, adaptive technologies and capabilities that are entering what is already a very crowded space. But Spend Matters does.

Our procurement technology analysts scour the market each year to find those new solution providers that can fulfill a very specialist and niche role to cater to procurement’s current needs. After weeks of strong debate and scrutiny based on their extensive market knowledge of the procurement technologies they review, analyze and benchmark every day, they wheedle down tens of start-ups to find five that they believe are exciting, have a rapidly rising presence in the market, are in it for the long run, and which every CPO should have on their radar.

These start-ups invariably take existing technologies much further to address the problems they can’t, or are introducing a new category of automation that tackles new challenges in interesting ways. We believe these companies deserve greater visibility, especially in a market which is increasingly consolidating and diluting buyer choices.

The “Future 5” list is a true complement to our “50 Providers to Watch” and “50 Providers to Know” lists, which highlight the more established tech firms you should be familiar with. Many outstanding procurement technology start-ups move from early-stage to market contenders quickly, graduating to the “Watch” list.

So we are delighted to introduce you to our Future 5s as we capture their voices. In no order of preference other than alphabetically they are:

Introducing Archlet

Archlet is a solution designed to enable optimization and scenario-based sourcing, with key data-backed analytics and insights to drive quicker sourcing decisions. While it can be used as a stand-alone sourcing tool, it mostly augments existing sourcing applications and is integrated with two SAP solutions (SAP Ariba and S/4HANA). It also offers pre-built integrations with specialty-data providers Mintec and EcoVadis. Read more about what Archlet does here

We talked to Tim Grunow, Archlet co-Founder, and Fabian Lampe, Head of Procurement & Marketing to understand more about …

How Archlet came into being

“Archlet was born here in Switzerland. It began with three friends working together for a consulting company about three and a half years ago,” explained Grunow. “We were working as data scientist consultants for an international packaging company to help optimize one of their sourcing events. That was our introduction to the complex space of sourcing and optimization.

“We very quickly came to realize that much of the work around sourcing, RFQs, analytics and optimization was still very manual. Excel and email were the main tools being used and a lot of analyst and consultant hours were going into data crunching to really come up with optimal decision making and negotiation preparation.

“It was then we realized we needed to do something about it.

“Jakob Manz, Lukas Wawrla and I decided to build a product that would help us make the whole process more seamless. That was summer of 2019, when we attended the first Digital Procurement World event in Amsterdam; we received useful feedback and we continued to grow organically and quickly. In 18 to 20 months, Archlet grew from 3 founding members to over 30 people. We received external investment to speed up the development of the product and we gained a lot of traction with customers. And now we’re here, a Future 5 that is accelerating even more. We’ve just closed our Series A funding round to further invest into the product and market development.”

What’s Archlet’s greatest strength?

According to our analysts: “Archlet was chosen for the 2021 Future 5 because of its optimization focus. Throughout the procurement function, optimization has been a difficult task for providers to tackle. Usually, optimization is applied only to high-value spend such as transportation, and it historically has been restricted only to power users with mathematics backgrounds. Archlet still provides power, but at a usable level.” Read more about the choice criteria here.

Lampe comes from a procurement background, has worked with competing tools and has witnessed first-hand the capability needs. In his words: “When you work with these tools it’s so apparent that what is really needed is ease of use. A lot of products just aren’t intuitive. They have lots of capabilities that could literally solve every use case you could ever come up with, but usually there are few people who either want to, or are able to, engage with them. That’s the gap Archlet fills.

“We are taking the advanced capabilities that are limited to a selective few large and established providers across the world and making them accessible to everyone. Every single sourcing manager in the world, from all sizes of organization, regardless of technical maturity or resource levels, can use our intuitive interface to make holistic sourcing decisions that include more than just price. Basically we’ve graduated the maths capability to the everyday user, making it as usable for the simple sourcing events as for the extremely complex ones.”

“To get to the increased usability we focus on the main features that people actually need, and which create 80% to 90% of the value. This allows us to consumerize the space, because the large more complex tools are really only used by the very large organizations with huge spend. Archlet brings it down a level with usability that still delivers value but creates opportunities for adoption throughout the wider organization and for categories other than logistics,” explained Grunow.

What’s next for Archlet?

“Our immediate vision is to further invest and build out our sourcing capabilities,” continued Grunow. “We are focusing more on analytics and developing our RFX functionality further to cover the entire end-to-end process, enabling us to grow horizontally and transform other related manual tasks.”

“In terms of expansion,” said Lampe, “we are currently very strongly represented in the DACH countries, and are expanding our presence in the North American and European markets initially. In terms of customers of course, being a SaaS tool, usage is international and not region-dependent.”

What does it mean to be a Future 5?

“We are super excited to have been chosen among such a competitive landscape — it’s a genuine honor. We are very proud of what we have achieved in just two years, but it’s having it recognized that makes all the difference. Spend Matters is placing new technologies in front of people who otherwise might not have known about them, arming the industry with more knowledge and more choice. We hope they continue to cover our development over the coming years,” said Grunow.

Future 5Many thanks to Archlet for sharing their story with us. We hope the Future 5 broadens our readers’ perception of what’s possible with technology to help you position your organization to address the future’s challenges.

The full Future 5 and 50/50 lists can be found in the Spend Matters Almanac, our free vendor directory, where Archlet sits within the sourcing category.

If you haven’t already, please register your own organization if you’d like to make a start on getting your solution in front of our technology analysts.

You can also find our existing coverage of Archlet here in our more in-depth subscription PRO analysis:

Archlet: Vendor Analysis — Solution overview for sourcing, roadmap, Archlet competitors, tech selection tips, analyst insights

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Future 5