The rise of digital procurement ecosystems - A guest article by our partner Archlet

The ghosts of procurement technology’s past

90% of procurement software rollouts end in failure (CIPS). Why is that? Well, it all comes down to adoption.

For many years, “one-and-done" suite solutions were hailed king. And who could blame organizations to go after this approach? The idea of having a single place to manage all your information, tasks, and processes sounds highly appealing and efficient – almost too good to be true. It unfortunately is for many organizations as the reality of procurement suites often leaves users unsatisfied and disillusioned. Solutions have often been experienced as too complicated to use on a day-to-day basis due to their rigidity, closed-loop nature, and clunky user experience, resulting in low adoption and failing to deliver on their promised value.

“There have been solutions available to Procurement teams for some time now, but they have been classic B2B solutions. By that I mean, they often neglect the user, preferring to focus on the tech behind it instead. The result is simply that customers don’t want to use it. They don’t get any value out of it. We saw a big gap in the market for easy-to-use, intuitive solutions that could make this advanced technology accessible.” – Jakob Manz, Co-Founder of Archlet

If legacy “one and done” technology systems are not the answer, what is?

The last five years have witnessed an explosion of digital solutions in direct response to the shortcomings of modern-day Procurement suites. Their inability to respond to evolving customer needs led to the incubation of various new best-of-breed solution providers that are targeted on specific pain points along the procurement process. Alongside the rise of these new solutions, new user expectations have formed. Users are demanding more intuitive and consumer-like experiences that mirror the B2C software they have come to love in their daily lives.

“There used to be this one-size-fits-all mentality. Everything was managed by one platform. But change is underway in Procurement. The market is demanding a push towards the consumerization of B2B software with increased usability and user-friendliness. Excellence teams are done settling for the clunky, complex, and hard-to-use systems of the past that require outsourced support.” - Lukas Wawrla, Co-Founder of Archlet

The rise of hybrid procurement technology ecosystems

The future of procurement technology lies in these more targeted solutions to operate within an ecosystem to meet the individual needs of the business. While the concept of ecosystems in the procurement space is still fairly young, the development of the SAP store and the program highlights its growing relevancy.

“SAP has reacted to the emergence of ecosystems, as evidenced by the program where Archlet and apsolut first connected. Customers have specific needs and we all need to adapt to those. The systems which are fitting best for the customer and their specific context need to be easily integrated into the processes which are important in other parts of the organization.” - Dr. Ferhat Eryurt, Partner at apsolut

apsolut is a leading consultancy partner for all things SAP Procurement. apsolut supports SAP customers to enhance their existing Procurement technology stack with best-of-breed solutions. Approaching ecosystems with this hybrid mindset allows organizations to flexibly adjust their technology stack to the growing maturity and needs of their teams, and architect a truly unique setup of solutions.

Archlet, a strategic sourcing platform, shares apsolut’s open ecosystem mindset. Archlet partners with leading technology providers and consultancies to overcome common challenges in Procurement through connected ecosystems. Capability partnerships, with organizations like Sievo and Per Angusta, bring hybrid and best-of-breed technology landscapes to life by offering customers the breadth and depth required by modern Procurement organizations. Data partnerships on the other hand, with Tealbook and Ecovadis, enable Archlet to make data accessible and actionable for all sourcing managers in all sourcing events.

To learn more about how to navigate digital procurement ecosystems, listen to the full Art of Procurement podcast with Lukas Wawrla and Dr. Ferhat Eryurt. Tune in to Art of Procurement’s interview with Jakob Manz to learn about the consumerization and democratization of optimization technologies.


About Archlet

Archlet, a Spend Matters Future 5 Procurement technology provider, is a user-first sourcing software company that helps companies make better sourcing decisions faster by providing best-in-class sourcing, analytics and optimization capabilities. As an official spin-off from ETH Zürich, Archlet combines data science and machine learning capabilities with deep hands-on procurement expertise to rethink strategic sourcing software.

Archlet empowers pioneering Procurement teams across industries, company sizes and digital maturity to make data driven and holistic sourcing decisions. Clients include PepsiCo, Emmi Group, Deutsche Bahn, Gordon Food Service and many more.

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