ProcureTechSTARS with Tim Grunow, Co-founder and Managing Director at Archlet, a user-first sourcing software company that helps Procurement make better sourcing decisions faster.
During the conversation, Tim shared his thoughts on B2C-ifying procurement, creating psychological safety in teams, sustainable sourcing decisions and Ben Horowitz.
1. What’s Archlet’s mission?
“Archlet is on a mission to democratize data-driven, holistic decision-making in procurement.”
We help companies move their strategic ambitions from intention to action by enabling them to balance competing priorities such as supplier performance, risk, or sustainability next to the cost savings in award decisions. Looking back, the focus in procurement has always been thrown on cost savings. Today, things have changed. Sustainability and supply chain risks are more important than ever before and must be considered to make the best possible decision for the business.
Companies need to be able to evaluate the trade-offs between all these variables. For example, they need to be able to assess, how much more do I need to pay if I want to increase my average EcoVadis score across the supply base for a certain category by 10 points? What would that mean from a financial point of view?
We also cannot meaningfully democratize holistic decision making if we don’t also focus our attention on building an intuitive and user-friendly experience. We’re B2C-ifying the procurement software space by building a B2B solution with a B2C look and feel. I ask myself: “Why should a business still rely on clunky and complex legacy systems when intuitive and user-centric ones have become so common in our day-to-day lives?
Ultimately, this is how we make data-driven decision-making accessible for not just the power users, but the whole organization. Our success stories with customers such as PepsiCo or Deutsche Bahn speak for themselves.
2. What have been the most important milestones in the Archlet journey so far?
There are obviously some revenue milestones that are exciting as a founder. They help you raise funding rounds with investors. Funding rounds bring in the resources and expertise we need to work towards our vision faster and more effectively. There is such a big opportunity that we are going after. And we are not the only ones who know this.
3. What do you look for in the perfect customer?
From a go-to-market perspective, we have a so-called ideal customer profile, in short ICP. We have defined a set of criteria that helps us identify the companies where we can add the most value. This allows us to focus on the customers where we know we can help them make more informed decisions by negotiating more holistically with their suppliers.
“Organizations often need a certain level of procurement maturity to get the most value out of Archlet. A certain level of revenue of these organizations usually – but not always – coincides with that maturity. With the right customers, we can quickly save millions of dollars within just a few months.”
We look out for customers who are willing to take that next step in their sourcing journey—who are open to challenge the status-quo and are excited to bring in new technology solutions that can create added value. We look for customers who are willing to move from Excel and Email to one centralized and automated platform.
“For us, it is so much fun to work with customers who are aligned on a cultural level as well. That is definitely something we’ve started to take into consideration when talking to prospects.”
4. What are the foundations of a great team?
Hiring the right people is key. I once read that the founders of Atlassian realized 100 employees in that there was no shared value system amongst their team. It hadn’t been considered in the hiring process and as they grew it started to impact every area of the business. They needed to take action. Hearing this encouraged us to start that reflection process early on—to understand what our values are and what it means to live them out.
This is something we started to think about and put into writing when we were only a handful of people on the team. They’re now incorporated into our recruiting process to make sure we bring people on board that share our values—but differ in almost every other way.
A great team also cannot exist without great leadership. It’s important to us that our leadership establishes an environment where people feel safe trying out new things and making mistakes. It’s what fuels innovation and passion within the team. It really makes all the difference.
5. As we emerge from COVID what will you be doing differently?
I love that we can go to events and talk to people again. It is amazing to see everyone in person.
I just came back from a few events in June. It was a busy month for that, but it was just great to see customers in person, bond over a coffee or beer and really build out relationships. It’s possible over a call, but not as powerful. At least for me.
6. What is the vision for Archlet in the future and what will be most important to achieve it?
We want to be the go-to place when it comes to making data-driven, holistic decisions in procurement.
“When you think of making the best decisions for your business, we really want to be the go-to place for procurement teams.”
We want to help procurement become an even more relevant strategic partner for businesses.
“Procurement sits at the forefront of the entire upstream ecosystem. It can have a big impact on the business and on how its supply chains are designed.”
We want to build the software that helps procurement teams bring their business to the next level by making more informed and impactful decisions.
7. How are you doing good for the planet?
Procurement teams have a huge influence on the outcomes of their organizations and, our world. Not only financial outcomes, but also how sustainable its operations are. Businesses optimize most of their emissions through better supply chain design so “Procurement really does work at the forefront of its business’ sustainability efforts.”
INSTANT TIM INSPIRATION
1. What is your favourite book?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. I think I’ve read it about 4 or 5 times.
Ben Horowitz is one of my biggest inspirations. I love when he talks about his life as a founder and how tough it can be going from the highest highs to the lowest lows—sometimes all within a few hours.
2. Who is your favourite inspirational leader?
There are a few on my list.
I respect leaders who are authentic and empathetic. Leaders who know how to create great work environments, who articulate clear visions that motivate people to work towards one common goal. If I had to name one, I would pick Satya Nadella. He is doing that really well.. I think he’s a great leader.
3. What is your favourite app (not your own) or piece of technology?
I use Slack on a daily basis. It’s great.
4. What is your favourite cocktail?
I’d have to go with a Negroni. There’s nothing better on a warm summer evening.
5. What’s your favourite way to celebrate a success?
It doesn’t have to be anything over the top. For me, having a dinner with the team is great. We do that often.
1. Be the go-to place for procurement teams to make the best decisions for their business.
2. Make technology accessible to procurement teams. Apply B2C-thinking and bring it to B2B world.
3. Work with customers who share values – it makes it a lot more fun.
4. Create an environment of psychological safety – this encourages innovation.
5. Procurement is at the forefront of being able to impact how sustainable a business can be.
Archlet is a user-first sourcing software company that helps Procurement make better sourcing decisions faster. From large enterprises to SMEs, we believe that easy to use and data driven sourcing decisions should be available to every company, no matter their size, industry or maturity. The Archlet Sourcing and Sourcing Optimization Apps provide users with the focused sourcing and negotiation features required for a modern Procurement organization.
Our industry is moving forward faster and faster, empowered by innovative, progressive digital procurement solutions created and led by inspiring teams. ProcureTechSTARS are the digital procurement company CEOs and Founders that are leading the change, they are entrepreneurs, engineers and architects collaborating to transform procurement and the enterprise. In an open conversation with these leaders Lance Younger will be discussing the highs and lows of building the future now, the challenges they’ve faced, their perspective on accelerators and hot topics, and what keeps getting them up in the morning (and keeps them up at night).