Archlet: The Next-gen Solution to Integrate and Uplift the Procurement Function

Procurement Solution Providers


Throughout the course of history, the need to acquire goods and materials via a formal transactional process has been a key driver for the evolution of private institutions and international economies. The relevance of procurement can be traced back to the early 1800s when “Materials Men” were used to handle acquisitions in a controlled manner.

Today, procurement is a well-established function in most organizations. Over the years, the role of procurement has evolved from just being the “buying” department to an internal consultant team. The “policy” or “procedure” watchers of the past, now play a proactive role to help colleagues and decision-makers in buying what they need for their jobs – while mitigating risks and managing costs.

The Procurement team has to negotiate deals and look for the best providers to deliver significant value to the organization. They facilitate appropriate products and services for their business units and maintain the established internal requirements. They are the only ones who have visibility of how all departments are doing and spending their budget. Their biggest challenge, however, is to navigate the ever-evolving business requirements of today in order to identify different scenarios for an organization to increase efficiency and cost saving. Needless to say, this is easier said than done.

One organization, however, has taken it upon itself to integrate and digitalize the multitude of functional responsibilities that fall in the procurement professional’s lap. Archlet, a user-first source-to-award platform, helps Procurement teams make better sourcing decisions, faster. Archlet believes that easy-to-use and data-driven sourcing decisions should be available to every company, no matter their size, industry, or maturity.

Co-founder and Managing Director, Lukas Wawrla shares, “Unlike Excel or first-generation sourcing optimization tools, we provide out-of-the-box visualizations – which means no training is required – and provide all the data required to make better sourcing decisions faster.  In addition, we are user-driven and not process-driven. Thanks to our user-friendly approach, we can drive broad adoption in companies.”

Empowering the Sourcing Professional

Working at every organization’s frontline, the strategic importance of the procurement department is undeniable. Holistic procurement decisions can help organizations increase their overall advantage and drive better business outcomes.

Often perceived as a cost-cutter and not a function that brings a measured perspective, the role of procurement is inherently complex. Not to mention, the large amounts of information on internal demand, suppliers, pricing, external data, compliance changes, and more, the tasks of a procurement professional are rather daunting. That is why Archlet is building the first source-to-award platform for impactful, data-driven procurement decisions.

Established in 2019, the AI-based source-to-award platform automates the bid analysis process and guides, buyers, through supplier negotiations. By focusing on all overarching factors such as supplier performance, financial risk ratings, sustainability metrics, and others, Archlet provides strategic sourcing managers with a clear view of their suppliers, all in an engaging and easy-to-understand digital platform.

Since its inception, companies from various industries have found value in optimizing their packaging, logistics, MRO, professional services, and raw material spending with Archlet. Their focus industries include FMCG, Food & Beverage, Retail, Oil & Gas, and Energy, and their clients extend from PepsiCo, Total Energies, and Coop, to Covestro, and Deutsche Bahn.

"To help every individual thrive, we provide them with an environment and team that positively reinforces their strengths".

Next-gen Sourcing and Optimization Features

Neatly packaged as a plug-and-play software, Archlet eliminates the barriers in strategic sourcing and brings out the hero in every procurement professional. The app comes with an array of features such as a Flexible Questionnaire builder that lets users create custom questionnaires and response options that can be used for different scenarios, or the Agile Bid Sheet, which can be used to design flexible bid sheets within minutes.

The Custom Evaluation Matrix feature lets users define their scoring matrix on an event or category level, which can then be seen on an Intuitive Dashboard that gives users insights on supplier quotes and other relevant parameters, through powerful visualizations, price heatmaps, and supplier rankings.

Archlet doesn’t stop just at collecting data. It makes it actionable! With AI-based sourcing analytics and a guided approach to scenario modeling and sourcing optimization, the platform makes the complexity of sourcing manageable and results more impactful.

Archlet is designed to continuously identify and highlight the biggest negotiation opportunities to allow for efficient supplier feedback processes that increase competition. Not only does the app allow for instant scenario modeling to reflect internal & external business constraints, but it also empowers strategic sourcing managers to run data-based supplier negotiations with detailed scenario comparisons that highlight cost drivers & opportunity costs.

Becoming the A-Team of Strategic Sourcing

Archlet was founded out of a data science consulting project at ETH Zürich. During university, founders Tim Grunow, Jakob Manz, and Lukas Wawrla were part of a consultancy that was working on bridging industry with academia – called ETH Juniors. One of their projects was with a large packaging company that had a huge pain point in the sourcing area.

After running a large tender, the company had collected many different supplier files and was now stuck dealing with hordes of complex Excel files. Their goal was to create a data-based sourcing decision. However, due to a large amount of data, they contacted the ETH consultancy looking for data science support.

Immediately identifying the impact of data-driven strategic sourcing, the three founders set out to redefine sourcing for the better. “This is how Tim, Jakob, and I entered the procurement area.We quickly realized that this problem is known to many more companies. Hence, we started our own business and created a spin-off from ETH Zürich,” says Lukas. Today, the company deploys its background in data science and machine learning, along with deep hands-on procurement expertise to rethink strategic sourcing and to empower Procurement to make holistic decisions.

At the core, with over 20 nationalities, Archlet boasts of one of the most international start-up teams in Zurich. The strength of the Archlet squad comes from bringing together individuals—each with their unique backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches to work and life into one team. “To help every individual thrive, we provide them with an environment and team that positively reinforces their strengths,” shares Lukas.

Ultimately, for the Archlet team, it is all about driving better outcomes for businesses while enabling sustainability for the planet by helping Procurement make better decisions, faster. They achieve this by empowering Procurement professionals to make holistic, data-driven decisions and become a true source of impact.

Archlet: The Next-gen Solution to Integrate and Uplift the Procurement Function
Lukas Wawrla

A Compassionate and Driven Culture

Another factor that makes Archlet an attractive proposition for businesses and employees is the progressive and deeply committed company culture that it nurtures. The core values, Mit Härz, Mountain Climbers, A-Team, User-Driven, and Own it, culminate to form a holistic approach towards procurement transformation.

While Mit Härz (with heart) encourages employees to always start from the heart and act with compassion and kindness to cultivate a joyful, respectful, and united space, Mountain Climbers, pushes the team to climb higher, set big visions for the future, and do everything possible to achieve those goals without ever giving up.

User-Driven inspires the Archlet team to carefully listen to all of the users’ needs and channel their passion and resources to make the most impact. As per Lukas, a deep and empathetic understanding of the users is what keeps the team grounded, shapes all communications, and creates the drive to always go the extra mile.

Own it, another user-centric initiative teaches the Archlet team to always uphold their commitments to each other and their users—matching actions into words. Confronting pain points with integrity and transparency while sharing their thoughts and feedback openly, reflecting on mistakes, and moving forward. Lukas shares, We aim to live out our core values every day. Not only do we organize annual team events, but we also have an internal event committee that organizes different activities and events on weekdays and weekends. On top of that, the team also self-initiated several groups including a bouldering group, a book club, language tandems, and many more.”

What Lukas appreciates about the A-Team, is that they enjoy spending time with each other. Between weekly happy hours, monthly breakfasts, regular after-work events, and a multi-day trip in the sun, one could say that this organization takes team bonding seriously.

Archlet takes learning and development seriously too. The last Friday of every month is Growth Day – an employee training day where developmental goals spring to life. Here, team members can learn a new tool or dive into the latest developments of PostgreSQL, or simply sharpen their technical skills. Archlet also allows its employees to design their workday around personal needs – with flexible hours, unlimited home office, and 13 weeks of digital nomading per year.

The Verge of Change

Rapid advancements in digital technologies are remaking business supply chains and are poised to transform how the procurement function delivers value. Strategic sourcing is becoming more automated, making supplier relationships and cost management more proactive. Digital Procurement solutions like Archlet are enabling the future by providing access to previously unavailable data, or bringing order to massive unstructured data sets, driving more complex analysis, better supplier strategies, and enabling more efficient operations.

Looking ahead, Archlet remains committed to enhancing the value of legacy systems, with minimal investment, and low integration requirements. For organizations looking to embrace strategic sourcing digital solutions, the path has never been easier.

The 10 Best Procurement Solution Providers, 2022