Bid Ops started as an e-sourcing company powered by AI. The AI simulated a sourcing event before it began in order to generate a target outcome. The key benefit of this autonomous “suggested price” approach to strategic sourcing is 2-5x savings impact in days, not months.
But over the past year, our customers have shown us that predictive procurement shouldn’t just be limited to sourcing. It can drive impact in everyday purchasing, supplier lifecycle, and contracting. By launching our “embedded platform” within Ariba, Coupa, Zycus, Jaggaer, GEP or any ERP solution, our technology has the ability to suggest not just prices, but recommend preferred suppliers. And, perhaps most impressively, it now drives cost savings by aligning more spend with preferred suppliers – all without asking for multiple quotes.
Customers told us that amplifying the impact of procurement’s influence was more than running competitive bids. We listened. We heard it’s about harmonizing data, synchronizing workflows, and finding business rhythms. So to all our readers, meet Arkestro. Arkestro’s mission is to amplify the optimal outcomes of procurement’s influence across every enterprise. There is no process too small, there is no spend category that is too complex, fast-moving, constrained or complex.
Why Change Our Name
Some of the best-known companies have changed their name over the years and for good reason, not just a re-branding. Perhaps the most notable in recent memory is when Apple Computer became Apple in 2007. The name change reflected that with the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and the Apple TV, Apple was no longer focused solely on selling computers. The company still sold Macs, but it was expanding the scope of its influence to become a consumer electronics giant.
That’s similar reasoning behind the decision to change the name of Bid Ops to Arkestro.
Bid Ops has built a stellar reputation as strategic sourcing software, but since the company began operations, it’s become clear that the scope has changed. Procurement has expanded beyond traditional sourcing operations. Bid Ops’ capabilities have supported and enabled that growth. It’s time to recognize this shift and that Bid Ops can do far more than predictive strategic sourcing. That’s why we decided Bid Ops should become Arkestro.
Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting transformation.
From Predictive Procurement to an Embedded Platform
With the events of the past several years, few business functions have changed so dramatically as procurement. Pre-2020, procurement teams were adopting technology, but the goals had barely changed in decades. For most companies, that amounted to delivering savings. Everything changed starting in 2020.
Companies discovered that their supply chain was vulnerable to disruption, whether from a global pandemic, increasingly volatile weather events triggered by climate change, or war. Logistics challenges have become challenging for many companies, with the cost of transporting raw materials and finished products skyrocketing. Inflation and interest rates are on the rise, wreaking havoc with both sourcing and sales. At the same time, a push for sustainability and social change has made it critically important for companies to be able to account for every step of their supply chain.
In short, procurement has been rapidly catapulted into a very strategic role within companies.
The scramble to adopt sourcing and procurement software to live up to that strategic role hasn’t always lived up to the promise of the technology. Let’s go way back to 1990. The Harvard Business Review published an article called “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.” This article pointed out the problem that so many companies have run into as they rush to provide their procurement teams with technology supporting their newfound strategic importance:
“The usual methods for boosting performance—process rationalization and automation—haven’t yielded the dramatic improvements companies need. In particular, heavy investments in information technology have delivered disappointing results—largely because companies tend to use technology to mechanize old ways of doing business. They leave the existing processes intact and use computers simply to speed them up.”
Bids Ops revolutionized procurement through the use of AI-powered predictive procurement. The software allowed customers to essentially simulate a procurement cycle before it even began, leveraging AI and machine learning to predict bidding outcomes, dramatically cut cycle times, and win faster value. However, the software was capable of much more. Many customers have been using Bid Ops for much more complex procurement tasks including, predictive tail spend, contracting, P-cards, and spend monitoring.
Arkestro brings all the capabilities of Bid Ops but lets procurement organizations leverage the software by embedding it within any procurement system or process. Companies avoid the trap of investing in software and technology that’s designed to simply speed up the way they’re already doing things. By adopting Arkestro, companies gain the strategic wins of Predictive Procurement Orchestration (PPO), including supply chain resiliency, risk management, and increased operational throughput.
The new name highlights Arkestro’s capability to embed preferred outcomes and instant feedback in any process across procurement, sourcing and supplier management. Arkestro allows procurement leaders to deliver on strategic corporate initiatives and deliver corporate value, amplifying procurement’s influence within the company.
Arkestro is Still Everything Procurement Professionals Loved About Bid Ops
Over the past several years, procurement professionals and industry analysts have made their feelings about Bid Ops known, with the company increasingly gaining industry recognition. In 2021, Bid Ops was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Strategic Sourcing Technology. 2021 also saw Bid Ops being added to the influential Spend Matters Fall 2021 SolutionMap, after being named a Value Leader for the small, medium, and large businesses categories. That was a follow-up to 2019, when Spend Matters recognized Bid Ops by adding the company to its Future 5 list of exciting procurement technology start-up vendors.
Everything that procurement professionals came to recognize and love about Bid Ops — including its strong support for predictive procurement — remains in place.
The Arkestro name change comes with an expansion of the company’s value proposition, moving beyond predictive sourcing, contracting and bidding to influence spend within everyday purchasing activities, including tail spend. Using a proprietary combination of behavioral science, game theory and predictive machine learning, procurement teams use Arkestro to deliver a 2-5x lift on cost savings from everyday procurement and sourcing cycles.
Arkestro runs on autopilot in the background in customers’ existing systems. Perhaps most significantly, non-procurement users and suppliers never need to login or navigate an “app.” Arkestro is ideal for any enterprise that experiences data quality issues in procurement operations, especially related to fast-moving, complex or constrained buying channels.
We’re so excited for the future, and we’re excited to support all of our existing, new, and future customers along the way. If you’re curious about our new features and integrations, get a demo to learn more.