European procurement consultancy 4C Associates has launched a range of software modules, collectively the 4C Analytics platform, to address procurement and cost management issues. With the approach of Brexit likely to complicate many logistics chains in the UK and EU, the new line of insight-as-a-service products is hoped to offer clients a way to analyse and rapidly improve their procurement mechanisms.
Founded in 2000, 4C Associates today has over 100 consultants working from offices in the UK and the Netherlands. The consultancy helps blue chip organisations optimise their procurement and sourcing organisation, and deliver bottom line savings across spend areas. 4C Associates works for medium sized enterprises and large corporations, including AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, Boosts, GlaxoSmithKline, Hunkemöller and WorldPay. The firm is anticipating a busy coming period, thanks to issues thrown up by Brexit, and has been investing in its operations in recent months to strengthen them ahead of that.
Most recently, this saw 4C Associates announce a partnership with Scanmarket, one of the world’s premier providers of software solutions for sourcing. As part of the alliance, 4C Associates, which became Scanmarket’s tenth major consultancy partner, can leverage the technology in engagements – to the benefit of the firm’s clients.
Now, the pan-European consultancy has launched a new range of software models to help its clients more rapidly address procurement and management issues. The insight-as-service series of products consists of several focused solutions helping businesses to address their emerging needs as they develop their digital procurement strategies. The 4C Analytics platform combines the knowledge of procurement and subject matter experts with cutting-edge data analytics technology, while a ‘light touch’ integration process means 4C believes businesses will be able to quickly collate, visualise and action insights.
Among the models offered are three platforms. First is 4Spend, an application that uses machine learning, semantic analysis and associative rules to analyse third-party spend data and generate savings opportunities. Then, 4Margin, an application mainly for retail applications to rapidly identify low-margin products in their range and produce negotiation packs that identify the most appropriate levers to improve margin follows. Finally, 4Risk offers a way to connect to credit and ratings providers such as DNB, Achilles and Experian to profile suppliers, while integrating CSR policies & supplier code of conduct to enable procurement to become the owner of third party risk within their organisation.
Commenting on the launch, Steve Harrison, Chief Technology Officer at 4C Associates, said, “Our clients all have significant investments in procurement technology, however it is our understanding of the problem domain and nimble approach to deployment that is encouraging them to engage 4C technology in order to gain greater insight into their spend and to identify opportunities to manage cost more effectively.”