Ivalua Blog

Procurement Digital Transformation Sets the Stage for Delivering Game-Changing Benefits for Ahlsell




Ahlsell, a prominent international retail solutions provider, has led a complete digital transformation overhaul with a central focus on trading goods supplier management. A leading B2B wholesaler of installation and plumbing products, tools, and machinery, the company of 5,700 employees and over 240 stores operates in all Nordic countries and the Baltic States, generating over $3.9 billion in annual sales.

The 140 year-old company has a strong market position; large volume provides necessary scale and competitive advantages in purchasing, sales, logistics, and business support. Offering a broad range of products with expertise and depth in each category, one of Ahlsell’s key business objectives is to strengthen their customers’ competitive edge. Acting as a complementary partner to their suppliers, Procurement is a central target and strategic function for Ahlsell.

One of the early objectives of Procurement was to optimize tail supplier management. Tail suppliers are typically low-volume suppliers, often not under contract and with non-standard pricing. They contribute to the broad range of products offered and supplement limited in-house resources.

With Ivalua, Ahlsell was able to highly automate and standardize the process of negotiating contracts with several suppliers at the same time, delivering an unparalleled level of efficiency and benefits.

“We chose Ivalua as our vendor because they support our vision, provide process support that goes beyond best practices, and deliver the user experience and level of automation we need to be successful in our digital transformation journey,” said Karolina Hagberg Chinell, CPO at Ahlsell. “The unique configurability of the Ivalua platform was a key success factor for our project.”

According to Frank L’heureux, CRO at Ivalua, many organizations who switch to Ivalua have struggled with rigid and inflexible procurement solutions that don’t meet their specific needs. The solutions are often too complex, and as a result, suppliers of mission-critical goods that matter most to the business are not digitized or enrolled in the procurement system.

With Ivalua, customers can manage all types of spend and suppliers without compromise. “The Ivalua platform safeguards against the risks of omitting valuable suppliers, providing complete visibility of 100 percent of suppliers and 100 percent of spend,” L’heureux said. Increased interactivity and improved support for tailgating suppliers further develop these joint business initiatives.

Breaking New Ground to Gain a Competitive Edge

As with any industry, the most innovative companies are those who break new ground — and one way they do that is to define new ways of managing procurement that enable efficiencies, optimize spend, and reduce risk.

“In many cases, our customers choose to partner with us because Ivalua is the only platform that can meet their complex procurement, direct materials and direct spend needs,” said L’heureux. “Having successfully digitized the entire Source-to-Pay process, Ashell is on the path to evolving Procurement from a cost center into a competitive advantage.”

Bouncing back from the pandemic, the retail industry has transformed rapidly to meet crucial customer needs. Technology-centric supply chain and procurement strategies are critical business functions that improve the agility of an organization in the following ways:

  • Map supplier risk and performance, including all subcontractors and sub-suppliers.
  • Extend risk and performance mapping with external data sources and alert systems.
  • Increase strategic insight and identify new sources of savings.
  • Improve cash positions by optimizing the gross margin return on inventory.
  • Improve supplier collaboration to accelerate time-to-market and innovation.
  • Reduce cycle time with PO automation and collaboration.
  • Capture supplier innovation and facilitate the launch of new private label products.
  • Integrate sustainability goals into supplier and commodity group management.
  • Provide a consumer-like experience for procurement stakeholders.
  • Ensure globally standardized processes while accommodating the local needs of a decentralized organization.

These capabilities accelerate retail supply chains, increase efficiency and time-to-market, and improve customer relationships with on-time deliveries.

Learn more about Ivalua’s market-leading Source-to-Pay platform, and watch a demo to see it in action. You can also check out our customer case studies to learn how leading procurement organizations across industries are reaping the benefits of digital transformation with Ivalua.

Vishal Patel Headshot


Vishal Patel

VP Product Marketing

Vishal has spent the last 1​5​ years in various roles within the Procurement and Supply Chain technology market.  As an industry analyst, he researched and advised organizations in various industries​ on best ​and innovative practices, digitization and optimization.  He brings a thorough understanding of market trends and digital​ technologies that can help enterprises be more effective ​with their Procurement and Supply Chain strategies.  He works to ensure that ​organizations are empowered with technology platforms that enable flexibility, innovation, and agility. ​

You can connect with Vishal on Linkedin

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