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Why procurement should be re-examined after M&A

Words: Declan Feeney
After Atento was acquired by Bain Capital, it worked with Efficio to manage the transition and tackle inefficiencies. 

Atento is the largest provider of customer relationship management and business process outsourcing services in Latin America. It was bought by Bain Capital from Telefonica in December 2012. In that year it generated revenue of almost €2 billion and OIBDA of about €230 million. The group had 150,000 employees and 500 blue chip clients on acquisition.  

After being acquired by Bain Capital several appointments were made in Atento’s top management (CTO, CFO, CPO) to drive a company turnaround. Efficio was brought in by Atento, the CPO/CTO and Bain Capital to support a margin transformation.

Managed transition

As part of structural changes, an investigation of the company’s global annual technology and facilities management (FM) spend began.

After moving out of the Telefonica group, Atento had to re-build independent processes and structures. They partnered with Efficio to manage the transition and get on the next level by tackling inefficiencies. Steps included: 

  • Building global structures and preventing teams from operating at country or regional levels with little interaction and duplicated structures and resources.  
  • Leveraging synergies through creating shared platforms and technological infrastructure 
  • Implementing systematic specification reviews in IT hardware and services, to avoid being sold overspec’ed and overpriced products.  
  • Reducing the broad supplier base for each FM subcategory – meaning there was sizeable tail-spend (e.g. cleaning and maintenance services, partially delivered in-house, were above benchmark in cost and with potential for quality improvement).
  • Working with the CPO and CTO, developing a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model to support the IT transformation led by the new CTO. The TCO model provided a holistic view of IT costs, including staff, to support business cases and other analysis for the IT Transformation programme.

Efficio was brought in by Atento, the CPO/CTO and Bain Capital to support a margin transformation.

Outsourced vs in-house

In parallel, Efficio led a sourcing programme where more than 11 technology-related categories and FM were addressed. For FM, Efficio actively engaged with the market to test the feasibility of a fully outsourced FM model versus an in-house model.

Key activities within the Efficio programme included:

  • Design of a TCO cost model, including spend by country, supplier, business unit and nature of the spend, used subsequently also by the CTO and the IT team.  
  • Appropriately engaging with the market to deliver innovative solutions adapted to the particular requirements of each category addressed, such as implementing market- leading recording solutions through all countries or testing the feasibility of replacing PCs by a Thin Client solution. 
  • Providing commercial support for several one-off procurement processes such as the acquisition of Ariba (eProcurement) and Remedy (Service Desk) or the Microsoft annual true-up.    
  • Efficio worked closely with the new global CPO to immediately source relevant categories on a global level, and to design and create the new global procurement organisation.
  • Supporting the financial controllers to embed the savings achieved into the local budgets.

These initiatives achieved double-digit annual savings, in addition to putting ongoing downward price pressure over contract life. With improved visibility on actual costs and future demand, the savings were locked in.

Contact our expert

Declan Feeney Private Equity Advisor

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