May 17, 2020

Sycamore Partners secures $1.2bn for Essendant acquisition

Sycamore Partners
Wells Fargo
Staples
Essendant
Harry Menear
2 min
Sycamore Partners portfolio companies Staples and Essendant will collaborate in order to give reseller customers access to an expanded product assortment, innovative technology and world-class supply
Wells Fargo Capital Finance announced this week that it has acted as the administrative agent, lead arranger, and book runner for a US$1.2bn asset-based...

Wells Fargo Capital Finance announced this week that it has acted as the administrative agent, lead arranger, and book runner for a US$1.2bn asset-based credit facility and a $125mn term loan facility for Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York. Sycamore partners has used the facility to acquire leading national distributor of workplace items, Essendant.

“For us to be able to complete such important financing for Sycamore Partners and help the firm continue to grow its portfolio of companies is rewarding,” said Lynn Whitmore, managing director of the Retail Finance division at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “We are pleased to enhance the abilities of Essendant to deliver services to their independent reseller customers nationwide.”

Sycamore Partners pecializes in  consumer, distribution and retail-related investments and partners with management teams to improve the operating profitability and strategic value of their business. The company currently has approximately $10bn in assets under management, including Hot Topic, Coldwater Creek, CommerceHub and Staples.

Following the acquisition, Essendant will work in conjunction with Staples in order to give reseller customers access to an expanded product assortment, innovative technology and world-class supply chain capabilities and support. Essendant and Staples’ sales teams will continue to operate separately.

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“Staples views the reseller community as partners in serving customers that will allow us all to be successful,” said Sandy Douglas, Chief Executive Officer, Staples, Inc. “We value the relationships the resellers have built with Essendant and look forward to helping them build on their already impressive success. We’ve created a strong, externally monitored firewall, to protect resellers’ confidential information, as required by the FTC, and also as a sign of trust, because we know it’s the best thing for the Essendant business, and the resellers.”

“Essendant has been a key partner to the reseller community for almost a century, and we see that relationship only strengthening by working with Staples,” said Harry Dochelli, who will move into the role of Essendant CEO as part of the transition. “Essendant brings a unique value proposition to its reseller partners, and with Staples, will now have enhanced capabilities to provide to our customers, enabling them to win in the marketplace.”

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May 13, 2021

5 Minutes With: Jim Bureau, CEO Jaggaer

SupplyChain
Procurement
riskmanagement
JAGGAER
3 min
Jaggaer CEO Jim Bureau talks data, the power of procurement analytics, and supply chain risk management

What is data analytics, and why is it important for organisations to utilise?

Data analytics is the process of collecting, cleansing, transforming and analysing an organisation’s information to identify trends and extract meaningful insights to solve problems. 

The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions. Spend analysis and other advanced statistical analyses eliminate the guesswork and reactivity common with spreadsheets and other manual approaches and drive greater efficiency and value. 

As procurement continues to play a central role in organisational success, adopting analytics is critical for improving operations, meeting and achieving key performance indicators, reducing staff burnout, gaining valuable market intelligence and protecting the bottom line. 

How can organisations use procurement analytics to benefit their operations? 

Teams can leverage data analytics to tangibly improve performance across all procurement activities - identifying new savings opportunities, getting a consolidated view of spend, understanding the right time for contract re-negotiations, and which suppliers to tap when prioritising and segmenting suppliers, assessing and addressing supply chain risk and more. 

Procurement can ultimately create a more comprehensive sourcing process that invites more suppliers to the table and gets even more granular about cost drivers and other criteria. 

"The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions"


Procurement analytics can provide critical insight for spend management, category management, supplier contracts and negotiations, strategic sourcing, spend forecasting and more. Unilever, for example, used actionable insight from spend analysis to optimise spending, sourcing, and contract negotiations for an especially unpredictable industry such as transport and logistics. 

Whether a team needs to figure out ways to retain cash, further diversify its supply base, or deliver value on sustainability, innovation or diversity initiatives, analytics can help procurement deliver on organisational needs.

How is data analytics used in supply chain and procurement? 

Data analytics encompasses descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive data. 

Descriptive shows what’s happened in the past, while diagnostic analytics surface answers to ‘why’ those previous events happened. 

This clear view into procurement operations and trends lays the groundwork for predictive analytics, which forecasts future events, and prescriptive analytics, which recommends the best actions for teams to take based on those predictions. 

Teams can leverage all four types of analytics to gain visibility across the supply chain and identify optimisation and value generating opportunities.

Take on-time delivery (OTD) as an example. Predictive analytics are identifying the probability of whether an order will be delivered on time even before its placed, based on previous events. Combined with recommendation engines that suggest improvement actions, the analytics enable teams to proactively mitigate risk of late deliveries, such as through spreading an order over a second or third source of supply. 

Advanced analytics is a research and development focus for JAGGAER, and we expect procurement’s ability to leverage AI to become even stronger and more impactful.

 

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