How our client, a large retail group, went from 120 to 50 referenced IT suppliers

LittleBig Connection supports many large groups in digitizing their tech & IT service purchases. This has many benefits, including supplier panel rationalization, access to structured data, and better cost control. This article reveals the behind-the-scenes story of our Rise management solution within a major retail group in the beauty sector.

Increased need for visibility on supplier performance and average pricing

Our client, which has more than 2,500 points of sale and an extensive online presence, entrusted us with digitizing its intellectual service procurement in 2020. This is a major challenge, given that the group relies heavily on digital technology to improve its customer experience. To achieve this, it mobilizes a large number of specialized external skills, with a significant volume of expenditure.

In 2020, the purchasing team for intellectual services in France was already well structured but needed dedicated tools to rely on. Everything was done manually: RFPs were written on word files and then sent to an extensive list of suppliers by email. The team also needed more visibility into even the most basic data related to intellectual service purchases.

Our client needed to centralize its purchasing in a digital tool, to be able to streamline its operations and, above all, gain control over two crucial aspects:

  • Supplier performance: the group had nearly 120 listed suppliers, including generalist and specialist NSEs (digital services companies), and needed to “sort through” them.
  • The evolution of service prices: our client needed more visibility on supplier rates by business or project type, which did not give a very detailed cost analysis.

Digitizing the entire intellectual service purchasing process with LittleBig Rise

We implemented Rise, our intellectual service procurement platform, for our client, giving them access to a multitude of features for managing their entire source-to-pay process:

  • Sourcing
  • Contractualization
  • Mission follow-up
  • Payment
  • Reporting

An expert team deployed and configured the platform. The client was also supported in taking ownership of the solution and onboarding their suppliers.

The platform now benefits from attentive oversight by an Account Director, who provides dedicated monitoring. Additionally, a Customer Success Manager, intimately familiar with the organization’s unique needs, is readily available to offer support in the platform’s daily use and promptly address any issues that may arise.

A noticeable gain in control over supplier performance and the evolution of rates

Since the deployment of LittleBig Rise, this large group has experienced a significant improvement in the management of its intellectual services purchases. Below, we present an overview of the significant projects that were undertaken and highlight the results that have been achieved.

A major project to rationalize the supplier panel

We helped our client to optimize its panel of IT service providers thanks to two assessments conducted simultaneously:

  • By analyzing the platform’s data, we were able to identify ESNs with the least satisfactory performance, as well as those whose proposals were particularly relevant. Our study focused on specific indicators, such as the transformation rate – a metric that compares the number of calls for tender to which an ESN responds to the number of projects it starts.
  • In collaboration with our client, we designed a questionnaire for the group’s operational staff to gather their feedback and satisfaction regarding their cooperation with ESNs. Additionally, we aimed to anticipate their skill needs for the upcoming year.

Using the insights from the previous analyses, we assisted our client in streamlining its supplier panel from 120 to 50 carefully curated and vetted suppliers.

Additionally, we created specialized lists of suppliers categorized by their specific business, such as data skills or market research, rather than by simple rank (e.g., rank 1, rank 2, rank 3).

As a result, the operational staff can now post calls for tender quickly and easily on the platform, receiving only relevant responses from specialist suppliers. This targeted approach ensures that purchasing responds effectively to the needs of their internal customers, ultimately enabling them to serve as invaluable business partners.

Direct access to detailed data on rate changes

Our client has also gained a lot of visibility on data regarding its suppliers’ average daily rates (ADR) practiced by its suppliers. Thanks to the Data Stories module, developed by our partner Toucan Toco, they now have access to many indicators in the form of dashboards and graphs based on data visualization. The Group can now monitor price changes and analyze trends by skill or supplier. For example, it can identify suppliers with significant price increases.

Faced with high inflation and the resulting price increases in the tech and IT skills market, our client has been able to contain expenses by making informed decisions. The impact on cost control is significant, with an average of 200 to 270 consultants on assignment at any given time and an average AER of 600 to 650 euros.


The results from our LittleBig Rise management platform have enabled our clients to overcome their main challenges, gaining visibility and control over supplier performance and pricing. And the cherry on the cake, our LittleBig Connect service also supports the Group on sourcing issues, helping them locate the most sought-after and cost-effective skills within their referenced suppliers. Together, these services provide more efficient intellectual service purchasing than ever before!