ARCOS Overhauls Procurement with Tropic and Saves $84K in 8 Months


saved in less than 8 months


negotiated savings on single contract


renewals on average per month


ARCOS provides innovative workforce management solutions that help utilities and other critical infrastructure industries manage people, work, and assets in a single platform. ARCOS enables utilities to quickly mobilize personnel for blue and gray sky work, manage native and non-native crews in a single system, and accelerate operations with field mobility tools that deliver real-time situational awareness. More than 250 utilities rely on ARCOS to advance safety, reduce field costs, and improve response times and customer satisfaction.

Gabriel Denny is the Director of Finance and Business Analytics at ARCOS. Prior to managing financial operations at ARCOS, he served 20 years in the United States Air Force, including a post as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer for the country’s largest nuclear missile wing.

The Challenge

Needed a better understanding on company spend

Denny’s military background as a finance officer gave him exposure to specific protocols and policies for government purchasing. So when Denny came to ARCOS, he wanted to bring a similar type of structure to their “wild, wild west” procurement — which was mostly credit card purchases and invoices. 

Most purchase contracts were uploaded to a Sharepoint folder, but it was challenging to extract information. “To say that we stayed on top of invoiced expenses would be a stretch,” Denny added. 

That lack of spend visibility had a significant impact on the finance team’s ability to budget and plan for growth. 

“I was trying to budget and I couldn't even figure out what was hitting our card or our expense accounts,” Denny explained. “We didn't have a good handle on what we were spending and where we were spending.”

The Solution

Successfully champion a consistent procurement policy  

To implement a new procurement policy at ARCOS, Denny knew he needed support from his executive and accounts payable teams. Fortunately, combining the Tropic platform with expert negotiation services created a compelling business case.

ARCOS would get both a contract management system as well as an industry-experienced team to negotiate on their behalf. “Having the math on how much money there really was to save was key to getting the executive buy in,” Denny noted. 

The executive team was equally excited about having an actionable way to prevent rogue spending. ARCOS’ accounts payable team supported routing purchases through Tropic rather than using credit cards. 

“We had the executive level buy-in and then we had an effective way to prevent the behavior we were trying to stop,” Denny said. The internal and actionable support for a solution like Tropic made overhauling procurement at ARCOS a success.  

"Tropic was dedicated to our success. It was like we had hired a procurement partner employee. Tropic wanted us to be successful."

Gabriel Denny

Director of Finance and Business Analytics

Develop an easy-to-follow request process for employees

Once the ARCOS team was on board, Tropic’s customer success team helped Denny create a tailored process. He noted the Tropic team’s experience with various procurement policies steered him to build the right procurement process for ARCOS.

“When you think about everything that goes into a purchase—the nuances of contract law—it's a very specialized field,” Denny added. “Tropic was dedicated to our success. It was like we had hired a procurement partner employee. Tropic wanted us to be successful.”

Now, employees have one URL to submit purchase requests, regardless of the type of purchase. They fill out a form that changes based on the answers given. That form can also prompt employees to provide required documents, such as a project charter or SOC 2 report, based on the request.

Denny shared that the process is extremely user-friendly, which helps with company adoption. 

“Tropic has thought all of it through and set us up to be as successful as possible — you push a button and go,” he said. “If Apple were to build contract management software, I don't know that it would be any different.”

“This is something that took a lot of time and I wasn't doing it effectively. As long as I'm doing finance, I'll be using Tropic wherever I’m at.”

Gabriel Denny

Director of Finance and Business Analytics

Avoid surprise renewals and easily audit spend

Denny now relies on Tropic to manage both new and existing spend. Whether the company is renewing an annual software license or hiring an independent contractor, Tropic routes the approvals accordingly using customized workflows

Surprise renewals are a thing of the past. As purchases get approved, contracts are stored into Tropic and the platform automatically notifies the team of upcoming renewals. And reviews and approval steps are time-stamped when they are completed, making it easy to show auditors internal controls around spend.

When Denny wants to hand off the negotiation for a new purchase or renewal to an experienced procurement expert, Tropic delivers. ARCOS has saved nearly $84,000 in less than 8 months because of Tropic’s negotiation team — including one software contract that resulted in a 45% reduction from base proposal. 

“On a personal level, you've made my life awesome. This is something that took a lot of time and I wasn't doing it effectively,” Denny concluded. “As long as I'm doing finance, I'll be using Tropic wherever I’m at.”

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