About Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens® is a global health company with a mission to empower people to take ownership of their health. The company’s flagship product, AG1, is a daily foundational nutrition supplement that supports whole body health. It’s an easy and effective way to nourish the brain, gut, and immune systems through vitamins, whole food-sourced nutrients, and probiotics.
AG1 is NSF-Certified for Sport, one of the most rigorous independent quality and safety certification programs in the supplement industry, and a standard sought by many professional athletes, coaches, and trainers.
Founded in 2010, the company operates as a remote-first global organization, with operations spanning North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. In 2021 Athletic Greens raised their first round of investment with a valuation above $1B. Since then, the company and team have continued to grow as people focus more on their health and the foundational habits that empower it.
Give the finance team more lead time on deals, better benchmarks, and negotiation superpowers
Many companies approach Tropic because managing their software contracts are a mess, or they lack a consistent policy when it comes to purchasing or procurement. That wasn’t the case with Athletic Greens; the company’s tech procurement process already worked well.
In a process described by Ben Wetzel, Athletic Greens’ VP of Accounting, each department leader purchased software tools using a set of guidelines and a decision matrix. After a department head negotiated a contract, it went through legal review, then landed with the finance team for final approval. But the company and teams are growing rapidly, and AG was looking for a solution that could enable speed, consistency, and scale as it continues to grow.
Improve visibility into contracts to track and influence big purchases
With the support of Tropic, Athletic Greens is able to streamline their processes, improve transparency and communication, and as a result, drive competitive rates on software purchases.
The first challenge: Wetzel knew his team’s timing was off when they stepped into deals. With department heads driving negotiations, the details were often settled by the time a contract crossed the finance team’s desk. Wetzel and his team needed more visibility intro contracts and renewals upfront so they could track and influence big purchases earlier in the process.
Though the department heads know the best partner for their business needs, negotiating software contracts after they’ve chosen a partner isn’t the best use of their time and talent.
“Tropic empowers the team to spend time on the most valuable part of the vendor or partner relationship, and allows the finance team to be partners in the process from the start,” explains Wetzel. “Ultimately, this means we’re collaborating more efficiently and getting the best value.”
VP of Accounting
Wetzel’s team also felt they needed more data to better gauge whether they were getting an appropriate price. Was their multi-year contract with a payments provider competitive? Or even in the right ballpark? For a fast-growing operation with multiple revenue streams, the terms were critical — and the finance team and accounting department didn’t have enough context.
“We negotiate extremely hard, and we do the best that we can, getting multiple competitive vendors to give us quotes. But that’s still a limited subset of data compared to what we’re able to get through Tropic,” says Wetzel.
Choose an easy-to-use solution for strong team adoption
So why did Athletic Greens choose Tropic over other vendors? As they evaluated procurement platforms, Wetzel and his peers had very specific criteria.
For one, the software needed to be easy to use—by the entire Athletic Greens team.
“It's one thing for me and the FP&A and the finance team to be happy with it,” says Wetzel. “But if the broader team doesn’t want to use it, then our process ultimately won’t succeed.”
VP of Accounting
According to Wetzel, Tropic was a leader on ease of use, which his team was excited about. And with Tropic’s new Workflow Studio capabilities, the finance department could not only jump into an approval process earlier, it could also work concurrently with the legal department on reviewing contracts.
Partner with an experienced negotiation services team
In sizing up procurement partners, Athletic Greens cared about having a team of experts by their side who would help them go the extra mile. The company regularly negotiates complex, multi-year contracts, adding to a tech stack that gets taller all the time. Of all the vendors they talked to with a negotiation-as-a-service offering, Tropic’s references and track record stood out as the clear winner.
“We feel that Tropic’s contract negotiators are strong partners,” he added, and that “Tropic’s goal isn’t just to get deals closed, but to get the right deal and the best deal for our business,” he says.
VP of Accounting
Now that Wetzel and team have deployed Tropic, they’re increasingly confident in the quality of price negotiations, and also in each contract’s terms.
Having Tropic’s negotiators on their side has been a big help too. During a recent renewal discussion with a tax software supplier, a Tropic procurement expert coached Wetzel on the language of an email he should send to get more favorable pricing. (It worked.)
“There is a big advantage for anybody leveraging Tropic to negotiate a contract,” Wetzel says. “What I appreciate is that they’re really working hard to get us the most competitive deal.”