Rent-A-Center Invests in Cloud Procurement Solutions from Coupa and IBM Smarter Commerce

Rent-to-own service provider optimizes and centralizes purchasing process across 4,000 retail locations


Plano, TexasMarch 22, 2013Rent-A-Center Inc., the national rent-to-own operator, achieved millions in savings by optimizing and centralizing its purchasing process in the cloud through the application of IBM and Coupa Software solutions.

“The IBM and Coupa integration has been fundamental in driving our positive results as we revamped our procurement efforts,” said Mike Wilding, Senior Vice President of Accounting, Global Controller and CPO for Rent-A-Center Inc. “A major part of our transformation focused on increasing productivity by automating manual processes like invoicing and contracts. We are very pleased with our savings to date and we are on track to achieve our savings targets over the next few years.”

With approximately 4,000 locations and 20,000 employees, Rent-A-Center was challenged with a highly decentralized and manual purchasing process with low employee adoption. In addition, the onboarding of suppliers was extremely time-consuming and complicated. As a result, the company was not efficient at consolidating purchasing to influence pricing or optimizing its contract, invoicing and supplier management processes.

Tasked with revamping the entire procurement process for greater efficiency and savings, Rent-A-Center relied on the combined power of procurement solutions offered by IBM Smarter Commerce and Coupa to streamline its spending.

As a result, between 2010 and 2012, the $3 billion rent-to-own retailer increased visibility into spending by automating how it sources for 90 categories of indirect spending (items not related to production). From 2011 to 2012, the company consolidated its supply base to reduce it by 10 percent and decreased the number of invoices by five percent. Rent-A-Center currently saves, on average, 10 percent on the categories it has automated.

“IBM and Coupa helped Rent-A-Center streamline and control supplier management and reporting in one central solution,” said Pat Quirk, Vice President, Procurement Solutions, IBM. “Rent-A-Center is an example of how SaaS can speed delivery of services and eliminate technical complexity found with other solutions.”

Using IBM Emptoris capabilities delivered via the SaaS model, Rent-A-Center reduced sourcing costs and cycle times and increased accounts payable productivity. It also accelerated its cost savings and return on investment and increased capacity for large sourcing events and peaks in activity. The IBM Emptoris procurement suite is part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, designed to help companies manage their supply and demand processes through intelligent automation. The solutions, which can be deployed either on premise or via SaaS or Cloud delivery, are components of IBM’s growing SmartCloud portfolio of more than 70 SaaS and Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions.

Through Coupa’s intuitive application, Rent-A-Center immediately captures spending without having to install software at each of its thousands of locations. The consumer-like online experience helps ensure broad adoption by letting employees easily enter spending into the system. This provides management with clearer visibility and control over spending across all its locations.

“Our No. 1 focus is customer success,” said Rob Bernshteyn, Chief Executive Officer, Coupa. “The results that Rent-A-Center achieved are concrete examples of what can be done when there is a common vision between our customers, our partners and ourselves. Rent-A-Center reached all the goals we collectively hoped for—better visibility into indirect spend, substantial cost savings and increased business efficiencies. We look forward to seeing more customers unlock the value of spend optimization with IBM and Coupa.”

Rent-A-Center continues to expand into other countries and opened 90 new stores in Mexico between 2010 and 2012. The company uses Coupa and IBM’s procurement software for local supplier sourcing and procurement in Mexico as well to help minimize costs. 

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