Proco Group

A global executive search firm using Numarqe with 100 professionals generates +10m in turnover while upholding human-centric values across supply chain sectors.

The executive search consultancy employs close to 100 professionals, serves businesses in the end-to-end supply chain sector, and operates in markets from the UK to the Americas to the Far East. Yet in spite of its £10m turnover and global reach, it stays true to its founding principle of putting human relationships at the heart of the business.

While the recruitment industry experiences significant employee churn, many of Proco’s consultants have been with the business since it was founded in 2008. This has been one of the not-so-secrets of its success: Proco’s long-serving employees have developed enviable, unrivalled knowledge of their clients and the supply chain sector.  

Proco’s success has not been without its tribulations, however. Chief among them was the challenge of managing credit cards for its far-flung employees. Its existing credit card service was clunky and incredibly time-consuming to use. What was worse, interaction with the provider itself was robotic and remote - the very opposite of the intimate, high-touch service Proco prides itself on providing its own clients.

As Proco expanded into new markets, the company needed a new provider that made issuing cards easy and reliable anywhere in the world, that slashed the complexity of tracking, controlling and reconciling spend, and supported Proco’s growth ambitions. It found the answer in Numarqe - a company that places equal importance on the value of human relationships.

The inhumanity of traditional credit

Proco’s incumbent provider was one of the giants of the international financial services industry, but its service left much to be desired.

“The old credit card system was incredibly cumbersome, with poor UI/UX and very limited functionality,” explains Emma Holford, Group Financial Controller at Proco. “We experienced severe delays in receiving paper statements, a lack of real-time transaction visibility, frequent declines, and high foreign exchange costs due to limited currency options.

“Overall, the platform was a huge headache for the finance team,” she continues. “Drawing down the information took forever, and when we did it was in a practically unusable format. It took one of our staff a full week every month to do all the reformatting, reconciling and other tasks - and all this for around half a dozen employee cards.” 

Nor was there much help from the issuer. Whenever anything went wrong, or when Proco needed to manage its credit limits, the only recourse was to the provider’s impersonal customer ‘support’ team, where operatives had no prior knowledge of Proco’s circumstances or needs.

“Credit cards are crucial for businesses like ours,” says Emma. “Our consultants do lots of foreign travel. They stay in hotels, they have dining and entertainment and many other expenses. Complex, clunky credit card management was as much a problem ‘on the ground’ as it was in Head Office. We didn’t just need a credit management platform that was more functional and easier to use; we wanted a financial partner that understood our business and could provide a properly personal relationship.”

The Numarqe Touch

Proco found its partner in business lender Numarqe, the specialist credit provider to mid-market firms, such as recruiters, that are poorly served by the traditional financial services industry. 

Numarqe restores the ‘human touch’ to the lender-creditor relationship by harnessing technology to inform lending decisions rather than dictating them. Its Athena AI engine provides unparalleled insight into its customers’ business, helping (human) account managers allocate financing that flexes in real-time to businesses’ working capital needs. 

“The difference with Numarqe was like night and day,” says Emma. “The new service enables us to match our credit to Proco’s cashflow needs, and gives us incredible flexibility - including on payment terms for different types of spending, and how we allocate credit among card holders. 

“And the platform itself is a revelation. The dashboard is incredibly intuitive for everyone, from the back office to our consultants ‘in the field’. They can capture receipts on their phone and attach it to the notification, while back here we can instantly see every transaction in real time: when, and where, and what it was for. 

“Now we have the ability to issue and set individual credit limits on virtual or physical cards with a single click. We can even create cards for a specific purpose. This has helped eliminate rogue spending and declines, while the system has slashed the amount of time we’re spending on managing cards, chasing receipts, and understanding our spend across the business.”

The benefits of the Numarqe platform include:

  • Streamlined month-end closing process, resulting in reduced headcount
  • Efficiently managed flexible credit allocations, minimising additional administrative hours and eliminating the need for frequent customer support calls
  • Implemented enhanced spending controls across multiple offices
  • Achieved significant cost savings in foreign exchange through the use of multi currency denominated credit cards
  • Eliminated wasted time consultants spent tracking expenses and making reimbursement claims
  • Facilitated seamless operations in the US by utilising USD-denominated credit cards, eliminating the need for additional banking relationships

"Numarqe has greatly improved our financial management across multiple offices,” says Emma “The ability to rapidly generate cards and allocate credit with flexibility has been a game-changer. Our team can now focus on high value tasks rather than unpicking intricate data, or spending hours on the phone to a faceless operative at a faraway call centre. 

Numarqe has made us feel like a valued customer rather than just another number,” she concludes. “In other words, exactly how we treat our own clients.”

See how our customers benefit from using Numarqe

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