How to Select the Best Ariba Implementation Partner
A business is made up of many areas and operations. These operations are critical to the success of any business. Financial Supply chain, Sourcing and Procurement are some of the very important areas of a business that must be functional to ensure success. If a business has trouble in procuring raw materials and other things needed in the production of their goods or services, then they will suffer. This is why every business has to optimize their procurement processes in order to ensure long term survival. It becomes more complex when there are many suppliers of the same materials and the company has to decide on the best one for that particular moment. Everything from supplier management to sourcing has to be well taken care of otherwise the company will experience shortages. Another very important area operation that must be well optimized is the financial supply chain. Companies have realized that they must improve the efficiency of their financial supply chain by turning liabilities into assets if they are to have a competitive edge in today’s market. There are many tools for improving these areas of operations highlighted above. One tool that has stood out over the years is the SAP Ariba solution. This tool leverages innovative technology to deliver quality service that improves the areas of operations described earlier.
Ariba is how companies connect to get business done, using the marketing leading solutions for collaborative commerce and Ariba Network. Ariba help buyers and suppliers from more than 2 million businesses and 190 countries discover new opportunities, collaborate on transactions, and grow their relationships.As a buyer, one can manage the entire purchasing process, while controlling spending, finding new sources of savings, and building a healthy supply chain.As a supplier, one can connect with profitable customers and efficiently scale existing relationships—simplifying sales cycles and improving cash control along the way.The result is a dynamic, digital marketplace, where more than $2.5 billion…
What are SAP Ariba Solutions?
- Supplier Management: This is a very critical part of any business. Purchasing materials can prove to be a daunting task if you are dealing with the wrong supplier or if the right supplier is not properly managed. With SAP Ariba, the days of poor supplier management are over. This innovative tool offers end to end solutions that helps you manage supplier information, risk, lifecycle, as well as performance. The best part is that this management takes place all in one place. SAP Ariba provides you with an updated and monitored record of supplier spend and every other single information you need to know about your suppliers. This helps you have a unified supplier record as well as integrate this information with other procurement processes. SAP Ariba greatly reduces the risk in your supplier management.
- Strategic Sourcing: Sourcing is one area that has plagued many companies in the past, but SAP Ariba has an innovative solution. With this platform, you can manage all your sourcing and contracting information / processes all in one place. It does not just end there as you can also perform spend analysis on all your spendings, no matter the type. Direct, Indirect and services spends are well catered for by the SAP Ariba solution. This solution can be easily integrated into your procurement and execution operations. With these solutions, SAP Ariba ensures your savings are well realized, aggregates and segments all purchases, as well as standardize contracts across teams.
- Direct Spend Solutions: Your direct spends are well catered for by SAP Ariba. From research and development to product design to manufacturing, SAP Ariba takes care of your direct spend needs. The best part is the integration with other platforms like the PLM and ERP.
- Procurement: Procurement can be a hassle, especially the bit of negotiating savings. However, SAP Ariba offers a smart solution that can improve on your buying and settling processes seamlessly. You can reduce risks in your procurement processes and reduce costs that middle men or other bottlenecks previously caused you. There is also the possibility for integration into the Ariba network which contains more than 3.3 million companies ready to supply. SAP Ariba delivers excellent numbers as it cuts supply costs by 10% and can reduce buying cycles by at least 50%.
- Financial Supply Chain: SAP Ariba helps you convert liabilities to assets with a very innovative financial supply chain solution. This solution automates your financial processes and eliminates all the manual processes make it expensive to manage exceptions and ensure compliance. You can automate invoice and keep up with jurisdiction changes with SAP Ariba. You can also easily improve cash flow benefit from yearly payment discounts.
- Platform Solutions: The world is changing as we are in the digital age. This means that customers are tech savvy and need to be treated as such. Every customer wants personalized information that is relevant to them. The user experience of a platform is becoming more integral as time goes on. SAP Ariba is well aware of this and offers platform solutions that can deliver analytics, security, real time insight and several other advanced technological features that is expected of updated companies.
How to Select the Right Ariba Implementation Partner?
It is one thing to know everything about Ariba as well as the solutions provided by this unique platform, however if you do not select the right Ariba Implementation partner, then you will not fully harness the benefits of this solution. Selecting an Ariba Implementation partner is perhaps the most important thing about jumping on the Ariba ship. With several Ariba partners out there, it becomes difficult choosing the right one that suits your business. There are many factors to be considered and lets explore some of them shortly. Each and every one of these factors will be meticulously described, helping you select the best Ariba partner for you.
- Similar Implementation Experience: It is important to have a partner that has experience implementing the project or module that you are looking to deploy. This will mean that the partner has a track record of implementing and succeeding at similar projects as yours. Although newer modules and projects might be less familiar to partners, it is important to look for partners that are regularly up to date with new modules and that are always looking to be ahead of the pack in terms of training.
- Industry Expertise: It is very critical to choose an SAP Ariba partner who has the required domain expertise to successfully deploy your project. The one-time deployment of your project is not just where it stops. You need a partner that can easily make changes to your platform as the need arises. The right partner will be one that understands your industry and aligns deployment with your aims and objectives, not just focusing on the technical aspects.
- Total cost of implementation: Cost is important to any business and it is no different when you are looking for an SAP Ariba partner. You should not just look for a partner with a cheap per hour cost, but look at the overall cost. It is important that the benefit yielded from your operations be more than the cost spent by the partners to deploy the SAP Ariba platform.
- Cultural fit: The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions could take months and this will mean yo have consultants and engineers from your partners as well as your staff working together for a long period of time. Hence, it is important to go for an SAP Ariba partner with a cultural fit that aligns with yours. The last thing you want is a misalignment of goals or a rift between your partner and your in-house staff.
- Fit for purpose: Different partners are best fitted for different project or objectives. If you are looking for a quick upgrade to your current operations then it is best to find an SAP Ariba partner that understands this. This will mean a partner that has the required technical expertise to deploy an update at low cost without disturbing your current operations. However, if you are looking for an integration of all your different operations, then you need a solid partner with cross functional teams that can ease collaboration between your many areas of operations.
- Program Management: It is important to find an SAP Ariba partner that has excellent program management skills. The implementation of an SAP Ariba solution is no small task and it is important that the partner is able to manage the program effectively, not just during deployment, but after it as well.
- Business Size: The size of your business is important to your choice of an Ariba partner, however the size of the project you are trying to implement is more important. If you are looking to implement or deploy a multinational or global solution, then you would need an Ariba partner that has the required domain expertise across nations to guide you. It does not make sense to have a local partner when you are targeting a foreign country as you would need someone who has the required reach and experience to help in the deployment of your project across various geographical locations.