How to Leverage ARIBA Guided Buying Solution to Gain Control of Costs
By Derek Minter, Principal SCMO2
Organizational control of indirect spending and the end-user experience have been at odds for decades in the enterprise-wide application arena. This makes perfect sense, as control by its very nature restricts end users from transacting in a fluid manner within the P2P process. It can also erode compliance and morale as it is not always apparent to the end user why these restrictions and controls even exist in the first place. This is where SAP ARIBA’s Guided Buying solution has succeed. Any organization undertaking a digital transformation should strongly consider the benefits that this platform can offer.
Let’s take a look at some key features within the Guided Buying solution that harmonize these two historically conflicting areas of indirect spend—control and end-user experience.
Guided Buying Tiles
Guided Buying landing page tile features serve many purposes within the overall solution. Each tile can be built into a structured hierarchy of spend categories from the most general to the most specific item commodities. These tile structures can easily guide the end user to the appropriate commodity detail, as well as the preferred supplier for that commodity. Navigation to the commodity detail can be performed through the search bar or by clicking through the landing page tiles themselves.
A well thought out commodity structure accomplishes two key elements for the organization. End-users are guided to preferred suppliers, and the accurate item commodity definitions can be captured. As we know, capturing this type of detailed information and funneling end users to preferred suppliers through a frictionless experience accomplishes both goals.
Policy Validations and Communication
Guided Buying validation and upfront communication features allow organizations to control certain types of procurement activities. These real-time validation features oversee the procurement process while informing the end-user of what is occurring in real time. Providing clear, up-front communications about process and policies promotes understanding and acceptance of those policies, and an informed user is much more likely to follow policy if they understand why the policy is in place and where it is actually being applied.
Other Key Features of Guided Buying UI
Guided Buying has many other standard features that are part of the initial release:
- Seamless integration with SAP ARIBA’s P2P module
- Real-time budget checks
- Internal supplier and product ratings
- Live chat and email help
- S/4HANA integration
- SAP ECC integration
- Internal links to other organization systems using SSO
- External URL links as needed
All of these features not only help an organization control its indirect spending, they also enhances the end-user experience even further. A system designed for the users, which benefits the organization, creates the perfect environment for compliance and efficiency.
In conclusion, SAP ARIBA’s Guided Buying solution will balance the organizational need to control indirect spending while enhancing the end user experience. While this is a newer tool which still has some challenges, it delivers on both accounts far greater than any other existing enterprise UI on the market.
If you would like to learn more about digital transformation solutions for your organizational strategy, please feel free to contact us at SCMO2.
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