SAP Ariba — Procurement and Supply Chains for the Digital World

Blog /SAP Ariba-Procurement and Supply Chains for the Digital World

Perhaps more than any other business unit, procurement, of necessity, stands at the forefront of digital transformation. What began as snatching efficiency gains by digitizing and automating paper-, time-, and labor-intensive processes has evolved today into real-time analytics, enterprise-wide visibility and global supply chain optimizations. By harnessing the transformative power of digitalization, procurement’s influence goes well beyond mere cost cutting and, today, profoundly impacts competitiveness and corporate strategy.

From sourcing and orders to invoice and payment, SAP Ariba's procurement solutions span the entire e-procurement process, and (as reported in TechTarget), deliver serious bottom-line benefits:

  • 60% lower operating costs
  • 1% to 8% reduction in supply chain costs
  • 50% to 75% faster transaction cycles
  • 90% fully automated transaction processing
  • 60% improvements in order accuracy
  • 5% to 20% increases in revenue with new customers
  • 30% or more higher share of wallet with current customers
  • 15% improvement in retention rates among customers.

Automating key processes such as procurement, orders, invoicing and payment is a must if your business is to remain competitive. But to thrive, more must be done with the vast amount of data — internal and external — available to procurement.

Mining, cultivating and analyzing transactional and operational data —together with data from customers, prospects, partners, and suppliers — empowers procurement executives to gain visibility into direct and indirect spending across global accounts. This visibility empowers procurement pros to identify opportunities for consolidation, cost reduction, and process improvement, and, in line with procurements’ evolution to the role as trusted advisor, participate in more strategic and business-meaningful goals, such as discovering new business models, driving product and service enhancements, and identifying untapped revenue streams. 

Digital supply chains — visibility and collaboration on the rise

Just over ten years ago, supply chains and the expensive systems that ran them epitomized inefficiency, expense and risk. Operational centers and warehouses were geographically dispersed and technologically disconnected; software “bugs” were commonplace; vendors and suppliers exploited gaps; and disjointed legacy applications made certain that nothing along a company’s supply chain could ever be known with 100% certainty.

With B2B ecommerce adoption hitting an inflection point, companies operating global supply chains are moving away from legacy systems and expensive EDI (electronic data interchange) toward ubiquitous and affordable online platforms and cloud-based solutions that reduce costs, streamline procurement and payment processes, and provide visibility across global supply chains. Leveraging advances in cloud, mobility, big-data analytics and IoT, today’s digital supply chains are more data driven and operate faster, better, stronger, and leaner than ever before.

According to research presented in an INFOGRAPHIC created by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the gains from digital supply chains are impressive:

  • Today, 22% of manufacturing executives have “complete visibility” into their supply chains, up from 9% in 2013.
  • 44% of senior executives say their supply-chain function uses sophisticated tools that leverage big data to help with day-to-day decision making.

Business networks bolster collaboration

The inability to synchronize end-to-end business processes within an enterprise as well as across extended supplier and partner networks is a foremost supply-chain challenge.

Cloud-based supply chain solutions and business networks present great options for strategically tackling this problem by providing a robust, unified platform that enables close collaboration.

According to research presented in an INFOGRAPHIC prepared by SAP Ariba, collaborative supply networks deliver quantifiable business value, including:

  • 60% improvement in order accuracy
  • 50% - 70% faster transaction cycles
  • >90% “touchless” transaction processes

According to a survey conducted by Ardent Partners, business leaders across industries are bullish on future of business networks:

  • 55% agree that B2B networks will eventually become the main platform for trading partners to conduct business.
  • 73% believe that B2B networks enhance collaboration between buyers and suppliers.
  • 75% agree that B2B networks are beneficial to buyers and suppliers.
  • 54% agree that B2B networks are an increasing source of new business for suppliers.

Partner experience counts

SAP Ariba solutions delivered by experienced partners such as NTT DATA have a significant, immediate and positive impact across procurement and supply chain operations.

At NTT DATA, we understand the importance of e-procurement and digital supply chains in today’s competitive global economy. We also understand the need for an over-arching strategy that ensures full optimization and integration of all cloud-based and on-premises technology investments.

NTT DATA manages some of the world’s largest and most complex SAP Ariba implementations, and we have been awarded by SAP and Ariba for our excellence in global implementations, our sourcing and e-procurement expertise, and our exclusive global anti-corruption and anti-bribery solutions and Ariba legacy contract migration solutions.

Here are just two examples of our Ariba customer success:

  • We helped one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world standardize, streamline and enhance various aspects of its indirect procurement process using the complete suite of Ariba solutions. The result: $4B in savings since 2002 by retiring multiple legacy systems, including a 70% cost reduction by leveraging NTT DATA’s delivery solution.
  • For another client, NTT DATA helped transform its global procurement and supply chain functions using SAP Ariba P2P and Advanced Supply Chain Automation

Most recently, NTT DATA teamed with SAP Ariba to develop a digital solution delivered on the Ariba Network that enables companies to track and manage complex, global shipments in real time.

Using the SAP Ariba platform, NTT DATA’s Connected Logistics Solution for SAP Ariba enables buyers connected to the Ariba Network to monitor global shipments in real time through a portal that is continually refreshed with information on the status of each shipment along with proactive notification of delays. Using the solution, buyers can gain clear visibility into potential supply chain disruptions and mitigate their impact.

Contact us today to learn more about our experience and success in creating and optimizing procure-to-pay processes and supply chains for the digital age or visit us at booth 9 at SAP Ariba Live.

Post Date: 3/20/2017

Baskar Radhakrishnan Headshot Baskar Radhakrishnan

About the author

Baskar Radhakrishnan is a director of the Global SAP Ariba Practice at NTT DATA, with 18 years of IT experience. He has an extensive experience working with customers globally across various industries in the areas of indirect procurement, MRO, sourcing, spend and supply chain analytics and contract management solutions. He has successfully led several large global procure-to-pay transformation projects, which leverage SAP Ariba on-premises and SAP Ariba cloud technologies.