Procurement is one of the most crucial activities within every organization, and operating an effective and efficient supply chain has a significant impact on your bottom line…

Unfortunately, doing so is often easier said than done.

Luckily, there’s SAP Ariba—a single, integrated platform that can help transform your supply chain, procurement, and contract process to help you attain higher sourcing savings and manage your spending.

Read on to learn more about SAP Ariba, its core features and benefits, and why you should look for a consultant who’s not only well-versed in SAP, but specifically in Ariba to help you with your next project.

What is SAP Ariba?

SAP Ariba, a primary component of the SAP Business Network, is a cloud-based solution that allows your buyers and suppliers to do business on a single platform, simplifying how your company operates and saving you valuable time and money throughout the entire supply chain.

SAP Ariba customers have access to the following modules…

  • SAP Ariba Sourcing
  • SAP Ariba Discovery
  • SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing
  • SAP Ariba Contract Management
  • SAP Ariba Spend Analysis
  • SAP Ariba Supplier Risk
  • SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance

Understanding SAP Ariba Network

SAP’s Ariba solution also contains the largest B2B network in the world. The SAP Ariba Network is referred to as the “backbone” of SAP Ariba, and it facilitates the interaction between purchasing departments or buyers and sellers by allowing you to securely and efficiently communicate with your suppliers in the cloud. 

The network consists of more than 4 million suppliers and buyers in more than 190 countries, and nearly $3 trillion in commerce is exchanged through it annually. That makes it larger than eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon combined in terms of commercial value.

With the SAP Ariba Network, customers can address and manage the entire sourcing and procure-to-pay process in a single, centralized location.

How Does SAP Ariba Work?

SAP Ariba Network offers users a platform similar to other online marketplaces, like Amazon where vendors can list their products through the platform’s comprehensive store functions.

With Ariba, users are also enabled to manage corresponding catalog features for each product, like master data and price maintenance, and leverage role management capabilities to manage internal procurement functions more efficiently.

SAP Ariba provides the functionality needed for users to…

  • Create granular compliance guidelines and authorizations
  • Align purchasing processes with internal policies and regulations
  • Leverage reports and analytics to simplify supplier selection operations
  • Tailor procurement solutions to meet organizational needs and improve user experiences
  • Utilize data fields and filters to view or hide certain suppliers and product categories to speed up the entire purchasing process
  • Simplify operations within the full vendor management system
  • Integrate with SAP S/4HANA for greater visibility and control across the board

What Functions Does SAP Ariba Offer?

SAP Ariba offers many functions to help procurement specialists at organizations manage every part of the supply chain and assist in purchasing.

Here are a few key features of the Ariba Network for customers in any industry…

1) Supplier Management and Strategic Sourcing

SAP Ariba makes it easier for users to manage important information like supplier data, lifecycles, performance, and supplier risk. The Discovery solution handles contact management and tendering and provides detailed spending analyses.

2) Supply Chain Partnerships

Organizations can leverage SAP Ariba to connect partners along their supply chains to ensure that there are no interruptions in production and facilitate collaboration between companies to improve the productivity of procurement processes in the future.

3) Optimized Financial Supply Chains

SAP’s Ariba solution offers features that help users optimize cash flow and manage financial liabilities within their supply chains and make the most of their technological investment.

4) E-Procurement for Quicker Purchasing

E-procurement capabilities assist users and organizations in completing all their electronic purchases in a timely and effective manner, making to connect and do business globally.

5) Seamless Integration Capabilities

SAP Ariba can integrate with SAP S/4HANA and other third-party systems to ensure users have all their data and applications on a single platform.

Benefits of SAP Ariba

SAP Ariba allows organizations to transform spend management with a suite of intuitive procurement applications seamlessly integrated into the digital core of SAP S/4HANA.

Here are a few of the main advantages of SAP Ariba…

  • Simplifies procurement and sourcing process with integration to SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and other ERP software
  • Provides transparency and scalability into supplier risk, compliance, and sustainability management 
  • Offers access from anywhere and requires lower capital costs for initial system setup
  • Customizes your supplier onboarding, segmentation, and qualification according to location, category, and business unit
  • Allows users to access the Ariba Network to connect and build relationships with more than 4 million companies across the globe

Who Is SAP Ariba Suitable For?

SAP Ariba is ideal for medium to large-sized organizations that need help digitizing and simplifying their purchasing and procurement functions. Users can leverage Ariba’s functions to procure direct and indirect materials and assist with purchasing services.

And, even better, SAP Ariba can operate as a stand-alone platform or fully integrate with SAP S/4HANA to give users full flexibility and access to more features available across the SAP ecosystem.

Moving from SAP SRM to Ariba

Many organizations that previously used SAP’s SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) platform with SAP ERP to handle their supplier relationships and business relationships have made the switch to SAP Ariba.

And, as SAP Ariba is slated to become the SRM platform’s successor, the company has given users a tool called “Transform SRM” to seamlessly migrate their data from SAP SRM to Ariba.

SAP Ariba Mobile App Features

SAP has made mobile device access to SAP Ariba solutions a main component of the product’s strategy. The SAP Ariba mobile app supports viewing both previous and current approvals, tracking, and requisitions and allows users to access the application on a variety of devices, including mobile phones and other portable devices.

Users of SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration for Buyers can look at the SAP Ariba Supply Chain via the mobile app. Users can monitor key supply chain procurement documents, including managing advanced shipping notifications (ASNs), monitoring the availability of supply, and receiving alerts for unconfirmed items as well as order confirmations.

Getting Started with an Ariba Expert

It’s fair to say procurement has never been more complicated. As we continue in a world of uncertainties, operating an effective and integrated supply chain system remains critical to your company’s success…

And, while SAP Ariba can help you collaborate with your suppliers (and find new ones), getting it to play nicely with the rest of your SAP ecosystem can sometimes be a challenge.

Luckily, our team is here to help, wherever your business needs lie.

How Can We Help?

If you’re ready to take on this new world of procurement, Surety Systems has you covered.

Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the comprehensive Ariba knowledge and experience with standard SAP business processes you need to help transform your internal procurement processes and ensure successful integrations with other ERP solutions.

And, even better, we’ve included a sample profile of one of our top-notch SAP consultants to give you a better idea of what to expect from our team…

Surety Senior SAP Ariba Consultant

  • US Citizen
  • 20+ years of SAP Ariba experience
  • SAP Certified Professional in Ariba Upstream and Downstream modules
  • SAP Ariba Source-to-Pay Specialist
  • Completed countless SAP Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Implementations
  • Well-versed with integrations between Ariba & SAP (Techno-Functional)

Contact Us

If you’re ready to get started with SAP Ariba, contact us today!