5 Tips for Successful SAP Ariba Supplier Enablement
When doing an SAP Ariba P2P implementation, it is easy to focus on the procurement system design and lose focus on the Ariba Network Supplier Enablement workstream. One of the biggest benefits of SAP Ariba is the automation and control it provides you by transacting with suppliers over the Ariba Network. Without a successful Supplier Enablement your implementation may fall short of its ROI goals.
The real hang up for Supplier Enablement is that it can be a frustrating and difficult process to make it successful. You are asking your suppliers to sign up and pay for a new service that also requires them to change their billing processes. Below are 5 tips to ensure your Supplier Enablement is successful.
- Dedicate at least one full time resource: Supplier Enablement requires a lot more effort than you might have initially estimated. You need someone who can solely focus on the success of this workstream and have them own it.
- Spend ample time on determining your targeted list of suppliers: You should initially organize a list of suppliers by spend and number of invoices per year, but after that utilize your knowledge of the suppliers to know which would be easier to enable and which might not be. This is where you can really determine how to get the most “bang for buck” out of your first wave of Supplier Enablement.
- Communication is key: You need to have a structured communication plan for you Supplier Enablement. Supplier Summit Meeting, follow ups, training announcements, Go-Live announcement, these and other communications are vital to making sure the suppliers stay engaged and are ready to start transacting over the Ariba Network when Go-Live happens.
- Be Tenacious: With Supplier Enablement you will need to have tenacity. Suppliers will push back and/or avoid you. Stay persistent by asking them why they don’t want to be enabled and then focus on those concerns. If they are avoiding you try and get a different contact at the supplier to respond. Some suppliers might require some more special attention, but the extra effort will be worth it.
- Provide Sufficient Post Go-Live Support: Go-Live isn’t the end, it’s the beginning. For your suppliers to stay on the Ariba Network and continue to transact with you it is imperative you have a resource who can assist them with any issues they are having. This is especially true with invoicing issues.
Ariba Network Supplier Enablement can be a harrowing activity, but if you follow these tips you should be on the right path to having it be successful. The impact of successful Supplier Enablement can be transformative to a business. With your transactional processes being automated it frees up your procurement team to be more strategic and save the company even more.
John Moore, Senior Consultant – Sirius Solutions, L.L.L.P.
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