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As you evolve along the e-commerce maturity curve—moving from reactive mode, where you mainly respond to customer requests, to proactive, where you initiate actions that optimize your e-commerce capabilities to increase value for you and your customers—it’s important to put measurements in place to track progress and document success. And an e-commerce scorecard is a great tool to help you do it.

 

How can an e-commerce scorecard benefit your business?

An e-commerce scorecard gives you a highly effective way to share key metrics that reveal the success of your e-commerce strategy. Why is this important?

  • Enhances buy-in and support at all levels of the organization. When you share measurements, you increase visibility and appreciation for the value of e-commerce at all management levels—including the executive level. For example, hard numbers demonstrating how much of your company’s revenue comes through e-commerce can make management take serious notice. Similarly, when you can show how much money you’re saving on every electronic order that comes in unassisted (like the cost of 10-20 minutes of sales agent time per order) and how much faster you’re getting paid (by five to 15 days or more), executives can better understand the extraordinary potential of e-commerce to lower sales costs and reduce days sales outstanding.
  • Hones your strategy to drive better results. Besides making it easier to socialize your initiatives internally, publishing a clear set of measurements helps you and your team focus on what you really want to accomplish. With the right scorecard metrics, for example, you can see where you need to improve to achieve your goals and meet—or exceed—service levels provided by your competitors. And based on this data, you can make rational decisions about where to invest further. Measurements can also be the key to securing new budget for e-commerce initiatives; the more executives see tangible proof of the value of e-commerce, the easier it is to get funding for e-commerce improvements to grow your team, enhance your e-commerce capabilities, and move further up the maturity curve.
  • Helps you benchmark and improve your market position. Measurements help you objectively assess how competitive your business is relative to other suppliers. For example, you can evaluate whether your services are at least on a par with best-in-class suppliers, and identify and promote specific areas where your performance and capabilities differentiate you from other sellers—which can be critical to finding and keeping customers and driving up sales.

 

Tomorrow: Getting started strategies

If you don't want to wait, go to our Supply Lines group to read the full article.

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Yesterday, we covered the benefits of contract management. Today, we'll share best practices for implementing an automated solution.

 

1. Build a template that’s easy for users to adopt. By designing a wizard-style template to guide various users along a customized path, you can ensure they see only the appropriate tasks, documents, and approval workflows. And to make sure the flow you create will really work, you first need to “know what your process is and get it down on paper,” Martz says. Answer these questions:


  • Who’s asking for the contract?
  • Who will use the system, and what will their roles be?
  • What dollar thresholds
  • Who needs to see which documents, and when

 

You can also gather metrics on how long tasks actually take and use this identify bottlenecks if the process isn’t moving quickly enough, providing a good timeline for your contracts overall.

 

2. Promote contract visibility throughout your company. “Make sure all stakeholders, not just those in sales, really understand the implications of sales contracts,” Dwyer advises. Role-based access along with dashboard self-service search and reporting tools give users the visibility and resources to use CLM effectively.

 

3. Manage risk at the contract and engagement levels. It’s essential to track and understand what’s going on within all contracts—not just some of them, or only those in your own department. You can establish an alert system to help users monitor status and ensure you don’t miss deadlines, fail to fulfill terms and conditions, or overlook legal mandates. For example, automating physician contracts makes it much easier for the Cleveland Clinic to stay compliant not only with internal policies, but state and federal requirements as well, despite rapid growth and a sharp increase in the complexity of healthcare regulations.

 

4. Move from tactical to strategic contract management. “Don’t think of this as just another series of processes that unfortunately you have to do day in and day out,” Dwyer says. “Think about it as more strategic: ‘Hey, if we do this the right way, there’s going to be tremendous value across the organization.’” For example, you can take advantage of the centralized contracts repository and data analytics to inform your negotiations on upcoming contracts. “It’s always interesting to be able to dig into that information and say ‘We signed this contract with this organization four years ago, what were the negotiations like last time, or what was the pricing like last time?’ All that information is very important,” Dwyer says.


 

Learn more

For more information about how automated contract management can deliver value to your business, listen to the full session on the Ariba Slideshare site. To learn about the Ariba Contract Management solution for sales contracts, go to this web page and download this datasheet.


To read the article in full, click here. For latest insights and best practices for collaborative business commerce, go to our Supply Lines group.

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As a seller, you’re often driven by your customer’s contract management process. But when your business reaches a certain level of complexity, not having your own automated contract management solution means you start losing visibility into the contract lifecycle—which can wreak havoc on your company through compliance problems, lost sales from too-slow negotiation cycles or missed renewals, and even legal challenges. In fact, 60% of corporate litigations are related to contract disputes,[i] so reducing that risk through contract automation makes a lot of sense.

 

One expert considers it crucial. Christopher Dwyer, research director for Ardent Partners, notes that up to 75% of all corporate revenues are directly linked to sales contracts—a huge impact that underscores the importance of managing them effectively. Yet many sellers overlook automated contract management, despite the big benefits it can provide. An automated contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution standardizes and streamlines the contracting process, delivering the transparency and collaborative capabilities you need to negotiate and execute sales contracts quickly and efficiently—a key business advantage that can significantly boost your bottom line.

 

Tomorrow: The benefits of automated contract management

If you don't want to wait, go to our Supply Lines group to read the full article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] Source: Fulbright & Jaworski, 2010 Annual Litigation Survey

Don’t Miss the Ariba Commerce Summit Coming This Fall to a City Near You!

 

If you have a stake in driving more profitable business commerce for your company, then you need to join your peers at the 2011 Ariba Commerce Summit.

 

We’re kicking off this popular, free event on October 11 in New York. Followed by Chicago, San Francisco, London, and Paris.

 

Starting with a fun and productive evening reception, and leading into a day of breakout sessions, presentations, and networking, the Ariba Commerce Summit is your chance to learn successful collaborative business commerce practices from leaders in highly effective companies.

 

We’re focusing on efficient and effective trading-partner collaboration because that’s what it now takes to manage your costs and risks while boosting your top and bottom lines.

 

Last year’s Commerce Summits were packed. To reserve your place and get more information, including the agenda and city-specific details, click on http://www.ariba.com/events/commerce-summit/

 

Cities and Dates:

 

New York City

October 11-12

 

Chicago

October 19-20

 

San Francisco

October 24-25

 

More details to come on London and Paris!  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Help your vendors integrate with you for faster, more accurate transactions using Dell Boomi.

So what is Dell Boomi? Let’s start with a quick rundown on what integration is. Integration involves your seller's instance on the Ariba Network being connected to their accounting or ERP system. What this means for your vendors is that their staff won't have to key order or invoice data into more than one place – the system moves transactions along within your systems as easily as they are moved by the Ariba Network between buyers and sellers.  Dell Boomi works through the web in a secure fashion. Basically, documents are transmitted electronically.  As Dell Boomi is a web application, installation of neither software nor hardware is required. Even sellers with limited technical knowledge can benefit from this integration technology. Dell Boomi is easy-to-use and is flexible in supporting their needs, and supports multiple SaaS and on-premise ERP and accounting applications.  Ariba offers connections to the most common applications in a turnkey fashion as shown here, and additional ones are also available on a custom basis.

 

Turnkey SaaS and On-Premise Applications:

Intuit QuickBooks

Sage 50 (formerly Sage Peachtree)

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Dell Boomi gets its name from the fact that in 2010, Dell Computer bought Boomi, the company that was founded in 2000 and developed this technology.

 

Dell Boomi provides many advantages to Ariba Network Sellers:

With less reliance on manual processes like paper invoicing, PO Flip, etc., Dell Boomi allows sellers and buyers to electronically transmit documents to one another for quicker transmission and processing of documents.

By integrating your ERP system with the Ariba Network, there is less risk associated with human error when transmitting documents manually, thus increased accuracy, saving both time and money.

The benefit of increased accuracy brings with it fewer disputes on POs, invoices and order confirmations.

With Boomi, sellers work directly within their ERP; thus, no additional data entry is required to transmit documents, process orders and bills, and receive payment.

Dell Boomi provides monitoring capabilities such that sellers can view transmitted documents to ensure successful routing and receipt.

Sellers also benefit from the opportunity of faster payment – not because of any changes in terms, but simply because all transaction are done electronically, in real time, with less risk for mistake and error. By eliminating the potential for errors and disputes, sellers can process received payment faster, resulting in sooner cash on hand.

Dell Boomi provides one connection of the seller’s accounting or ERP system to the Ariba Network, not to each buyer. Thus, you can quickly and easily conduct transactions with multiple customers, and use either the legacy ERP or accounting system or the Ariba Network to get a full picture of all of your customer relationships.

 

Dell Boomi is easy and burden-free. It requires no additional resources and allows for quick, efficient document transmission. So how does Boomi work?

The seller connects their ERP or accounting system to Dell Boomi.

The seller generates documents within their ERP portal. These documents transmit between the ERP or accounting system and Dell Boomi where they are automatically formatted for transmission to the Ariba Network. This document transmission is done under secure web services. No EDI or cXML is required.

Once the respective document is successfully transmitted to the Ariba Network, it is electronically transmitted to and from the buyer for processing.

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As part of the new Supplier Membership Program, Ariba fully supports, and even includes, Dell Boomi technology in its two top-tier subscription levels, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.

The Dell Boomi connectors are prebuilt, making integrations scalable, flexible and easy to use. No development work is required, and no customer coding is necessary.

Ariba provides set-up support, working with sellers to gather requirements and understand the seller’s application data structure and design, and will then configure the connector and develop data field maps.

Implementation is quick. Because there is no development work and we provide set-up support as a value-add, Dell Boomi can be deployed quickly and easily.

We also provide testing support. Before sellers conduct live transactions with buyers, Ariba will ensure that the Dell Boomi integration connectors are functioning properly to make certain that no bugs nor errors exist that could potentially impact document transfer in later stages.

 

For more information on the Ariba Supplier Membership program and Dell Boomi -- log on to http://www.ariba.com/help/ariba-answers 

 



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