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An integral part of any organization's diversity program is to ensure that they promote diversity outside of the company in addition to their internal efforts. One way organizations accomplish this goal is through supplier diversity programs that support minority owned businesses with which they do business. Supplier diversity can include all underrepresented groups who can provide goods or services to the organization. They are commonly referred to as minority and women owned business enterprises (M/WBE's). However, it can include all types of organizations that are owned or operated by underrepresented members of the population.


There are five key steps every company should follow to set up and run an extensive and effective supplier diversity program:

  1. Defining the Scope of Supplier Diversity
  2. Link Supplier Diversity with Organizational Goals – Make the Business Case
  3. Connecting with Underrepresented Suppliers
  4. Running the Supplier Diversity Program
  5. Supplier Development Program for Underrepresented Suppliers


Additionally, organizations should set measurable goals for their supplier diversity program.

  • What percent of total purchases does the organization want to make from underrepresented suppliers in one year, five years, and ten years?
  • How many new minority/women/disabled suppliers does the organization want to do business each year?
  • Are there certain competitors that you want to surpass in your commitment to supplier diversity?
  • How do they measure their performance on supplier diversity?


These are all questions that an organization should consider as it begins its development of a supplier diversity initiative. Linking supplier diversity with the organization's goals is the next step in creating a successful program. The objectives and motivations that drive the supplier diversity initiative must support those of the organization as a whole. The business case for supplier diversity must be clear to everyone in the organization. This is an important step in getting support from all members of senior management, from operations to finance, marketing, and human resources. The organization must develop and communicate a clear and concise mission statement and vision for supplier diversity to employees, vendors, customers, and shareholders. Everyone connected with the organizations must understand the role and level of importance of supplier diversity so they can be active participants in the program. One key tool that will help demonstrate the organization's commitment to supplier diversity is to make it part of the performance review process. Hold all relevant employees accountable for achieving specific goals with supplier diversity and reward those that exceed those goals.

Hi all,


Many of you recently participated in the customer-only SIPM 13s1 Feature Survey.  We will be posting the compiled results of that survey shortly in the Customer Success group.  This group is private to Ariba customers only.  The 13s1 feature survey results will only be available via this group, so register as soon as possible we'll get you approved so you can view the results.  Thanks!

Skill Set—Job Descriptions:

The following list of skill sets are examples of what is needed or what can be considered in defining future roles.


Note: These are all taken from an Ariba client who built a SE Program while implementing Ariba Solutions. These are specific to a Supplier Enablement Program Manager or Lead Role.


Sourcing Methodology background

  • Provides insight into building a supplier on-boarding process as well as when to engage teams throughout the organization.


Bachelors degree or equivalent work experience in Information Services with EDI or cXML specific knowledge

  • Ability to understand Supplier EDI/cXML implementations
  • Suppliers who also have certain invoice failures for example, may reach out to <<Customer>> directly with questions
  • Note that suppliers utilizing these technologies can be directed to the Ariba Help Desk


Excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills

  • Candidate must be able to work with multiple departments and all levels of management
  • Must be able to communicate effectively
  • Ability to analyze issues with business documents (PO and invoice)
  • Ability to analyze and determine solutions to problems that arise with business processes


Workload management skills and the ability to get engaged in complex assignments and meet tight deadlines

  • Efficient with Microsoft Office suite (including Project and Visio)
    • Reporting tools and applications will differ and having a good working knowledge of the entire MS Office suite will allow a variety of reporting options.
    • Strong project management skills
    • Supplier enablement encompasses many projects at the same time. When your organization engages with larger, more strategic suppliers, these need to be treated and organized as a project.


When Working with Your Suppliers
When Working with Your End Users
Buyer Involvement
  • Get imitate buy-in to the benefits and avoid resistance
  • Don’t hide supplier fees
  • Explain Supplier advantages
  • Live demo to show ease of use
  • Engage marketing
  • Hand-hold suppliers
  • Discount terms can be offered to entice suppliers to join
  • Keep end users up to date on enabled commodities and preferred suppliers
  • Manage Catalogs to ensure items are available
  • Contracts to indicate preferred suppliers
  • Monthly email notification with new/ changed commodities or suppliers
  • Enforce 100% compliance via single requestion platform with new vendor process
  • End to end Supplier Enablement incorporated to new contracts (or amendments)
  • Alignment of decentralized and centralized buying activities
  • Collaborative Drive with Sourcing Efforts = Partnership with Strategic Sourcing
  • Sourcing must have the final eenablement in mind
  • New/Amended Contract Clauses
  • Consider local requirements in global contracts


Remember - Ariba is Here to Help


Leverage Ariba’s proven methodology and services team to expedite supplier enablement or use our self-service tools to manage the process in-house.


Outsource Supplier Enablement

  • Experienced teams dedicated to on boarding, tracking and educating suppliers and ensuring supplier
  • Satisfaction
  • Accelerate the establishment of ready-to-transact supplier relationships (for portal and integrated suppliers)
  • Enable large numbers of suppliers by leveraging Ariba’s organizational structures, including 24-hour support and global coverage
  • Scale your supplier enablement with additional capacity from Ariba
  • Easily onboard all your suppliers and achieve quicker value with those suppliers already using the


Ariba Network Self-Service Ariba Supplier Enablement Automation

  • Load full vendor master file and segment into waves
  • Easily assign suppliers to enablement activities and quickly create supplier accounts
  • Monitor supplier progress throughout the process, and know when a supplier is ready to transact
  • Add customized content to supplier enablement welcome letters
  • Systematically capture and address supplier questions
  • Download supplier enablement status reports for management updates


Ariba Supplier Enablement provides options for moving suppliers to an electronic process.

Leverage our proven methodology and services team to handle enablement for you or use our self-service, supplier automation tools to manage the process on your own. Based upon Ariba’s best practices expertise, these tools empower you to quickly target and enroll new suppliers to meet your objectives. Companies that partner with Ariba Supplier Enablement Services benefit from the following value-added capabilities that ensure effective and efficient trading partner collaboration.


Ariba Supplier Enablement Results

World-class organizations have enabled thousands of their global suppliers on to the Ariba Network for better business commerce.

  • A global equipment manufacturer has activated more than 4,400 suppliers globally to process 90% of its global indirect spend through the Ariba Network.
  • A leading computer systems manufacturer on boarded 850 EMEA suppliers within three months. About 50% of targeted suppliers were already participating in the Ariba Network, accelerating the supplier enablement process.
  • A Fortune 100 energy company enabled more than 1,400 suppliers across eight SAP systems with Ariba for electronic processing of PO and non-PO invoices.
  • A global entertainment company enabled more than 2,200 suppliers for PO and invoice automation, detailed remittance delivery, and dynamic discounting—reducing AP headcount by 30 percent.


Previous: Supplier Enablement - Roles and Responsibilities


Beverly Dunn is a Client Engagement Executive with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba Knowledge Nuggets.

Roles and Responsibilities



Program Management (Lead Role)


Oversee supplier enablement program

  • Ensure internal processes and procedures are being followed
  • Define escalation path for non-compliant internal users
  • Define escalation path for non-complaint suppliers
  • Define reporting/score card requirements – provide information to management weekly, monthly, etc.
  • Ensure proper resources are in place, trained and have clear direction on responsibilities
  • Define testing process for engaged suppliers
  • Define training process for engaged suppliers: who will be required to test with <<Customer>> and what will that process be?


AN Administration (Supporting Role)

  • Supplier relationship maintenance
    • Add suppliers needed outside of Ariba process: there may be times when you need to add a supplier to the Network based on a request internally or by a supplier but it needs to be done before the next scheduled wave.
    • Private ID maintenance
  • Ariba Network transaction rules, end user login accounts, general account settings
    • Maintain all purchase order and invoice rule changes
    • Create and maintain all user login accounts for specific roles
  • Reporting
    • Develop standard set of reporting on the Ariba Network for PO and Invoice specific reporting (score card feed)
    • Supplier Enablement Status: which suppliers are not complaint; which are ready to transact; etc.
  • Communication Maintenance
    • Supplier Portal: changes to portal messaging; updating attached documentation
    • Welcome Letter: changes to Welcome Letter sent to suppliers; (inviting them to the Ariba Network)
    • Supplier Upload Preparation: Prepare file for supplier uploads to the Ariba Network. This is a specific CSV template that must be used to upload/engage bulk lists of suppliers.
  • Training
    • Organize and deliver training sessions with suppliers as necessary
    • Organize and deliver training sessions for internal users (business process changes, Ariba Network responsibilities)
  • Testing
    • Ensure EDI, cXML and CSV suppliers have properly tested prior to moving to Production
    • Validate Invoices for exceptions or invoices that are consistently being rejected because of missing information
    • Communicate needed changes to suppliers
    • Re-Test when necessary
  • Go Live Preparation
    • Ensure internal process is completed to “turn suppliers on” in Production
    • This should be a documented process with IT involvement
  • Post Go Live
    • Monitor and enforce supplier compliance
    • Contact suppliers directly who are not in compliance
    • Engage individuals within <<Customer>> to assist with supplier compliance where necessary
    • Monitor and enforce internal compliance (invoice/payments are being approved in timely manner)


Accounts Payable


Supplier Selection

  • Pull listings from vendor master system for suppliers that are targeted to enable on the Ariba Network
    • Collaborate with other business units to ensure selected suppliers are correct. This could include Sourcing, Procurement and any other specific line of business that utilizes the suppliers goods/services.
    • Determine if the internal business process around PO’s and invoicing fit the Ariba process. There may be for example, contractual obligations that conflict with a process change at this time. This may need to be a supplier that is targeted at the time the contract is being renewed so that specific PO/Invoicing language can be added to the contract.


Data Collection

  • From the list of selected suppliers, determine what data is missing from the individual suppliers, (phone number, email address, fax numbers, contact names, etc.).
  • Obtain Contact/Address Information
    • Determine method to collect data (forms, phone calls, Ariba data collection team).
    • Contact suppliers with missing or outdated information.


Vendor Master Maintenance

  • Update Vendor Master Records – make changes to vendor master based on collected data.
  • Obtain updated W-9 forms where required.


Develop New Supplier Process

  • New suppliers should be added through a formal process. This puts in a layer of control over how many new suppliers are added or if employees should be using a preferred supplier (i.e. office supplies).
  • The goal is to control the amount of suppliers added to the system or if suppliers are added, the supplier is aware that PO/ Invoice process will be done through the Ariba Network from the start of the relationship.
  • Consider changes to contracts to include language on transaction over the Ariba Network.


Other Roles


IT Resource

  • There are times when there is a need for an IT resource who is familiar with the project to troubleshoot purchase orders and/or invoices. This is not a resource that is needed full time but needs to have some responsibility defined within their role.
  • EDI and cXML suppliers sometimes need a <<Customer>> IT resource to understand the validations performed within the back-end systems.


End User Training/Support

  • Depending on corporate policy and procedure, as new employees are hired for roles that support this program, standard training material and practices should be defined and implemented.
  • This process could be a defined as standard new hire training, for example.


Escalation Contacts

  • As processes are being defined, there needs to be a clear path of escalation. Although certain managers, (or higher) will not be using the system on a daily basis, they need to be aware of what their role is when contacted for supplier and transaction escalations.


Score Card Reporting

  • This role can potentially fit within a few different areas (AP, Procurement, Finance, IT). Depending on the process defined, what reporting facts will be delivered and who will receive the score card?


Next: Supplier Enablement - Skill Sets For Defining Future Roles

Previous: Getting your organization to fit properly with your supplier enablement program


Beverly Dunn is a Client Engagement Executive with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba Knowledge Nuggets.

Where Does Everyone Fit?


  • The table below represents where different areas of your organization can fit into the Supplier Enablement program development and ongoing support.
  • Internal buy-in is key! If the individuals within your organization help define the program, you are more likely to have success across the organization long term.

Accounts Payable
Corporate Procurement
ITLegalTaxSourcingLine of Business (Buyers)
IT/System Changesxxx
Vender master Mgt.x

Supplier On-boardingxx
AN Enablementxxx

Purchase Order


Support Supplier and End Userxxx
Supplier Managementx



As you begin to develop a Supplier Enablement Program, you will need to define the resources needed to support this ongoing. Changes to roles and responsibilities are inevitable and can span across several departments within your organization. It is important to note that traditional roles and responsibilities may not change 100%, but by the simple nature of how suppliers will transact in the future will mean a change in some of the functions performed today.


To prepare for your program changes ensure that all areas that will be affected are part of the planning process as this will ensure that internal compliance does not become a stumbling block late in the process.


Staff Your Program Adequately For Maximum Success


Customer roles:

• Supplier Enablement lead (coordinate/fulfill the following roles) – 1FTE (ongoing less)

• Supplier master data (collection and updates) -1FTE/500 Suppliers

• Supplier communication – 0.2FTE (ongoing less)

• Internal communication on SE program/change management and compliance message – 0.25FTE (ongoing less)

• Contract and catalogs: Professional Buyer for – 5-10 hours/ contract or catalog

• Invoice related: AP Personal for - 0.5FTE for 4month per region

• cXML Integrated supplier contact + testing support – 0.5FTE per suppliers 4 weeks


Roles with outsourcing* potential

• Calling campaign

• Follow-ups

• Supplier training sessions

• Supplier support

• Progress tracking

• Technical contact person for catalogs questions

* includes shared service centers (benefits are: availibility, languages, tracking)



Next: Supplier Enablement - Roles and Responsibilities

Previous: The Key to Developing a Successful Program pt.1


Beverly Dunn is a Client Engagement Executive with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba Knowledge Nuggets.