41 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2014 6:36 AM by David Morel RSS

Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs

acinil Expert
Currently Being Moderated

I would be interested to know how are other Ariba Sourcing users address the issue of training suppliers invited to respond to an RFP who are first time Ariba users. What best practices are out there. The reason for raising this issue is because there are still a large number of companies that have not used Ariba. This is particularly true in regions like Asia, where langauge barriers can add another level of difficulty. We have very limited resources in house. project owners have multiple responsibilites and to achieve the ROI on our Ariba solution and the efficiency leveles we promised we can afford task the project owners with holding supplier training sessions. We notice that a considerable number of suppliers decline to participate in our RFP due to lack of familiarity with the tool or, if they participate, they are not comfortable directing all communication and the entire proposal submission through the tool. This impacts the efficiency rates that we were expecting to achieve from use of Ariba as opposed to the traditional word and excel spreadsheet method.

 

I know that there are some companies out there that are still using the old method (from the time when eRFXs were pionered), that is holding training sessions for suppliers invited to RFp or setting up training events. As I said, this require a significant amount of resources, in my opinion.

 

Also, I found that some suppliers do not use or do not find the training videos very useful. Besides, to get to the guides and help menus you need to log in first and sometimes they can't even pass that stage and won't usually look for Help and guides once they are in as they are overwhelmed by RFP content, pre-requisites etc.

 

One solution that I considered is to be able to attach some supplier user guides that I developed myself with screenshots and a login user guide to the invitation email. That way the supplier would get not only the link to the event/password reset but also a quick guide that at least will help him go through the first steps. The problem is that the email templates available in Ariba do not seem to accomodate that. This is also true with email messaging during an RFP where messages composed from Ariba do not go out with attachments. As a result, we still get a lot of calls from suppliers after we publish the event (in spite of "heads-up" emails we sent suppliers before publishing the RFP) and we end up doing a lot of micro-managing around RFP that eliminates any efficiencies we might have achieved.

 

I am interested in any other ideas, workarounds, best practices.

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    adalvara Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    We developed a job aid in ppt (includes screen shots) that Buyers send out to participants prior to publishing.

    • Steps (email invitation to submitting response)
    • Help - online videos, Ariba customer support #s
    • FAQs (how to reset password)
  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    Patrick Conneely Ariba Employee
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    Accenture's (formerly Ariba's) sourcing operations delivery teams have worked with these similar concerns over the last 12+ years of sourcing event and supplier management.  We have used all of the approaches you addressed to varying degrees over the years.

     

    Generally, live trainings were used much more often when the concept of an electronic auction/RFP was new to the marketplace in general.  Over time, suppliers became more experienced with the platforms and formats, so the need to sit through a live training has diminished.  However, to your point, there will always be suppliers and individuals for whom the process or platform is brand new.  We have handled live trainings in two ways:

     

    1) Live 1-on-1 training- as part of our delivery team, a Supplier Manager (SM) has the sole responsibility of managing suppliers through the process.  Granted, I understand that from a resource standpoint, having an individual dedicated to just supplier management is not possible for many organizations.  With this option, the SM will arrange a time to speak with each supplier and walk them through submitting a response, while navigating a training event of the same format in which they will be participating.  This obviously requires the most time, so we typically only use this option with a smaller supply base (<10 suppliers) and the auction format is something we expect the suppliers to have not or rarely experienced.   The obvious upside is that it allows a high degree to customization to each users' needs and questions.  The drawback is that it is the most resource-intensive.

     

    2)  Live Group training - we also have setup live training sessions where suppliers login to a webex (or similar tool) session led by the SM.  To protect the integrity of  competition, suppliers are logged into the session anonymously and dial-in to a listen-only conference call.  The SM then walks the group through the bidding process.   The upside is from a resource standpoint, one can train many suppliers in less time.   The challenge is that logistically, especially with large supply bases, one rarely finds a time that everyone is available.   Additionally, the supplier loses some of that one-on-one interaction.   We address the former by either offering a couple sessions or recording the session (provided one has the hardware to record a webex video with audio).  We would address the latter by asking suppliers to email questions to the SM during the session, pausing after the 'formal' part of the training is complete, reviewing the questions and then returning to the session to answer any that merit being addressed in a group setting.

     

    Both of the above options were typically employed most commonly for auctions, where there is a that level of dynamic interaction and a time pressure to be able to navigate and adjust quickly.  Over the last several years though, for the majority of our sourcing events (auctions or RFP's), we've moved to option 3.

     

    3)  Pre-Recorded Project-Specific trainings -similar format to #2, however the SM will conduct a video/audio webex-type recording in private and then distribute the recording the supply base.   This allows the same type of project specificity as #2 and consumes fewer hours from a resources standpoint.  This also allows suppliers to watch/listen at their convenience, as well as fast-forwarding/rewinding to sections of interest.

     

    Other ideas we have experimented with:

     

    - Creating #3 type recordings specific to a bid type but not specific to a sourcing project.  (a generic Rank Only auction recording, a generic Dutch auction recording, etc.).  The intent is to cover general navigation, response submission and anything specific the the template in your instance of Sourcing.  One spends the upfront time to create this 'library' of recordings but once done, they can be distributed (and re-used) to suppliers based on the format of your project with fewer hours spent in the long-term.  One obviously loses the project specificity, so you need to evaluate how standardized your projects tend to be and determine whether this is a worthwhile option.

    - For particular categories, at times we find some supply bases to be more frequently technically challenged than others.  For those cases (which are not frequent) we have built Word or PowerPoint files containing screen shots and narration ('Click here', 'Type your price here', etc.) to allow them to have a file they can hold in their hands, specific to their project and reference.  Again, this is a rare case.

     

    Like anything, we get out of the effort what we put into it.  However, we are all resource constrained with limited hours.  So, it's finding the right balance of what your supply base needs with the resources one can apply.

    • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
      David Morel Ariba Contributor
      Currently Being Moderated

      Don't forget the Tutorials created by our Documentation Team, they have the following:

       

      Supplier Basics (3:00)  ZIP 1 MB Learn how to log in to Ariba Sourcing, create a password, accept the Terms of Use, and configure your company profile. 

       

      Responding to Prerequisite Questions (3:00)  ZIP 1 MB Learn how to accept bidder agreements and respond to event prerequisite questions.   Participating in Events (5:00)  ZIP 2 MB Learn how to view your Event List, work as a Response Team, communicate with the buyer, and export event details to Excel. 

       

      Responding to RFIs (3:00)  ZIP 1.6 MB Learn how to use Ariba Sourcing to submit online responses to RFIs (Requests for Information). 

       

      Responding to RFPs (3:00)  ZIP 1.3 MB Learn how to use Ariba Sourcing to submit online responses to RFPs (Request for Proposal). 

       

      Participating in Auctions (5:00)  ZIP 1.3 MB Learn how to submit prebids during the review period, submit bids during the auction, change your bids, and receive market feedback. 

       

      Alternative Bidding (5:00)  ZIP 2.8 MB Learn how to submit alternative pricing, bundle, and tier bids after you submit your primary bid.

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    acinil Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you, everyone for your feedback. It's very helpful. I like particularly the Pre-Recorded Project-Specific trainings. I will look into it. It would be so good if I could send it out together with the invitation emails since Ariba now let's you customize the project-specific messages.

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    Andre Gajewski Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I do not conduct any training for RFP of RFI. I presume that this is not so complicated that an average Internet user could not mange go give its respond. Of course we stick to the rule: "Keep it simple" regarding the content and it also adds value to the point. Participants are informed by the relevant person that an eTender will be the way of doing business and they know they should expect invitation letter. RFP or RFI are open for many days so the participants have time to try to get familiar with Ariba. But if it is not enough, they can always contact me and have a talk or training. But it is not often the case.

    • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
      ciabell Expert
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Andre,

       

      I do not conduct any training either for RFI's and RFP's. I must say I have a support group that takes care of Ariba Buyer Support, and I incorporated Sourcing in there training. They take technical calls for sourcing events also.

      Honestly, we do not receive very many calls when we publish RFI's and RFP's. But to your point, I keep my templates simple, and it's pretty much self explanantory.

      I also send the suppliers an invite email, describing how to login and where to find help if they require it. I refer them to the Ariba tutorials available in the Help.  

      As for auctions, I do conduct online practice sessions with all the invited suppliers 2 or 3 days prior to the actual auction, This permits the supplier familiarize with the auction GUI and the options available to them. In the opractice event, I incorporate all the established rules that have been built in the real auction, so on auction day, there is no suprises. I find conducting a Practice auction (ususaly lasts 1 hour) works quite well.   

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    reshma.rav Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    My team and I offer a webex based training to suppliers who are part of the event and interested to attend. We schedule separate training sessions for each supplier. I believe that when you do an activity yourself, you understand it better. And so, we pass on presenter privileges to them so that they are logged in and we can see them and we help them navigate through the tool. This usually takes about 30 - 40 minutes. I have prepared a list of topics that we use to ensure that we cover all aspects of the tool. This has worked for most of our suppliers.

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    james.dare Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

     

    I know you've had a lot of requests already, but I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your new supplier Ariba training PPT.  My email address is james.dare@hrblock.com

     

    Thanks!!

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    ciabell Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    I do not conduct any training either for RFI's and RFP's. I must say I have a support group that takes care of Ariba Buyer Support, and I incorporated Sourcing in there training. They take technical calls for sourcing events also.

    Honestly, we do not receive very many calls when we publish RFI's and RFP's. I keep my templates simple, and it's pretty much self explanantory.

    I also send the suppliers an invite email, describing how to login and where to find help if they require it. I refer them to the Ariba tutorials available in the Help.  

    As for auctions, I do conduct online practice sessions with all the invited suppliers 2 or 3 days prior to the actual auction, This permits the supplier to familiarize with the auction GUI and the options available to them. In the practice event, I incorporate all the established rules that have been built in the real auction, so on auction day, there is no suprises. I find conducting a Practice auction (usually lasts 1 hour) works quite well.  

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    Chandan Prasad Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    Would you share the supplier training documentation and PPT?  That would be so helpful, my email address is chandan.prasad2@wipro.com.

     

    Regards

    Chandan Prasad

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    garnerj2 Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Would you be able to send me the new ariba supplier training ppt presentation as well? My email address is garnerj2@rjrt.com

  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    Kathy Bursey Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi, 

    I too would be interested in receiving a copy of your PPT presentation..  My email address is: kathy.bursey@bellaliant.ca.  Thank you very much!!

    • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
      garnerj2 Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Kathy,

       

      Unfortunately I never received the from any other users. I’m still waiting myself.

       

      Thanks,

       

      John Garner

      R.J. Reynolds

      Procurement Analyst II

       

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  • Re: Training for suppliers invited to respond to RFPs
    Stuart Russell Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello,

     

    Would you share the supplier training documentation and PPT for RFP & auction events if you have them? My email address is stuart.russell@freescale.com

     

    Many thanks,

    Stuart Russell

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