Gymnast.Fotolia_2067872_XS.jpgAt the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Nadia Comăneci achieved perfection by earning the first perfect 10 score in gymnastics. With her feat of perfection, Nadia became an instant celebrity and role model for future gymnasts.



What does perfection look like in supply chains? For many, it starts with the creating the Perfect Order.



Austin Whitehead is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with Ariba and an enthusiast for the Perfect Order. Austin has seen first-hand how implementing automation, compliance oversight, data visibility, and performance measures deliver significant benefits for buying organizations and their suppliers.



He is leading the following breakout sessions at Ariba LIVE in Washington, D.C.:


  • Accelerate the Sales Cycle through the Perfect Order
  • E-Commerce in the Oil and Gas Industry: Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Getting Paid Faster
  • Debunking the eCommerce Myths: Addressing Common Misperceptions to Take e-Commerce to the Next Level


I talked with Austin about what Ariba LIVE attendees can expect to learn from his breakout session on the Perfect Order.


Austin, what is the Perfect Order?


The Perfect Order is about driving unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. The Supply Chain Council looks at the Perfect Order as a measure of orders that are:


  • delivered to the right place
  • with the right product
  • at the right time
  • in the right condition
  • in the right package
  • in the right quantity
  • with the right documentation,
  • to the right customer and
  • with the correct invoice


For buyers and suppliers, the Ariba Network provides the infrastructure to deliver the Perfect Order. Buyers gain visibility into sourcing, ordering, and payment processes that enable agility with inventories and compliance with contracts and pricing – ultimately resulting in real savings to the enterprise.


Suppliers gain the ability to offer PunchOut catalog, which enables supply and pricing accuracy for orders. They also get better visibility to know when their invoices will be paid, eliminating the need to call their customers’ AP departments to get payment status. And those suppliers that embrace the Perfect Order practices are often able to capture more spend from their customers.


There are a number of experts participating on your panel. What will they share with attendees?


Ardent Partners’ Andrew Bartolini will provide insights on the Perfect Order as a business trend and discuss how it’s important for the business eco-systems.


Andrew is joined by Jennifer Roberts with Sonoco and Chris Lawler with Agilent. Jennifer will talk about why the Perfect Order is valued at Sonoco and how it is used to evaluate suppliers. At Sonoco, the Perfect Order has become integrated within the company culture and guides decisions to ensure the right actions are being taken to achieve accuracy and efficiency.


As a supplier, Chris will discuss how adopting the Perfect Order has strengthened Agilent’s relationship with its customers and why it’s become important to the company.


Austin, you’ve talked about the value of visibility for buyers and suppliers when it comes to the Perfect Order. How do you embrace visibility in your life?


I have to admit that I’m an enthusiast for accuracy … particularly when it comes to money. I always know what’s in my wallet and I like using software tools that deliver a better view on my finances.

Whether you’re a buyer or a supplier, you won’t want to miss out on the Perfect Order breakout session. Be sure to add it to your Ariba LIVE agenda.



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