It's the paper that blocks your view. It can be created in countless ways and filed in a myriad of places. But when you make the move to electronic contracts, every contract is housed in a centralized repository and retrieved on demand with powerful search tools. Integrated collaboration, negotiation, and execution tools keep you posted as the agreement takes shape and becomes finalized. And with expiration dates and other milestone events easily flagged, you'll stay alert to renewals and avoid supply chain interruptions.


Creating electronic contracts on a single integrated platform makes standardization possible. Automation helps all contract creators use preapproved contract templates and legal clauses, and tight integration to Microsoft Word ensures that casual users can collaborate on agreements without learning new software. If anyone modifies format or language, the system issues alerts so all necessary stakeholders can be aware of non-standard agreements and take appropriate action. You can also automate negotiation and collaboration processes in many cases, further ensuring process standardization.


Flexible infrastructure and process workflows facilitate collaborative contract authoring and negotiation. Standardized contract templates and clauses minimize bottlenecks, accelerating contract creation and legal approval. Internal stakeholders easily interact via a web-based platform, seamlessly connected with trading partners through the Ariba Commerce Cloud. And best of all, the system can be tightly integrated with DocuSign's complete and secure electronic signature capability, eliminating the time – and costs — associated with shipping and signing multiple paper copies of every contract.


But what if you want to use your Supplier's paper -- well you can.  Let me show you how!


Using Supplier Paper


  • Double-Click to open the supplier’s document provided on their email.
  • From the MS Word Tools menu, make sure “Protect Document” is available as a selection. If “Unprotect Document” is available, send the document back to the supplier and ask for an unprotected document.
  • If you are using the PDF generator, you should check your document at this time for any of the following
    • Documents with elements that extend beyond one page are not supported, such as Excel files with many columns or with large images. The rightmost columns are truncated.
    • Any tables in the Word document must be wholly contained on one page (i.e. tables may not be split between two different pages.) If the table is too large for one page, it MUST be split into two tables.
    • If you have a text box over top of a table, this will cause problems.
    • While the converter attempts to create output that is as close as possible to the source file or files, the PDF file might have different line or page boundaries or need to substitute fonts, so the output might not be 100% identical to the source files.
  • You can check the version of Word by clicking Document Properties and checking the Document Type.
  • For MS Word 2003 users, the supplier document must be MS Word 2003, not MS Word 2007. If the document is a MS Word 2007 document (usually extension type .docx):
    • You do not change the version of the document simply by changing the extension.
    • If you cannot view the document extensions on your computer, follow these steps:
    • Start menu>Settings>Control Panel>Folder options>View>uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”.
    • Also select Files types, scroll down to DOC>click Advanced>check “always show extension”, OK, Close.
  • “Save As”
    • Provide the File Name per your company’s Ariba naming convention (including Ariba’s requirement of no special characters in the name.)
    • Make sure the Type is the correct version of MS Word for your company - MS Word 2003 in many cases. The correct extension (.doc) will be applied to your document.
    • The document extension must be lower case, not capitalized, i.e. do not use .DOC


Upload the document to Ariba.

  • Upload the previously saved document to the Contract Documents folder. Make sure to upload the .doc document into the Contract Documents folder on the Documents tab (not just anywhere under the Documents tab)
    • Click the folder name and from the menu select Upload Document.
    • Browse for the document saved to your desktop (or other folder) and click Save.
  • If you have not previously renamed the document according to your standards, from the Documents Tab, left click on the document name, click Edit Attributes. Change the name of the document to match the Contract Workspace. Save.


Typical first edits in Ariba.

  • Prepare all edits using the Project Owner Review Task to preserve red lines.
  • Open the document and make any first edits needed to the terms of the agreement.
  • Add the signatories, titles, notices and other items (CW Number, Effective Date) to the document.
  • Save the document by clicking the disk icon (or Save on the File Menu) and exit Word.
  • In Ariba, wait for Update pop-up window to appear. Click Update Now and save as version 1 with comment regarding version (i.e. Supplier’s Version 1 today’s date).


Ariba helps you drive compliance in three areas: operational, contractual, and regulatory. Standardized processes encourage all contract authors to follow the rules and get approval before modifying templates or clauses. Automated tracking and reporting enforce negotiated prices, terms and conditions, discounts, service level agreements, and time frames. A full audit trail aids in satisfying regulatory requirements. You can also integrate contract processes with other Ariba solutions or third-party systems to capture information that would alert you to off-contract activity. Check out Ariba Procurement Content to see how contract information can be integrated into your online catalogs.




Beverly Dunn is a Customer Success Manager 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.