Last year was a tumultuous year for global commerce, and at D&B, we heard the same question time and time again.  “The sourcing game has changed – how can I minimize the surprises that can cripple my business?”

We’ve all been in the situation when we dive into a new business relationship with sleeves rolled-up, feeling optimistic that we’ve done the proper searching, qualification and due diligence needed to make the best connections.  Meanwhile, we get caught off-guard by a delivery issue from a supplier who has become financially unstable, or discover a better source after the fact.


The truth is, having better qualifying information on potential trading partners in the early stages of supplier selection can make the difference between a good decision and a bad one.


Here are four prime times when you need better data to decide with confidence right from the start:

  1. Entering Emerging Markets – You need to overcome time zones, language, geopolitical and cultural differences – any one of which can be huge barriers for launching business in unfamiliar markets.
  2. Sourcing New Categories – Especially for services like marketing or consulting – it can be a whole new game for most. Unlike raw materials or office supplies, you probably don’t have a complete understanding of what you need until you’re already working with a partner, so it’s critical to know the strengths they bring to the table.
  3. When Disaster Strikes – The 2011 Japan disaster crippled production capabilities around the globe. Unforeseen events like these force the questions to be asked: Are your suppliers outsourcing production to the same impacted area? If there is a disruption, will you know where to look for alternate sources? So many times, advantage is won by the team who is the first to know where to turn in a crisis. 
  4. Building Diversity – A supply base that mirrors your customer demographics keeps you closer to the pulse of the market – and helps you seek out the best sources of innovation. We see more organizations investing in diversity as a business driver – more than a mandate. SMBs and women- or minority-owned businesses are often smaller suppliers who can offer more innovative and flexible ways to meet your demands.


Since May 2011, Ariba’s Discovery solution has been giving you instant access to D&B information and predictive risk scores on businesses worldwide. Now buyers are better equipped with the insight needed to fuel optimal sourcing decisions, and sellers can make it easier for prospective buyers to know who they are from a trusted source like D&B.  It’s a win-win for better collaboration and smarter partnerships before the bidding process even begins.


Join us at Ariba Live – I’d love to hear more about how you’re using Ariba Discovery to build stronger business partnerships from the start.