Ariba Discovery Opens Doors


You and your sourcing team have put a lot of time and energy into the hunt for new suppliers.  Reviewing trade publications, cruising the Web, seeking referrals, hiring consultants, hanging out in trade shows. No wonder the process consumes nearly 30% of your resources!  By using Ariba Discovery, in just five minutes, you can create a posting of what you're looking for. Ariba automatically matches it with high-quality suppliers, drawing from a base of companies located in 130 countries and representing more than 400 industries. Those interested deliver their bids, and any additional information you request, securely through the system.  Business is agile, so how can you change with it? Ariba's directory is built with rich profiles to help you find the right supplier for any challenging sourcing event. Like when your team lacks sufficient expertise for sourcing a new category. Or when your sourcing parameters include specialized requirements, such as involvement in green initiatives, diversity certification, and e-commerce readiness. Profiles are wellmaintained by suppliers and include details about RFP contact, company size, references, the number of actively transacting relationships, and more.  Some markets experience high supplier turnover, especially the services market or those negatively impacted by turbulent economies. When this happens, your approved vendor lists and traditional sources of supplier information can quickly become outdated. Instead of relying on old time-consuming ways of doing things, explore Ariba Discovery. With so many buyers and suppliers coming online to do business every day, suppliers are motivated to routinely update their business profiles. This gives you quick access to searchable, up-to-date information.


Some of Discovery's powerful features include:


Powerful Matching Engine

Fast online registration and a three-step posting process make it simple for buyers to start receiving proposals from suppliers whose capabilities match their needs.

  • Ariba Discovery postings can be quickly and easily created on the web or in the Ariba Sourcing™ solution (Ariba Sourcing). 
  • User-friendly navigation and clear, straightforward language let both functional buyers such as marketing and IT managers and experienced sourcing and procurement professionals obtain rapid results
  • Ability to enter rich text descriptions of needed items or services enables buyers to control the level of detail they want. 
  • Supports inclusion of 10 attachments using up to 20 megabytes. 
  • Works equally well for complex, strategic sourcing or fast, tactical purchases. 
  • Option to use automatic matching or hand-select individual suppliers


Consolidated, Highly Qualified Supply Base 

Access to a large number of active, high-quality suppliers across every spend category eliminates the need to source through slower, more cumbersome methods.

  • A unique database that incorporates transactional-, supplier-, and community-provided information that cannot be found anywhere else
  • Includes suppliers across a broad range of industries from the Ariba® Network who are actively trading with top buying organizations in the world today
  • Visibility into the number of transacting relationships suppliers have with other buying organizations accurately reveals experience levels
  • Detailed supplier profile information provides exceptional clarity on vendor qualifications 
  • Suppliers can be searched by special characteristics such as minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses as well as other diversity criteria such as green initiatives


Efficient Dashboard Management 

Convenient dashboard access enables buyers to rapidly and effectively manage all account activities directly from Ariba Discovery or any Ariba Sourcing solutions

  • .Bookmarking can be used to create and edit a list of favorite suppliers
  • Automated alerts inform buyers of incoming bids
  • Buyers can post opportunities, review responses, and award contracts from a single location
  • Users can drill down into supplier profiles for additional data such as contact information, special certifications, sales territories served, and more
  • Members of the same buying organization can view each other’s postings and the responses that prospective suppliers have provided—enabling better team collaboration and evaluation in the supplier discovery process


Activity Reporting 

Gain access to monthly account activity reports.

  • Buyers are able to view activity on each of their Ariba Discovery postings, including the number of times viewed and response statistics


Powerful Search Capabilities

Buyers can use comprehensive search features to seek out specific suppliers according to a wide range of characteristics.

  • Buyers can search by company name, commodity class, sales territory, industry, stock symbol, annual revenue, years in business, number of employees, diversity certifications, and more
  • Enhanced commodity chooser with the stemming and drill-down feature allows for easier navigation and more accurate search
  • Supports compliance with government contracts, EEO legislation, and internal diversity purchasing initiatives through ability to identify women-, veteran-, minority-owned, and green businesses plus many other relevant certifications
  • The Ariba Ready™ program (Ariba Ready) search option helps identify suppliers with best-practice trading processes and exceptional transaction and content solutions
  • Free-text search capabilities with synonym library that maps over 30,000 synonym terms to the UNSPSC-based commodity tree broaden options even further

Online Communications SupportAriba Discovery allows for direct messaging between buyers and suppliers on postings.

  • Buyers can respond to questions sent by suppliers and have the option to publish the correspondence to their Ariba Discovery posting—creating a mini-FAQ section

Flexible Access  Ariba Discovery offers several points of entry, making it easily accessible to both new and experienced Ariba users.

  • Publicly available from any computer with a web browser at
  • Can be accessed through links included in the on-demand Ariba Sourcing (Basic and Professional) solution and the CD Ariba Sourcing (Hosted and Installed) solution Accessible through any account to buyers already using the Ariba Network


So you see the value, the next step is the perfect Ariba Discovery Posting.  There is a bit of Art and Science to how to create a really great posting.  For example:


Buyer Postings

Postings that are clear in articulating what a buyer needs, when it is needed, what information the buyer would like the supplier to provide in a response, and also what the next steps in the process are, will not only have a higher response rate; but, also ultimately lead to better responses that allow the buyer to work more efficiently.

Poor Posting:

“We are looking for a widgets supplier. Please provide details on your capabilities.”

Good Posting:


       “We seek an ISO 9001 certified supplier of widgets. We have 3 different sets of widget specifications, all available as attachments to this posting. Your widgets should meet the XYZ industry standard tolerance.


         A qualified supplier will have at least 5 years of experience in the export of widgets to Europe. Our annual volume will be between 50-100k units. It would be ideal if the supplier had spray coating capabilities, as well.


         Please respond with your experience in the export of widgets, as well as the volume you have produced in each of the past 3 fiscal years.


         We seek to take this opportunity to auction in the next month, and plan to make a shortlist of qualified suppliers within 1 week of the close of this posting.”


If you are interested in more information on using Ariba Discovery as either a Buyer or a Seller, check out our Discovery Community on Exchange or email me for more information and to be connected with a member of our team.