Having the right information is one thing. Knowing how and when to use it to its full potential is a different story.


That is a challenge we here at D&B along with Ariba have been guiding our customers on for years – accessing the information necessary to make informed business decisions and effectively applying it for profitable business results .  The outcome of the Ariba/D&B relationship is that D&B global business data is “built in” to two Ariba products – Spend Visibility and Discovery.


Why is this important? Because unlike other spend and supplier management  providers that claim to have access to third party business data, only Ariba with D&B offers a unified solution that is equipped to help companies operate in the ever-changing world of commerce.


In 2011, we saw firsthand the impact natural disasters, sub-par factory conditions and economies on the brink of collapse had on the global supply chain, and how these dynamics placed a spotlight on just how much companies have riding on their suppliers. And history is repeating itself to some degree. The February issue of Supply Chain Digital featured a story on supply chain trends for 2012, and the common thread among them is that the supply chain can make or break a company.


Here are a couple of the trends that we think we’ll hear the most about this year:

  1. Companies will see the value in extending risk management to tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers - If you don’t know what suppliers your suppliers depend on, there is a gaping hole in your risk mitigation plans.
  2. Supply chains will drive company growth - Demand boosts revenue margins. But, you can only meet that demand if you have a 360° view of the health of your supply chain.
  3. Industry giants and small companies alike need to reevaluate their supply chains - Apple opened its factory doors to third parties. More companies will follow suit, making their supply chains more transparent. 


In April, I’ll be joining Spend Visibility customers Reed Elsevier and Bank of Montreal (BMO) in an Ariba Live panel discussion about spend analysis and supplier management. Join us Wednesday, April 11th at 4:45 p.m. to get a look into how two market leaders are managing their suppliers and spend.