The perfect order: your customers want it, and you strive to achieve it—but all too often, factors outside your control can derail it. And as your customer base becomes more global and value chain relationships get more complex, delivering “the right product, to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity, to the right customer” may feel like an increasingly elusive goal.
If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone. For example, 70% of sellers lack visibility into customer orders and confirmed receipt of goods[i]—key to the perfect order—and it’s no wonder. The need to manage information among an ever-growing array of customers, contract manufacturers, and distributors using disparate technologies across many geographies not only impedes visibility, but makes B2B collaboration difficult for sellers and buyers alike. The result? Performance and service levels suffer as you struggle to comply with customer requirements.
The Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain solution can help. By delivering powerful new capabilities to support direct materials supply chain collaboration through the Ariba® Network, Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain provides the visibility, information, and control you need to meet customer demands and achieve the perfect order.
How can the solution benefit my business?
With flexible features that streamline and simplify the collaboration process, Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain enables you to:
- More easily fulfill complex customer requirements. Do your customers have multifaceted requirements on exactly how you fulfill and package orders? Purchase order collaboration extensions allow you to provide an unprecedented level of detail in POs, including dozens of item characteristics and product packaging descriptions. This helps ensure that what you send and bill for complies with your customers’ guidelines, increasing their satisfaction and reducing returns.
- Efficiently consolidate shipments. Do you struggle to prioritize and consolidate direct materials shipments so you can send orders in the most efficient manner while still meeting customer due dates? Drawing from a single system of record, ship notice due lists provide real-time information on items due for shipment based on customer, ship-to location, product, PO, and due date. Filtering and grouping capabilities allow you to rapidly organize and prioritize shipments of hundreds of thousands of items from numerous buyers and multiple POs, making it easier to meet specific customer requirements. You can also create ship notices directly from the ship notice due list and consolidate shipments to maximize efficiency and cut costs.
- Rapidly respond to changes in customer demand. Do you need a better way to stay on top of constant demand shifts in a high-volume manufacturing environment? Scheduling agreement releases give your customers an automated, efficient way to share their near-term firm requirements, mid-term “tradeoff” requirements, and longer-term forecast requirements. As a result, you gain the transparency you need to understand ongoing demand so you can fine-tune production levels and meet expectations.
Transforming B2B collaboration
With Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain, you can say goodbye to the inefficiency of manual collaboration and cumbersome point solutions. Designed to help you ramp up quickly and realize results fast, the solution provides the resources you need to:
- Onboard efficiently. Intuitive self-service tools plus access to 24x7 support from Ariba enablement experts make onboarding easy, allowing you to quickly connect with customer systems and processes without spending big bucks on hardware or software. The solution also operates through the Ariba Network—the world’s largest B2B trading community, already used and understood by thousands of buying organizations—increasing ease of adoption even more.
- Collaborate broadly. By providing a single network-based platform for you and your customers to manage direct materials transactions, Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain lets you “connect once, collaborate with many,” so you can handle order-to-cash collaboration with myriad customers in real time. Open electronic communication tools simplify interactions, shortening cycle times and giving you greater agility to meet shifting customer needs. Multiple connectivity options, including automated two-way and portal-based collaboration, give you the flexibility to interact in the way that works best for your business. The solution also offers industry-specific collaboration and business processes for retail, consumer products, and discrete manufacturing, with other industries to be added over time.
- Access actionable intelligence. Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain supports automatic validation and reconciliation of configurable business rules, enabling you to instantly identify errors and fix them before they escalate into big problems. Automated dashboards and reporting put key order metrics at your fingertips, while comprehensive analytics and data based on community transactions provide the information you need to benchmark against KPIs, drive improvement, and consistently deliver the perfect order. Real-time visibility gives you and your customers a shared view of the truth, aligning expectations on contractual terms and pricing and helping you make better-informed decisions together.
How do I get started?
Your customers who adopt Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain will invite you to use the solution and explain their preferred onboarding process. Simply follow the guidelines they provide to get up and running quickly.
Additional solution capabilities will be introduced in the coming months, so visit this web page often to check out new developments and see how Ariba Collaborative Supply Chain can help you achieve the perfect order.
[i] Source: Viewpoint Commentary