Halloween is a truly unique holiday. It’s the only time of year where you can dress up as anything you want and get candy for doing so. For some people, the costumes and themes of the holiday can be a little scary. For others, it’s a fun day full of tricks and treats. In the same way, joining Ariba® Network can be a little like Halloween for suppliers. Some suppliers may see it as a hayride, while others think it’s a haunted house.
I myself am not a fan of being scared. You’ll never find me watching a horror movie or going through a corn maze. When I was little, I would forgo the king-sized candy bar if it meant I had to walk through a haunted house to get it. I would rather walk up to a house that had a cute pumpkin and get a dinky Tootsie Roll than be frightened at a spooky house for a full-size Twix…and I love Twix! The fear of Ariba Network fees can give suppliers a similar feeling: they worry so much about the cost that they lose sight of the potential rewards.
As a young trick-or-treater, I always enjoyed going to the festive neighborhoods. Every town has these neighborhoods—you know, the ones where all the houses decorate, and they usually hand out the fancy chocolate. It was worth going a little out of the way to hit the jackpot in treats. And because more houses were passing out candies, you could score higher amounts of candy in less time. Paying supplier fees is a lot like going to one of these neighborhoods. Sure, it takes some extra resources, but the added value you get—like greater visibility to buyers, streamlined order and invoice processes, stronger customer relationships, and faster business growth—makes it more than worth it.
After scoring big in candy, my favorite part of trick-or-treating was dumping out my goodies at the end of the night. My siblings and I would sit together and sort through our stash. We traded things we didn’t care for in return for our favorites until everyone was happy with their treats. And the candy corn and Necco wafers went in the trash (pro tip: don’t be the person who hands out candy corn or Necco wafers, because no one likes those people—but I digress). It was a very collaborative evening for us. This process is very much like how Ariba Network helps buyers and suppliers collaborate with each other, enabling them to negotiate back and forth until everyone gets what they want. And when they need backup, the same way we’d ask our mom “Should I eat this popcorn ball?” they can get tips from a Commerce Assistance consultant to help things run more smoothly or answer questions like “How do I find buyers ready to buy?” Collaboration makes the whole experience better.
As Halloween approaches, I reflect on how I’ve matured over the years. Instead of being frightened by Halloween, I look forward to it as a fun holiday full of treats and thrills. The same goes for suppliers. As they move up the e-commerce maturity curve, they focus on the benefits Ariba Network gives them rather than freaking out over fees. It’s not so scary anymore, just like Halloween is not so spooky to me!