Roles and Responsibilities



Program Management (Lead Role)


Oversee supplier enablement program

  • Ensure internal processes and procedures are being followed
  • Define escalation path for non-compliant internal users
  • Define escalation path for non-complaint suppliers
  • Define reporting/score card requirements – provide information to management weekly, monthly, etc.
  • Ensure proper resources are in place, trained and have clear direction on responsibilities
  • Define testing process for engaged suppliers
  • Define training process for engaged suppliers: who will be required to test with <<Customer>> and what will that process be?


AN Administration (Supporting Role)

  • Supplier relationship maintenance
    • Add suppliers needed outside of Ariba process: there may be times when you need to add a supplier to the Network based on a request internally or by a supplier but it needs to be done before the next scheduled wave.
    • Private ID maintenance
  • Ariba Network transaction rules, end user login accounts, general account settings
    • Maintain all purchase order and invoice rule changes
    • Create and maintain all user login accounts for specific roles
  • Reporting
    • Develop standard set of reporting on the Ariba Network for PO and Invoice specific reporting (score card feed)
    • Supplier Enablement Status: which suppliers are not complaint; which are ready to transact; etc.
  • Communication Maintenance
    • Supplier Portal: changes to portal messaging; updating attached documentation
    • Welcome Letter: changes to Welcome Letter sent to suppliers; (inviting them to the Ariba Network)
    • Supplier Upload Preparation: Prepare file for supplier uploads to the Ariba Network. This is a specific CSV template that must be used to upload/engage bulk lists of suppliers.
  • Training
    • Organize and deliver training sessions with suppliers as necessary
    • Organize and deliver training sessions for internal users (business process changes, Ariba Network responsibilities)
  • Testing
    • Ensure EDI, cXML and CSV suppliers have properly tested prior to moving to Production
    • Validate Invoices for exceptions or invoices that are consistently being rejected because of missing information
    • Communicate needed changes to suppliers
    • Re-Test when necessary
  • Go Live Preparation
    • Ensure internal process is completed to “turn suppliers on” in Production
    • This should be a documented process with IT involvement
  • Post Go Live
    • Monitor and enforce supplier compliance
    • Contact suppliers directly who are not in compliance
    • Engage individuals within <<Customer>> to assist with supplier compliance where necessary
    • Monitor and enforce internal compliance (invoice/payments are being approved in timely manner)


Accounts Payable


Supplier Selection

  • Pull listings from vendor master system for suppliers that are targeted to enable on the Ariba Network
    • Collaborate with other business units to ensure selected suppliers are correct. This could include Sourcing, Procurement and any other specific line of business that utilizes the suppliers goods/services.
    • Determine if the internal business process around PO’s and invoicing fit the Ariba process. There may be for example, contractual obligations that conflict with a process change at this time. This may need to be a supplier that is targeted at the time the contract is being renewed so that specific PO/Invoicing language can be added to the contract.


Data Collection

  • From the list of selected suppliers, determine what data is missing from the individual suppliers, (phone number, email address, fax numbers, contact names, etc.).
  • Obtain Contact/Address Information
    • Determine method to collect data (forms, phone calls, Ariba data collection team).
    • Contact suppliers with missing or outdated information.


Vendor Master Maintenance

  • Update Vendor Master Records – make changes to vendor master based on collected data.
  • Obtain updated W-9 forms where required.


Develop New Supplier Process

  • New suppliers should be added through a formal process. This puts in a layer of control over how many new suppliers are added or if employees should be using a preferred supplier (i.e. office supplies).
  • The goal is to control the amount of suppliers added to the system or if suppliers are added, the supplier is aware that PO/ Invoice process will be done through the Ariba Network from the start of the relationship.
  • Consider changes to contracts to include language on transaction over the Ariba Network.


Other Roles


IT Resource

  • There are times when there is a need for an IT resource who is familiar with the project to troubleshoot purchase orders and/or invoices. This is not a resource that is needed full time but needs to have some responsibility defined within their role.
  • EDI and cXML suppliers sometimes need a <<Customer>> IT resource to understand the validations performed within the back-end systems.


End User Training/Support

  • Depending on corporate policy and procedure, as new employees are hired for roles that support this program, standard training material and practices should be defined and implemented.
  • This process could be a defined as standard new hire training, for example.


Escalation Contacts

  • As processes are being defined, there needs to be a clear path of escalation. Although certain managers, (or higher) will not be using the system on a daily basis, they need to be aware of what their role is when contacted for supplier and transaction escalations.


Score Card Reporting

  • This role can potentially fit within a few different areas (AP, Procurement, Finance, IT). Depending on the process defined, what reporting facts will be delivered and who will receive the score card?


Next: Supplier Enablement - Skill Sets For Defining Future Roles

Previous: Getting your organization to fit properly with your supplier enablement program


Beverly Dunn is a Client Engagement Executive with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba Knowledge Nuggets.