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Spot buys—the non-sourced, non-contracted purchases that represent as much as 32% of your company’s spend—create a conflicting set of challenges that can make them tough to manage. On the one hand, your employees want purchasing flexibility along with access to a broad selection of goods and services so they can buy what they need quickly and easily. On the other hand, your procurement organization wants greater visibility and control so they can optimize how and where these purchases are made.


The need for speed and choice typically wins out over careful management, causing organizations to lose out on opportunities for enhanced spend efficiency that could save an average of 7% or more.1 Yet Ariba® Spot Buy is changing all that. This unique cloud catalog gives you the best of both worlds: it allows your users to rapidly find and buy tactical, indirect spend items from right within your company’s procurement system, and it enables you to effectively track and manage your spot buy spend.


Experience the benefits: Take a test drive

Ariba Spot Buy is an included feature in all Ariba cloud procurement solutions, so if you use the on-demand version of Ariba Procure-to-Pay, Ariba Procure-to-Order, or Ariba Procurement Content, you can simply turn it on and start using it. Or you can get a taste of Ariba Spot Buy by trying it out first in your test realm, where it’s ready and waiting for a trial run. This option lets you (and any users you invite) gain hands-on familiarity with how Ariba Spot Buy works without actually creating live transactions. It also provides a sneak peek into how Ariba Spot Buy can help take your spend management success to a whole new level, allowing you to:


  • Maximize compliance through convenient, consumerized purchasing. With rich catalog content drawn from hundreds of qualified, pre-enabled suppliers, Ariba Spot Buy provides direct access to a huge selection of the goods you need to effectively run your business. Simple navigation and familiar, easy-to-use functionality help users find what they need fast, without having to search through external sites and stores, deal with payment cards, or file expense reports.


  • Gain control over tactical spend. When it comes to tactical purchases, ensuring that users comply with corporate policies can be difficult. But when they shop through Ariba Spot Buy, you gain the same visibility and control over user access, price thresholds, workflow rules, and approvals that you normally have only for strategic spend. Ariba Spot Buy also gives your procurement team the tools they need to filter content and monitor usage.


  • Strengthen your supply chain without effort or expense. You don’t have to negotiate contracts with Ariba Spot Buy suppliers or develop and maintain catalogs. We take care of all that for you by curating, vetting, and setting up suppliers ahead of time. That means the moment you turn on Ariba Spot Buy, you gain instant, on-demand access to a vast new source of trusted business supply. And the longer you use it the greater choice you have, as we continue to add high-quality, vetted suppliers to the catalog.


  • Cut costs and save time through quick catalog comparisons. Today’s users often like to shop around for the best options and value when they purchase the items they need. Ariba Spot Buy’s Item Compare capability lets them do it all in one place, pulling up items identical or similar to what they search for in company catalogs so they can compare price, delivery time, and other details that help them make optimal buying decisions fast. And with multiple options from Ariba Spot Buy’s millions of live listings—at prices often 10-50% lower than those in existing catalogs—there’s no need to spend time on “three bids and a buy,” since Item Compare lets them instantly find the lowest cost and fastest delivery.


  • Improve user satisfaction and compliance. You can help your employees capitalize on the smart shopping of other users by using Ariba Spot Buy Display Lanes to show items they’ve recently purchased. Or you can guide their choices by showing high-value, low-cost, or other preferred products you specifically want to promote, including items previously unavailable in your company catalogs that employees typically buy externally. This tells them they can find what they want within your procurement system, making it more likely they’ll shop in a compliant way in the future.


  • Streamline and consolidate your tail spend. By driving tactical, indirect purchases into your procurement system, Ariba Spot Buy provides the visibility you need to identify buying demand signals of high-value purchasing that could trigger a sourcing event. It can also help you track recurrent indirect spend purchases that previously appeared to be one-off or infrequent buys, so you can route them to proper channels and achieve greater savings.


The bottom line: by adding Ariba Spot Buy to your sourcing and catalog strategy, you can maximize spend under management, drive significant savings, and provide signals into buying demand that lead to better sourcing opportunities, pushing your procurement success to a whole new level.


Take the next step today

To get additional information about Ariba Spot Buy, check out the web page and watch the “Introducing Ariba Spot Buy” video. You can also request support from our team to help you get a taste of Ariba Spot Buy, or delve into greater detail by listening to our “Reining in Tail Spend with Spot Buy Purchasing” webinar.



1 “Spot Buy Software: A Modern Approach to Managing Tail Spend,” The Hackett Group, 26 April 2016.