10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2009 3:26 PM by Joe Fox

    Vendor Master Management

    Newbie

      Does anyone outsource new vendor adds and vendor master maintenance?  A few challenges my company has are duplicate vendors, TIN matching, obtaining W-9's and a smooth 1099 process at year-end and would like to hear from those who have a good process for managing these.  Thanks!

        • Re: Vendor Master Management
          Joe Fox Expert

          Todd,

           

            Thank you for the posting.  I'm curious to see what other customers have done to work to resolve these kinds of issues.  I'm the Solution Owner for Financial Solutions and Ariba Network Solutions.  I'd be interested in other problems customers having with Vendor Master Management.  The reason is our team is currently designing a Vendor Master Management product to be released by Ariba in the future and any insights, challenges or thoughts from the customer community would be very helpful in our design.

           

            Our current requirements and challenges that we are looking to solve include the ones you have provided.  Please let me know if you would like to have a call to discuss in more detail.

           

          Regards,

          Joe

            • Re: Vendor Master Management
              Newbie

              Hi Joe,

               

              Yes I would like to talk to you more about this future Ariba functionality.  Shoot me an email at todd.kimpton@jmfamily.com with some availability you have over the next couple weeks and we'll try to find a time for a call.

               

              Thanks!

              • Re: Vendor Master Management
                David Heller Expert
                Joe - I'm interested in this as well. The person on my team that is responsible for our vendor master solutions is Helene Harris. Helene can be reached at helene.a.harris@hp.com. I'm at david.heller@hp.com. Looking forward to hearing what Ariba has in store.  
                • Re: Vendor Master Management
                  Keith York Apprentice

                  Joe - David Heller responded briefly for HP and I suspect Helene will reply at some point with more specific information.  I can tell you, however, our biggest challenges lie in a few areas.

                   

                  1.  We work very closely with D&B to help classify our vendors into an appropriate hierarchy.  Even with that, however, we still have far too many situations where we have many instances of the same supplier at the 'top' level.  We've gone further to implement an excruciating (my word) manual process to resolve that problem - but given that it's manual we can only focus on the top 150 or so suppliers.  Not acceptable to our user community for obvious reasons.

                   

                  2.  That same hierarchy is not represented eloquently throughout the Ariba upstream suite. Several examples:

                  • We need to be able to invite supplier users to sourcing events, and write contracts at lower levels in the hierarchy.  We need to be able to execute SPM surveys and scorecards at the highest level in the hierarchy. It's very difficult to setu the system to do both.
                  • We need contract compliance to work across multiple instances of a supplier, even though the contract may have been written specifically against only one vendor number.
                  • We want to do our Supplier 360 reporting (cool functionality) at any level in the hierarchy - but most frequently at the top level.  OOB the system doesn't support any hierarchy in that functionality, rendering it unusable for us.

                   

                  Hope that helps with some specific info.  As David said, please keep us in the loop as you make any progress in that area.

                   

                  Keith

                    • Re: Vendor Master Management
                      Joe Fox Expert

                      Keith,

                       

                        This is very helpful.  We will gather more during the call we have scheduled.  I'll be following up this thread over time with some of the themes that come out of our initial investigation so we as a "Community" can drill down on some of the key areas of features and functionality and some of the top problem areas cusotmers are looking to solve.

                       

                      Looking forward to the call.

                       

                      Regards,

                      Joe

                  • Re: Vendor Master Management
                    ttobey Apprentice
                    Here at Lincoln Financial Group we also did not have a great place to store and manage vendor master data. The transactional style of Eforms did not seem like a good fit for the more CRM style of vendor management (constant updating to records). We are using a SQL server backend with a homegrown application currently to manage not only the vendor data, but a large portion of the other Ariba CSV "feeder files." We've had it as an open issue for a long time to improve this - get it into a web app., etc. Our company would be interested in what Ariba is doing in the area of a new tool for both vendor management and any CSV feeder file that comes along and needs a place to "live" (commodity files, master address file, security/permissions files). Thanks! -Tom Tobey  Thomas.Tobey@LFG.com
                    • Re: Vendor Master Management
                      Joe Fox Expert

                      Great, I'll send you a meeting maker for next week so we can discuss live.

                       

                      My team and I are in the process of collecting key challenges with this function so we will have a bunch of questions for you.  We will share our current thinking about the product.

                      • Re: Vendor Master Management
                        Joe Fox Expert

                        My team and I had a great call with a customer today to discuss the key challenges they are facing with Vendor Master Management.  We are looking forward to additional conversations scheduled and to hear from many more customers on the top challenges they face with this business process and their current technologies.

                         

                        Thanks to all for participating in this dialog on the Ariba Exchange.

                          • Re: Vendor Master Management
                            ttobey Apprentice

                            Thanks Joe for the great call. I'll probably communicate back to you several times as issues come up. I just wanted to re-iterate something that I said on the call because I'm thinking about it now. De-activating a supplier location is tough especially if there is a high volume. Transactions in process fail. It would be good to add a "Scheduled to inactivate" boolean to the location. We could do this ourselves of course (and we may in the interim) but it just makes so much sense to add this to the core. Then perhaps it would be good to add that as a property to the nametable controller so that customers can decide at which point they want to stop seeing that supplier location (requisition, invoice, ir, settlement, etc.). This type of scheduled to inactivate functionality might also be useful on other objects as well (cost centers, etc.) - so perhaps it should be architected higher up.

                            Thanks!

                            -TNT