8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2010 11:11 AM by Patrick Lewis

    In what order were your modules implemented?

    Sybil Sheppard Master

      We are looking for a "best practice" about the order in which the Ariba modules should be implemented (specifically Supplier, Sourcing, and Contracts).  What has worked for you, and what hasn't?

       

      Thanks!

        • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
          tminahan Master

          "Sybil"

           

          You raise an intriguing question. And one that I would get quite often when I was an analyst and consultant. The reality is that there are (at least) two answers: the academic and the pragmatic.

           

          The academic answer to your question is as follows:

          • Start with Spend Analysis to gain concise understanding of your company's spending, identify areas of leverage, and to prioritize your strategic sourcing roadmap.
          • Next, use Strategic Sourcing software to execute against this roadmap in the most efficient and effective way possible by automating standard sourcing procedures, creating highly competitive yet flexible bidding environments, and analyzing multiple scenarios to determine the best-value award allocation.
          • Finally, ensure that you are speeding execution and achieving compliance with your best-value agreements through the use of Contract Management software. And, in the best of cases, establish a Supplier Performance program to drive continuous improvements.

           

          Yet, more often than not, companies take a more pragmatic view. One focused on getting high-profile measurable results first. And then using these to secure buy-in and to even fund the remainder of the investment. This pragmatic approach is as follows:

          • Start with Strategic Sourcing to quickly secure measurable savings for the company and individual business units. Some companies are savvy (bold?) enough to pick high profile spend categories -- such as consulting, testing, print, or travel -- to demonstrate that even the "un-specable" spend categories can be e-auctioned...or, at least, can benefit from a more structured and automated RFx process.
          • Use savings from initial Strategic Sourcing program to fund investments in complementary solution/process areas, such as Spend Visibility to identify the next wave of sourcing savings, or Contract Management to ensure that the savings and value negotiated through the sourcing process hits the bottom line.

           

          Which answer is right for your company really depends on your business philosophy. Does you company have a history of funding larger-scale projects so long as the business plan is solid? If so, than the academic approach is probably your best tack. Yet, if your company more apt to make bets on smaller, quick-return investments that prove out a concept, then the pragmatic technique is probably the better course. The good news: both approaches will drive measurable value for your comapany; despite taking different paths to get there.

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            • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
              Sybil Sheppard Master

              Thank you for your response!  Outside of our business objectives, is there one way over another that is better/requires less rework in the previously implemented modules?  We implemented Contracts first because we were migrated off of Procuri, then Sourcing because there was a need.  Looking back, and now that our Supplier/Organization records are a mess, we are wondering if we implemented out of order or if we would have experienced these same growing pains regardless of the route we took.  Thoughts?

                • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
                  Sharon Horton, PMP Master

                  Sybil,  I don't think you migrated out of order, per se.  We see implementations in many different orders, which may also include Ariba's "downstream" modules (e.g Procure to Pay).  The most important thing to consider here though is a more holistic approach to supplier management.  Certainly sourcing should not be willy-nilly adding new suppliers without considering that a supplier may already exist.  Contracts should do the same . . . Using the tools available to manage a supplier in multiple modules will help with this as well as the Supplier Information Management module which centralizes the supplier on-boarding process.  However, even without SIM, you can still prevent the "mess" by process, training and consolidation.  There are numerous ways to accomplish this including centralizing the approval process to a few Supplier Managers (global group) able to approve suppliers with many Supplier Agents able to create and request new supplier records.  Also note that both the Supplier Profile and the Supplier Profile Questionnaire need to be centrally managed in order to maintain consistency while providing for the information needs of each module.

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                    • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
                      Sybil Sheppard Master

                      Thanks Sharon!

                       

                      Your response was helpful.  We've talked in great detail about centralizing with a Supplier team, but our Sourcing team has great concern over the length of time it will take for a supplier to get added if it's coming from another team.  They don't want to have to wait for an approval from another group to get their RFx's out...and while it's certainly not a best practice, sometimes we have to get an RFI or RFP out within 24 hrs.  Do you know how other organizations handle what could be a serious delay in getting new suppliers in?

                        • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
                          Sharon Horton, PMP Master

                          Where we've seen this most successfully used, there are several people who can enter/approve suppliers - maybe 3 or 4 people.  This group gets an email notice when a supplier needs to be approved, then checks for duplicates, verifies the supplier information, and then approves the supplier.  From there, the group might have a service level of a 4 hour response.  As long as one of several people can approve, this satisfies sourcing people who need to get their events going.

                          • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
                            Patrick Lewis Journeyman

                            Hi Sybil. We just came across a solution that can accomodate both the need to collect a wealth of data for supplier management and a quick process to engage new suppliers.

                             

                            As you know, we already have a two-phase SPQ consisting of Registration (core information) and Enrollment (generic RFx information).

                            We were recently informed that questions from the SPQ can be incorporated into RFx questionnaires. This leads to a nice hybrid solution:

                             

                            1. Registration via the SPQ only takes about 10 minutes to complete (should make the Sourcing folks happy)
                            2. Enrollment questions are available via the Sourcing Library to incorporate into RFx questionnaires

                             

                            Any SPQ questions used in an RFx questionnaire will populate the SPQ as well!

                             

                            Results: 10 minutes to for suppliers to "walk through the door" and the ability to seamlessly collect additional SPM data "behind the scenes" during RFx events.

                             

                            Also, it can be a good idea to remind folks from time-to-time about the value of slowing down a bit to perform effective supplier management and due-diligence. I know of one manufacturer that is about to "go under" and I can only wonder if their customers know that their supply of parts is about to quickly dry up. I can only imagine the downstream costs to those customers and the scramble to find a new source of parts.

                    • Re: In what order were your modules implemented?
                      Patrick Lewis Journeyman
                      1. Half of SIM (Supplier Profile Questionnaire)
                      2. Contracts (in process)
                      3. Sourcing (in process)
                      4. 2nd Half of SIM (TBD)
                      5. Other TBD modules