24 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2011 12:52 PM by Ceylan Thomson

    Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?

    Henry Robinson Ariba Contributor

      Hello All!


      I am the new product manager for Ariba Discovery.  I'd love to hear your feedback, especially the things you LOVE and things you HATE.  We can't improve products that our customers are indifferent to, so please lay into us, good or bad!





        • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
          Karen Sherrill Novice

          Hello Henry,


          We would love to have the ability to control the "A Response to Your Business Opportunity Is Available!" notifications.  Many of the buyers have indicated that it is not necessary to receive a notfication for each and every supplier response.  This is especially true when the number of suppliers responses exceed 10 or more.




          The Ohio State University Medical Center

          Karen Sherrill

          • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
            Gerald Clarke Newbie

            Hi Henry,


            As a supplier coordinator I have the responsibility of determining which opportunities we respond to and how. I can tell you that responding to a posting that does not include a company name is of very little value to us, so would like to see both strong encouragment and best practices documentation that states to all buyer community members that if they want responses and want the initial response to be valuable to them, they need to include there company name.


            Regards, Gerald.

              • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                Henry Robinson Ariba Contributor

                Dear Gerald,


                I understand your frustration, but please consider the fact that some Buyers prefer to remain anonymous to not tip off their existing suppliers...or competitors.  That's a great idea for a new feature though...for suppliers to have the ability to feature on this aspect.





                • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                  tminahan Ariba Contributor



                  As a fellow marketeer, I share your desire to have full transparency. Yet, I also acknowledge that some buyers require initial anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the purchase or for competitive reasons. We are already seeing more transparent postings as buyers become more familiar with the Discovery service.


                  I wanted to respond to your request more directly around best-practices for buyers using Ariba Discovery.


                  In the latest edition of Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine, Stage Stores Sourcing Manager Chris Uriarte offers up the following best practices to maximize results on Ariba Discovery:


                  1. Make supplier requests specific
                  2. Include attachements as needed
                  3. Choose commodities carefully
                  4. Request itemized pricing
                  5. Ask for -- and check -- references
                  6. Assess professionalism
                  7. Use vendor ratings
                  8. Consider more than just price


                  I summarized the points. I have attached the full article for more specifics.


                  Hope this helps.



                • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                  Alexander de Vreede Newbie

                  Hi Henry,


                  What we love is the easy way to post an RFx to the Discovery from our own site. What we miss is the direct link between the posting on AD and the RFx in our system. Responses from suppliers end up in the general database without link to the RFx they are interested in. After enabling on our site, they still need to be manually added to the requested RFx.

                  And what we see is the situation that when a RFx is still pending approval for going live, the posting is already sent to AD. And maybe we are looking at the wrong place, but we can not see which RFx have been posted to AD from our site. It would help if a flag or other icon was visible in the overview when searching your RFx's. Also for management information it would help to be able to report about the effectiveness of posting RFx on AD compared to non-posted RFx's.


                  Love to discuss more about this, feel free to contact me (direct, or via our Account manager of Customer Success Manager).

                  Kind regards,


                  Alexander de Vreede,

                  NS / Dutch Railways.

                  • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                    Jenny Zuehlke Journeyman

                    Hi Henry.   Thanks for making Ariba Discovery so easy to use.  One suggestion for improvement--an option for the buyer to export responses to postings / questions so we could just forward them to the original requester without having to copy / paste responses into a spreadsheet or email. 






                    • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                      Ahmed Hassan Journeyman

                      Dear Sir ,

                      I think this business community , business experts ,sell and buy sites .

                      will allow businss move from traditional to modern , timely ,trusted and easy business process ,

                      Ariba is could be defined as " Business Facebook".

                      Discover winning world business  through single access point .

                      With Ariba ,the reality of B2B started .

                      Warm Regards ,

                      Ahmed Mohammed ,

                      Khartoum , Sudan .

                      B2B e-commerce spercialist .

                      • Re: The Business Signalling
                        Ahmed Hassan Journeyman



                        The reliability of business, 100% depends on guarantee that the message delivered plainly and well defined to the destination.

                        World Buyers and Suppliers are suffering much of  communication wording  .

                        Global business needs Comprehensive B.I system to cover human mistake.

                        Deep gratitdue ,


                        • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                          Chad Wise Ariba Employee



                          I've been a big proponent of Discovery since it came out, and have pushed many clients towards this tool.  However, the last few changes have made the product significantly less useful for me. 

                          For example, I'm doing several projects for lab supplies, lab chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.  These categories are almost always sourced through distributors....same for electrical supplies, MRO, etc. etc.  Now that we can no longer add a level 2 or 3 UNSPSC category(IE, Lab supplies) I now have to drill the whole way down to L4 categories, e.g. "micro-pipette bulbs." Unfortunately this means that I can no longer target the suppliers I'm looking for, unless the system can look "upwards" and still pull in the high level L2 cateogry. Same for pharmaceuticals; I can't select medicines, or even antibiotics...I have to select the exact antibiotic in order to add that category to my post.  This makes the tool ineffective for me, and I've had to resort to other resources.


                          The other piece that disappeared a while ago was the ability to search for suppliers; now we only have a "preview" of suppliers.  Unfortunately, with these two new "features" Discovery has become less useful to me, and I'm assuming, many other users in the community as well. 





                            • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                              Henry Robinson Ariba Contributor



                              Thanks for taking the time to respond in so much detail.  This is great feedback.


                              As you can imagine, it is quite difficult to balance the needs of Buyers vs. Sellers on Discovery.  There are definitely use cases where selecting at a level 4 makes the product challenging for buyers to use.  There are also situations where selecting a level 2 or 3 category will reek havoc with the seller community in the form of irrelevant emails.


                              Feedback like this will help us to further improve the matching engine. There are several things coming in the next few releases which will hopefully address this problem.  Don't hesitate to contact me if you have more feedback in the future!





                            • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                              Robert Bauer Journeyman

                              Dear Henry,


                              We are at this point absolutely not interested in making use of Ariba Discovery and hence see it in minimum as a nuisance that buyers get "confused" in the event creation and have to click an additional - for my taste hidden - button to invite the participants they consider.


                              What we hate though is the automatic posting of eIntros and related disclosure of information. In a relatively small business area it is not too complicated to guess who the purchaser is, which means that it is absolutely not anonymous.


                              It has to be up to to the client to decide on the use of Ariba Discovery/eIntros and may not come as hard-coded feature.


                              Best regards,


                              • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                Danielle Auretto Apprentice

                                Make the Discovery posting permission based so administrators can control this on the template and user level. This is not a useful tool for categories that we are trying to reduce our supply base - not expand it. By giving administrators the ability to roll this feature out based on our sourcing strategy is very important. It gives companies better control of training and sourcing strategy.


                                We train our users to have all their content and suppliers determined prior to creating an event. Introducing new suppliers during that event is counterproductive to our process. I can understand the use for this in requests for information but not in projects that collect pricing because a buyer should not be introducing suppliers to an auction or RFP without first vetting them - placing Discovery in the supplier page promotes a bad practice. Also remove the posting option (and more important eIntro's) if the project is a predecessor or marked with access controls intended to keep projects highly confidential.


                                I do not see the value of eIntro's - as a seller they do not give enough information and yet as a buyer they potentially could tip off suppliers in niche categories about projects they were intentionally not invited. I would really be interested in seeing responses from buyers and sellers that have found success in using this feature.


                                Having additional information on sellers is never a bad thing and there is value in Discovery. I am not yet convinced the approach used in the last release to so broadly and automatically deliver features within Discovery creates a scenario where the value outweighs the risk to buyers.

                                • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                  John Mooney Novice

                                  Hello Henry,


                                  What I find most frustrating about the latest Discovery changes is the new fee structure.  We responded to 35 inquiries in one month and not one was actually awarded.  On the low end it would have cost our company $2,100 to respond to all of them and not one was awarded to anyone that responded.  I called and asked if the fee would be refunded on non-award opportunities and was told no.  We have since stopped responding to any opportunities but have been offered to have the fee waived on at least one bid opportunity.  We have now received a 30% off coupon for responses we submit by July 15.  It seems that others feel the same way about the new structure - just not worth the money.  I am sure the structure will stay until buyers start to complain that they no longer are receiving responses.  It seems that the new Discovery fee structure will certainly curtail the number of responses buyers receive.  Maybe that is what the goal is but if I were a buyer I would want to be able to choose from as many options as possible. It looks like the only ones who are going to benefit is Ariba.  Ariba will make money on the new structure but it will hurt everyone else until all suppliers stop responding.  It has already hurt the buyers because I have seen many opportunities end without a single response where before the fees the buyer had 50 suppliers responding.


                                  Just my opinion.

                                    • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                      Ceylan Thomson Ariba Contributor

                                      Dear John,


                                      Thanks for your comment. We appreciate your feedback and would like to reach out to you by phone to discuss your concerns in more detail.


                                      We are committed to helping you find and connect with real decision-makers looking to buy your products and services, and many sellers find Ariba Discovery to be an efficient and cost-effective marketing and sales channel. Together with the recent pricing changes, we added several features to help sellers better market themselves; for example: enhanced seller profile and dashboard management capabilities, leads viewed, company watch lists, alerts, and activity reporting to track the bidding progress. In addition to making use of the features, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of getting business on Ariba Discovery, including keeping your profile up-to-date, choosing the right commodity levels, and providing the information requested by the buyer. We would be glad to walk you through these tools and help you craft responses that get your target buyers' attention. You can also find quite a few demos and user guides on our website that you might find useful.


                                      The whole team at Ariba Discovery is working hard to further improve your experience, especially in regards to buyer feedback to seller responses. Thanks again for making the time to provide your thoughts. We'll be in touch shortly!



                                      • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                        CRWise Newbie

                                        I'm one of the people that's no longer seeing replies.  I'm legacy Ariba, and had used Discovery with great success for the last few years for multiple clients.  I've recently moved to a new consulting firm and published my first Discovery posting.  On average I used to recieve 10 responses within the first 48 hours.  In the first 72, for a major category with over $15M in spend(went out 3500 suppliers) I've received...drum roll please...Zero.  Please let me know when the fee structure is changed to something reasonable; until that time I'm resorting back to my old friends at Google.

                                          • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                            Ceylan Thomson Ariba Contributor

                                            Hi CRWise,


                                            Thanks for sharing your feedback. Interaction on Ariba Discovery is always two-sided. Postings will be successful when buyer and seller motivations are aligned and both sides get what they want. Buyers have a certain amount of control over the success of their posting. For example, providing the right information in the posting, promptly responding to sellers’ questions, and giving all respondents a sense of closure are important factors that will have an impact on the posting’s success.


                                            The number of responses you will get can depend on how the posting was written. Try to provide as much information as possible and let sellers know exactly what kind of information you’re looking for in their response. It helps if you respond to each seller’s message by providing at least some simple feedback – whether or not you are interested in working with them. Awarding or short-listing sellers on Ariba Discovery also makes a difference. Sellers will be more likely to respond to your postings if they see you have taken action in the past.


                                            The number of responses you will get can also depend on the commodities you’re looking for. Certain commodities attract more seller responses than others. If we see a buyer posting that provides sufficient information has received few seller responses, we usually have customer service reach out to matching sellers to encourage them to respond.


                                            Ariba Discovery is a new service that is changing the way buyers and sellers conduct commerce. Our team is exploring different options and concepts in order to find the ones best suited for buyers and sellers worldwide. We will continue to consider tweaking our service, including features like the recently launched seller response fee structure, to ensure that Ariba Discovery provides the utmost value to both buyers and sellers in our community.


                                            - Ceylan

                                        • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                          Jim Tallman Newbie



                                          Is it possible to edit or establish more specific commodity types.  We have a specialized marketing services business that does positioning, messaging and value proposition work, and related research, for business-to-business clients.  All of the marketing commodity-type categories are very broad, and I don't think we'll ever be found for the specific type of work we do.




                                          - Jim

                                            • Re: Discovery Feedback: How are we doing?
                                              Ceylan Thomson Ariba Contributor

                                              Hi Jim,


                                              Thanks for your feedback. We are working with several 3rd parties on creating a classification system that is more consumer- and small business-friendly. These companies have worked with large enterprises like eBay to develop their classification systems. If you are interested in helping us with the classification, we would be glad if you wanted to join our seller design panel. It's a group of seller customers we interact with to get their feedback and insights regarding changes to our site. If you're interested in joining, please email Henry Robinson at hrobinson@ariba.com