I would be interested to know how are other Ariba Sourcing users address the issue of training suppliers invited to respond to an RFP who are first time Ariba users. What best practices are out there. The reason for raising this issue is because there are still a large number of companies that have not used Ariba. This is particularly true in regions like Asia, where langauge barriers can add another level of difficulty. We have very limited resources in house. project owners have multiple responsibilites and to achieve the ROI on our Ariba solution and the efficiency leveles we promised we can afford task the project owners with holding supplier training sessions. We notice that a considerable number of suppliers decline to participate in our RFP due to lack of familiarity with the tool or, if they participate, they are not comfortable directing all communication and the entire proposal submission through the tool. This impacts the efficiency rates that we were expecting to achieve from use of Ariba as opposed to the traditional word and excel spreadsheet method.
I know that there are some companies out there that are still using the old method (from the time when eRFXs were pionered), that is holding training sessions for suppliers invited to RFp or setting up training events. As I said, this require a significant amount of resources, in my opinion.
Also, I found that some suppliers do not use or do not find the training videos very useful. Besides, to get to the guides and help menus you need to log in first and sometimes they can't even pass that stage and won't usually look for Help and guides once they are in as they are overwhelmed by RFP content, pre-requisites etc.
One solution that I considered is to be able to attach some supplier user guides that I developed myself with screenshots and a login user guide to the invitation email. That way the supplier would get not only the link to the event/password reset but also a quick guide that at least will help him go through the first steps. The problem is that the email templates available in Ariba do not seem to accomodate that. This is also true with email messaging during an RFP where messages composed from Ariba do not go out with attachments. As a result, we still get a lot of calls from suppliers after we publish the event (in spite of "heads-up" emails we sent suppliers before publishing the RFP) and we end up doing a lot of micro-managing around RFP that eliminates any efficiencies we might have achieved.
I am interested in any other ideas, workarounds, best practices.