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Top 6 Ways to Engage Sustainable Sourcing for SMBs

Top 6 Ways to Engage Sustainable Sourcing for SMBs

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Summary: Sustainable sourcing has become a consumer and investor expectation which impacts businesses not only morally and ethically, but alters customer loyalty, price point, risk level, and more. Because SMBs make up the vast majority of global businesses, the combined global impact of ethical choices can alter the course of history as long as businesses take steps toward responsible procurement environmentally, socially, and economically.

Sustainable sourcing is at the forefront of planning efforts for many businesses as climate change and consumer expectations offer a clearer and clearer call to action. As SAP Ariba Live and the coordinating Sustainability Summitfast approach, businesses of all sizes prepare to learn how to further augment and optimize their approach to sustainability in the supply chain.

There are benefits to businesses outside of morality and ethics as it pertains to responsible procurement and sustainable sourcing.

On the financial front, sustainable product sales have risen nearly 20% since 2014 and sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) have a CAGR of 3.5%, almost four times that of conventional products. Another point for the bottom line—Millennials and Gen Z are more inclined to buy sustainable and ethical products devoid of harmful chemicals and which support social responsibility, with 73% and 72% respectively willing to pay additional costs for products that meet these requirements, according to Nielsen. Additional customer loyalty and increased prices can make a major difference to an SMB’s growth. And it’s not just consumers who expect transparency and sustainability—investors are increasingly on the lookout for responsible practices within the companies they choose to support.

Government initiatives are another reason to pursue sustainable sourcing, because many places around the globe offer incentives for responsible action. Similarly, avoidance of legal trouble and hefty fines is a byproduct of ethical decision-making in the procurement process. Because many unsavory practices hide in complex supply chains, opting for transparent sourcing platforms can help SMBs avoid unexpected compliance issues.

SAP Ariba, through their Procure With a Purpose campaign, supports the full list of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include basic rights and expectations such as access to clean water and food, elimination of poverty, gender equality, education, and responsible consumption and production. In order to achieve these goals and many others along similar lines, SAP Ariba focuses on three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental—all of which can guide the process for SMBs who seek to practice sustainable sourcing.

Society

Social sustainability refers to human and workplace rights, while social ethicality often refers to supplier diversity and similar measures. According to the speaker at the 2019 Sustainability Summit, Givewith CEO Paul Polizzotto:

“Society is demanding businesses change the way they operate by acting more sustainably and with greater transparency – all while generating a positive impact on the world. There’s an incredible opportunity for procurement teams to amplify their organization’s impact, not only by prioritizing ethical suppliers butby sourcing from suppliers who add social impact sales incentives into these transactions to drive even greater change.”

  1. Transparency, not slavery

With more than 40 million slaves worldwide, it is important to expect transparency from all members of a supply chain, all the way to the original source. Transparency is the enemy of unsavory practices such as slave labor and is an important first step in any sustainable supply chain. SMBs can require risk assessments and reports on working conditions, even through trusted third parties, in order to reduce the chance that slave labor is part of any step in the creation of their products.

  1. Engage diversity

By working with historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) and minority-owned businesses, SMBs are able to opt for ethical business decisions that help the world economy as a whole.

Economy

Approximately 50% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. By supporting sustainable practices in businesses who pay workers a living wage, SMBs can impact poverty worldwide.

  1. Support economic growth in underserved communities

By choosing procurement processes which support indigenous workers and other underserved communities, wealth is spread and business grows symbiotically in tandem with one another. Single origin products can help ensure fair exchange of funds for exports from indigenous regions, but this is only one method to engage this practice.

  1. Verify risk levels for fair labor practices

Because poverty is an issue that spans the globe, SMBs can use a risk management platform to help ensure they do not support forced labor or child labor and to verify that all workers receive a decent, sustainable, living wage for the time they put in—and that the hours expected of them are similarly sane. The Ariba Network and platforms built upon it such as the Premikati Marketplaceintegrate supplier risk management software to avoid pitfalls such as this.

Environment

We often hear of large enterprises which take on environmental issues. For example, L’Oreal and McDonalds have opted to nix deforestation from their commodity supply chains. Similarly, Danone—maker of Evian water—has been developing a new, more sustainable and recyclable makeup for plastic bottles to help eliminate the pollution crisis. However, SMBs can have a substantial impact on the environment by simply choosing to work only with sustainable suppliers.

  1. Cut out toxins

Choose suppliers who elect not to use toxic and ozone-depleting substances in order to reduce pollution as well as hazards to workers and even consumers. As demand wanes, suppliers will be forced to change their processes—and those who were ethical and responsible from the outset are rewarded.

  1. Say “no” to waste

In a world overrun by pollution on land and at sea, sustainability as it pertains to wasteis a must. Ways SMBs can apply this to their own sustainable procurement process include choosing suppliers who:

  • Limit unnecessary packaging materials
  • Create recyclable products
  • Utilize recycled products in the creation of their own products
  • Create reusable products
  • Offer products which can be repaired rather than thrown away
  • Use environmentally-friendly, renewable materials in production such as bamboo

Considering SMBs with less than 500 employees account for 99.7%of employers in the US, the power held by businesses of this size is formidable. By functioning in unison, SMBs have immense sway over the state of both business and the world we live in. It is through this majority power share that GPO platforms such as ourPremikati Marketplace—powered by SAP Ariba—offer a truly actionable opportunity for SMBs to engage sustainable sourcing practices and become stewards of our future, all the while saving time and money.

intelligent spend management

What is Intelligent Spend Management?

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Intelligent Spend Management: Why it Exists, and Why you Need it

Between global sourcing initiatives, product lifecycle management, supplier diversity milestones and more, the procurement operation in any sizable company is tasked with processing immense volumes of data.

And with the immense popularity of lean and tech-oriented skill sets in the discipline, no data is more relevant to procurement than the things that impacts company spend.

The Problem: Data Islands

Often, supply chain data is kept on systems that don’t talk with each other. Some systems may be deprecated, while others exist only on certain peoples’ machines.

In operations like this, the company is said to lack something called business intelligence– the ability to efficiently analyze data with technology and derive actionable information.

Introducing business intelligence to a company typically involves change management processes with long time horizons, affecting the bottom line. The growing pains required to become a business intelligence-enabled company may require a major culture shift, too, even while dropping large amounts of money on new ERP systems and consultants.

For those procurement operations that do have all their data efficiently accessible in one place, they’ve still only achieved half the battle. Approaching the data with informatics, or the science of how to use data, poses another challenge altogether.

Intelligent Spend Management: How it Works

Thankfully, for small and medium-sized procurement operations, it doesn’t take a reverse auction guru, enterprise software wiz, and sourcing strategist all in one to enhance the unit’s business intelligence with technology. The traditional methods of enhancing business intelligence have been tailored for procurement professionals in a new, simplified process called Intelligent Spend Management.

First and foremost, Intelligent Spend Management (ISM) streamlines your software suite into a centralized hub. From there, ISM allows the supply chain professional to anticipate threats, understand their market, and work across business units to deliver efficiencies that were virtually impossible before.

SAP Ariba, the most comprehensive ISM software suite, generates more data from across the source-to-pay cycle than any other network. As the company website notes, “SAP Ariba’s vast repository of data has been aggregated from millions of companies conducting trillions of dollars in spend over the course of more than 20 years.”

Thanks to the flexibility of SAP Ariba, third-party solutions and custom flexibility can be easily integrated into the software. Efficiency-oriented solutions like Premikati Marketplace fit squarely into the suite without disruption to the end user.

Intelligent Spend Management: Starting the Conversation

With any change management process, the business needs executive buy-in for the initiative to be truly successful. Achieving that buy-in can be a challenge to procurement professionals, who may face pushback for introducing disruptive, new ideas.

Thanks to the presence of consulting companies specializing in the process, like Premikati, the conversations over how best to introduce ISM to one’s own business can take place in a guided, easy-to-understand manner.

Intelligent spend management is as much a philosophical approach to the procurement operation as it is a function of corporate business intelligence. Reach out to the folks at Premikati, who offer an SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution, to start the intelligent spend conversation.

the SMB digital transformation challenge

The SMB Digital Transformation Challenge

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The SMB Digital Transformation Challenge: Why SMBs Have Typically Been Digital Laggards in Procurement

While essentially every company could benefit from digital transformation — whereby they adopt digital technologies and processes to improve everything from customer experience to IT efficiency — many organizations have yet to fully embrace this change. In particular, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) typically lag large enterprises (LE) in digital transformation, particularly for procurement functions.

SMB Roadblocks
The reason why SMBs lag larger competitors often relates to the size of an enterprise. For example, a survey of mid-sized business IT professionals, conducted by Spiceworks and sponsored by CenturyLink, found that the top roadblocks to digital transformation include:

  • Budget
  • Limited time and staff
  • Competing IT priorities
  • Resistance from end-users and internal decision makers
  • Limited skill and expertise

As this list indicates, some of the top roadblocks are tied to the resources that an organization has. And in general, larger companies have more resources. As such, digital transformation becomes more attainable as budgets increase and when employees aren’t as stretched for time.

For procurement, a lack of resources means that SMBs often cannot invest in the technology necessary to obtain visibility into spend and streamline buying processes. Procurement activities at many companies tend to be decentralized and manual, leaving organizations without the insights needed to improve in this area.

Still, these challenges are by no means limited to SMBs, it just tends to get easier as companies gain more resources. A global survey of procurement and operational leaders at companies of varying size, conducted by the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt with support from SAP Ariba™ ,found that 83% of respondents think digital transformation will be impactful but only 5% already have highly automated processes. Similarly, the survey found that data/analytics quality is the largest roadblock to more efficiency, followed by budget restrictions.

How SMBs Can Improve Digital Transformation in Procurement 

While finding the budget and convincing internal stakeholders to adopt procurement technologies may be difficult, change can be cost-effective in the long run.

For example, research from The Hackett Group finds thatdigital transformation helps typical procurement groups reduce process costs by 30%. The research also finds that top procurement groups have lower labor costs and staff levels than their peers, and they improve efficiency by standardizing and automating routine tasks.

This means that SMBs don’t necessarily need to add additional employees to keep up with competitors, but they can instead leverage technology and digital processes to become more efficient with the resources they do have.

Fortunately, procurement technology is also becoming more readily available for SMBs, whereas in the past, procurement platforms tended to be priced at a level that only large companies could afford. Now, SMBs can implement systems that allow them to move from using paper-based supplier catalogs or ordering from disparate websites to centralized marketplaces. Doing so enables employees to find all the items they’re looking for in one place online, much the way they shop for items in e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay in their personal lives.

By centralizing purchasing activities, SMBs then get the added benefit of gaining visibility into their spending, particularly the small tail spend purchases that would otherwise be hard to track. Doing so enables companies to find cost savings such as by identifying unnecessary spend and implementing cost controls so that employees stay within budget.

Digital transformation in procurement doesn’t have to be overly complex, but by moving purchasing activities onto centralized platforms, SMBs can gain the insights and set the controls they need to improve efficiency. Moreover, SMBs can link digital procurement activities into the rest of their digital transformation, such as by sourcing digital-minded suppliers that can provide added value to other functions.

To learn more about how SMBs can embrace and improve digital transformation in procurement affordably, explore Premikati Marketplace, a solution that runs on the SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing Technology at a price geared toward SMBs. You can also get in touch with us for more detail.

 

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

supplier diversity

Supplier Diversity: How it Improves Business, and How it Works

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Supplier Diversity: How it Improves Business, and How it Works

Diverse spend is an ongoing goal for companies large and small alike. For government contractors and their subcontractors along the supply chain, the goal of supplier diversity can even stand as a requirement to doing business.

Exacerbating the search for diverse spend, suppliers often don’t even realize their potential to benefit from formal recognition of their diverse supplier qualities.

Supplier diversity can therefore feel like an onerous goal at times, imposed on supply chain professionals and business owners who already face manifold compliance requirements and boxes to check elsewhere.

Fortunately, in almost any industry, supplier diversity initiatives can be successful on both the buy and the supply sides with an all-encompassing approach that utilizes business intelligence, researches outside knowledge, and takes proactive measures. (You’ve already made a good first step coming to this page!)

The benefits of supplier diversity

Most large companies have been striving to increase supplier diversity for decades. But just what is a diverse supplier?

In the case of supplier diversity where the U.S. government is concerned, the OFCCP – Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs – provides the following major small business subcontractor categories:

  • Disadvantaged
  • Woman-owned
  • Veteran-owned
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned
  • HUBZone (Small Business Administration-designated “Historically Underutilized Business Zones”)

With the U.S. federal government requiring those contracting in excess of $700,000 ($1.5 million in construction) on a deal to pursue subcontract according to certain percentages with the above small business categories, it becomes crucial for these businesses to know their supplier bases inside and out.

There are other categories outside of or overlapping with the above, too, such as foreign businesses and National Institute for the Blind (NIB) or National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) affiliate businesses.

Supplier diversity’s benefits are not limited to satisfying government contracting requirements. Having achieved supplier diversity – either as a buyer, or as an entrepreneur who has attained diverse certification (more on that below) – one’s business becomes more attractive to outside companies looking to improve diverse spend overall.

Moreover, from a marketing perspective, the potentially unique approaches of diverse suppliers can bolster a company’s ability to navigate the U.S.’s increasingly diverse demographics.

Identifying diverse suppliers

For many corporations, supplier diversity is nothing new. To illustrate, CVM Solutions found in a 2017 report that 75% of supplier diversity programs have been in place for more than 3 years. In the same survey, however, only 25% of supplier diversity professionals rated their programs as “very effective,” signaling a gap between those who knowwhat supplier diversity is and those who achieveit.

Of acute relevance to small and medium-size companies is to know how to demonstrate supplier diversity. Luckily, doing so is a relatively simple affair thanks to the existence of Supplier Diversity Certification.

Major national-level certifying agencies include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and the U.S. Department of Transportation DBE Program, and the SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program. Other major certifications exist, with even the state of Ohio operating its own Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification program.

Knowing about certifications is only half the battle. Suppliers may not realize the business benefits of certification, and their customers may not think to ask. Procurement supplier business surveys should always ask in plain terms about suppliers’ knowledge of diverse supplier certification beforeestablishing whether they have any! This simple question can save lots of time, money, and calories for all parties involved.

For small and medium businesses especially, the art of sourcing diverse spend can still seem excessively time-consuming, cost-intensive, or just overwhelming to approach. Easy-to-use tools exist to streamline this process.

Integrating diverse suppliers

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) is meanwhile known for its deep supplier sourcing database, and assigning a D-U-N-S identification number is free for all businesses required to register with the U.S. Federal government for contracts or grants.

New networks and databases are cropping up to meet the unique demands supply chain professionals face, like in supplier diversity. Premikati Marketplace, an SAP Partner-Packaged Solution, enables diverse supplier sourcing with ease.

SAP Ariba is a major software suite that supply chain professionals use to drive all sorts of business decisions.  Using SAP Ariba in a turnkey, in-browser navigation system, Premikati Marketplace connects suppliers (including diverse) with buyers. It is free for suppliers to set up, with no costs or fees to maintain.

With Premikati as a WBENC-certified woman-owned business, enhancing users’ supplier diversity connections is a key function of its Marketplace. New suppliers have the opportunity to connect with potential buyers, and potential buyers to new suppliers, thanks to the low barrier to entry design of the network.

From electronic requisition processing to supplier information queries, Premikati’s Marketplace solution is easily tailored to diverse supplier integration.

Every supply chain initiative poses unique opportunities and challenges, and supplier diversity efforts are no exception. For a more personal touch to your unique supply chain initiatives, contact Premikati’s experts for a real human’s ideas and insights on how you can improve supplier diversity and enhance other efficiencies in your company’s supply chain now.

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

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SMBs and Digital Transformation: Is Your Company a Laggard or a Front Runner?

SMBs have long been seen as being “behind the curve” in terms of transformative businesses processes. This unfortunate placement puts slow adopters at a disadvantage, blocking access to cost-saving solutions and process optimization.

With all the advantages that digital transformation promises, you might wonder what the hesitation is all about, but it could be due to one or more factors that include:

  1. Lack of awareness. In small businesses, often there isn’t a dedicated technology officer to inform leadership of new and helpful tools. Unless there is somebody within the organization who has an interest in pursuing this line of action, the company will likely continue as they have in the past, gradually losing market share.
  2. Cost-prohibitive nature of large analytic ERPs. Not every business is a good candidate for an ERP as these systems are often designed for the enterprise and not priced for a smaller operator.
  3. Lack of manpower. Digital transformation does not happen overnight. Identifying the right technology, migrating systems, training staff, and generally managing change is a time-consuming and sometimes complex process. Many businesses simply do not have in-house staff who are trained adequately enough to see it through and hiring an outside company isn’t always possible due to budget constraints.

Procurement solutions: turning laggards into front-runners

Even if your digital transformation is underway, some departments are often overlooked or put on the back burner while more critical areas are addressed. Procurement is one such area, but in truth, it is one of the easiest to gain control over, helping you lower costs and gain some competitive ground.

Procurement is, perhaps, the largest area of total spend over which SMBs do not have complete oversight. In most cases, there will be several individuals spread out over various departments who are making purchases covering everything from office supplies to raw materials.

In the enterprise, these tasks are centrally managed through the ERP. Buyers can access a centralized list of preferred suppliers, leverage an integrated PO system for efficient financial reporting, and stakeholders are provided with complete transparency into all procurement activities.

How can SMBs take advantage of enterprise approaches to save?

The good news is, the ability to easily manage spending analytics and choose from a catalog of diverse suppliers is no longer the sole realm of the enterprise.

The solution: Premikati Marketplace

Running on the SAP Ariba™ Buying and Invoicing platform, Premikati Marketplace can accomplish all of these things, offering affordability and scalability combined with the simplicity and security of a cloud-based platform.

Premikati Marketplace is a B2B marketplace that features tens of millions of items from fully-vetted and sustainable suppliers. SMBs can access features like rock bottom pricing and leverage built-in spending control, driving value straight back to the bottom line.

“Finding frictionless ways for your business to initiate digital transformation in their organization is a growing trend and plays a key role to maintain competitiveness. The challenge is that businesses are just like consumers – they want fast time to value and convenience. Premikati Marketplace offers both for SMB companies by digitally connecting suppliers to help SMB companies buy goods at market-friendly prices with control and visibility that is required by companies. This is a great foundation for any business to start digital.”

 

Sean Thomson, SAP Ariba, Network & Ecosystems

@seanthomson0108

Benefits of Premikati Marketplace

There are many benefits of Premikati Marketplace, including:

  • Control spending across multiple departments and buyers
  • Reduce time spent on ad-hoc buying processes from days or weeks to just hours
  • Up to 35 percent reduction in costs overall
  • Cashback feature: receive a rebate of up to one percent on your P-Card for all purchases

If your company is lagging behind the pack in digital transformation, even small changes can deliver significant results. To learn more about how we can help you optimize your procurement spend, visit www.premikati.com/marketplace or call us directly to find out how we can help.

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

Premikati and SAP Ariba Deliver Enterprise-class Procurement for SMBs

Premikati and SAP Ariba Deliver Enterprise-class Procurement for SMBs

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For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), shrewd spending decisions can mean the difference between failure and success. But many lack the systems and staff to make procurement a mission-critical priority.

Premikati Inc. has a solution to their problem. Leveraging technology from SAP Ariba, Premikati introduced the Premikati Marketplace, giving SMBs access to enterprise-class procurement as a service.

“Small and medium-sized businesses have long wanted to take advantage of enterprise-class procurement, but they haven’t had the means,” said Marisol Buczynski Buchanan, CEO of Premikati. “Using the Premikati Marketplace, they can access millions of vetted suppliers and enterprise-class procurement tools that provide greater visibility into their spend and procurement process from end to end – all at a cost they can afford.”

As an SAP Ariba partner, Premikati has created the marketplace specifically geared to SMBs in just six weeks, from delivery to cutover to production. It provides them with critical elements they need in driving a simple, efficient source-to-settle process that quickly delivers results. Their customers can manage spending, connect with suppliers, improve cash flow, and drive compliance – all without adding complexity.

“The Sanders Group has been transacting over the Ariba Network for many years as a media technology and communications supplier to some of the largest companies in the United States,” said Mike Sanders, president of The Sanders Group. “With the Premikati Marketplace, we can now use the same SAP Ariba solution to purchase products and services we need to run our business. Premikati was able to get our team enabled and completing transactions within one hour of receiving our information.”

Premikati and SAP improve the lives of students

SAP and Premikati Improve the Lives of Students

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SAP Ariba silver partner Premikati recently completed a project that provides students, parents, and schools in Florida with much-improved access to services and financial support through the Step Up for Students (SUFS) organization.

The non-profit SUFS manages funds for The Gardiner Scholarship Program , which provides up to $10,000 each for K-12 students in Florida for tuition, equipment, therapy and other supplies. Prior to implementing SAP Ariba, parents had to pay expenses out of pocket and submit invoices for reimbursement.

The system financially strained many parents and featured an inefficient, manually intensive process for nearly 1,300 reimbursements every day. A team of 75 people manage invoices and the organization printed 100,000 checks on a quarterly basis, said Marisol Buczynski-Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, which handled the implementation.

“Their process was not sustainable nor scalable,” she said. “They were looking for technology to manage the funds and put all approved products and materials into a marketplace where parents and guardians could click to purchase.”

Vendors such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Lakeshore Learning, and School Specialty are onboarding their catalogs into the SUFS marketplace, with more on the way, allowing parents to purchase educational materials, services and tuition online.

The tuition reimbursement process and marketplace is expected to go live in January 2018, serving more than 100,000 students in 2,000 schools.

“Going forward, parents can just order the goods and services they need for the education of their children online using their smart phones while the software tracks the balance of their scholarship funds,” Buchanan said. “And SUFS can spend their time working closer with the families to provide additional services and support.”

Additionally, the 2,000 private Florida Schools also reduce their administrative costs associated with tracking parental signatures for tuition reimbursement checks as well as additional costs.

“This is the first time a real business to consumer system has been built on SAP Ariba. In fact, this is one of the largest SAP Ariba implementations to date in terms of buying organizations, which has only been made possible by the advancements to the user interface and the addition of guided buying,” Buchanan said. “Essentially, we are applying the most sophisticated procurement software available and offering it to families so that they can spend more time with their children and less time and headaches dealing with paperwork and stressing over financial burdens.  This is a true business case of procurement with purpose driven by SAP Ariba.”

SAP Ariba SNAP! FAQs

SAP Ariba Snap Frequently Asked Questions

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As one of only eight companies in North America that have the ability to implement SAP Ariba Snap solution that is targeted at mid-market companies, we at Premikati, Inc. have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers to help you decide if your organization is ready to take the next steps into solving your procurement obstacles and meeting your business objectives.  


Overview and Key Differentiators:

What exactly is SAP Ariba Snap and how does it differ from standard SAP Ariba?

Snap is an implementation of SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing and encompasses the critical elements of a procurement foundation at a minimum of complexity. (See more how Premikati, Inc. has been able to make the complex, simple by implementing SAP Ariba Snap into mid-market business).

What is the process of implementation?

Premikati, Inc. is able to take your business live with SAP Ariba Snap in under 12 weeks. You will get best practices on Day 1 out-of-the-box which can be adjusted during implementation and over time.  In order to maximize the return on investment, we recommend that SAP Ariba’s Spot Buy marketplace be turned on immediately.  We want you to be transacting in 2 weeks or less!

(See more about the incredible SAP Ariba Spot Buy Marketplace!)

Supplier enablement of the initially targeted suppliers are performed by Premikati.  This is a critical aspect of the successful implementation and has been fully integrated into the implementation process.  We train your team so you can be self-sufficient as you add suppliers over time.


Spot Buy:

Does the SAP Ariba Spot Buy Marketplace come with SAP Ariba Snap?

Yes, Spot Buy is included and can be ready for transacting early in the implementation process.

One great thing about Spot Buy is that you can control content by commodity. For example, the administrator has the ability to toggle on and toggle off what content your users are allowed to see.  In addition, approval workflows and cost center information can be added to any purchase.  These are unique value props to Ariba Marketplace. You choose the content for your users, no matter the number or location – a feature that NO competitor has.

Do users in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, UK, Germany, and Australia have access to Spot Buy content immediately or is that limited to the US only?

The marketplace is growing fast! SAP Ariba Snap has up to 60 million SKU`s from sustainable, and vetted suppliers. It is available for users in US, Canada, UK, and Germany today.  Mercateo is the marketplace provider for EMEA.  Recently, SAP Ariba signed agreements with Mercado Libre that will make the marketplace available in Latin America.


Guided Buying:

Does Guided Buying come with SAP Ariba Snap, and if so, can you configure other categories to the guided buying landing page?

Yes, Guided Buying is included. While you can easily add additional categories that are specific for your business, with Snap you get pre-built categories with content and forms for:

  • IT & IT Services
  • Office Supplies
  • Advertising & Printing
  • Marketing Services
  • Financial Services
  • Legal & HR Services
  • Facilities / Maintenance
  • Travel

(See more about SAP Ariba’s Guided Buying)
 


Technical:

How do approval processes work? What do they look like?

You will receive SAP Ariba’s best practice approval workflow out-of-the box. You can approve via the application, via email, or by mobile device.  Approval workflows have tons of flexibility. There are parallel approvals to accelerate process. There is a concept of a watcher, and user approval groups.  Out of the box approvals include role, dollar value, special situation. This helps to minimize the need to build customizations.

How does Ariba & ERP’s integrate? Is there a standard set of integration scenarios for each process within Procure-to-Pay that no special development is needed if SAP best practices are followed?

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of Snap is the pre-determined flows, processes, and approvals out of the box. The structure is both robust and complete, essentially eliminating the need for customized integration. There are few instances where the custom integration justifies both the up front and ongoing maintenance costs.  With SAP software, there are 170 native integration points. The number of integrations is 8x of any competitor and covers the entire Source-to-Settle process.

Does this apply to non-SAP customers as well?

Yes. Ariba Snap is ERP Agnostic and will deploy in <12 weeks. 42% of Ariba customers are non-SAP.

Essentially all ERP systems can now be integrated to Ariba.

Are analytics provided? If so, how is reporting presented and managed?

Yes, analytics are provided which are focused on the P2P lifecycle.  As part of Snap, SAP Ariba has provided end to end capabilities to support the entire procure to pay process.  All of the basics are reported on (approvals, spend by categories, invoices exceptions, accruals, etc.) It is possible to set it up to have a weekly report sent to your stakeholders directly from the tool, or you may download in Excel.  Additionally, any data element captured can be reported with an unlimited number of customized reports that your team can create easily.

 


Upgrades:

If our company outgrows SAP Ariba Snap, do we have to redeploy/repurchase SAP Ariba?

Absolutely not!  SAP Ariba Snap is the same full Buying and Invoicing solution deployed at Large Enterprise customers but the focus is on the features and functionality that are critical to growing businesses and deploy only those features.  If you need additional features in the future, these are already included in your license and you can toggle them on at any time.

The beauty of SAP Ariba Snap is that it is a solution that is built to grow in complexity as your business matures. With implementation, we start with the key foundations that will give you the fastest time to value in key spend categories.  Once the foundation is set you can add those features and functionalities that best meet your needs while minimizing cost and operational risk.

What does SAP Ariba Snap cost?  Is the price determined by Spend Volume? by PO? Or transactions? Or connections?

Pricing is done by volume of Spend and the of the number of documents (PO and Invoices per year). Unlimited users are allowed so everybody in your company to have flexibility to access the tool without additional cost.

  


My Suppliers:

What is the process for suppliers to join the Ariba Network?

Suppliers can join the network at discovery.ariba.com but they are also invited to the Ariba Network from the buyer in their Ariba site. This can be done as an invitation or when a PO is sent to supplier prompting the invitation. Suppliers are considered customers too. SAP Ariba has used many UX principles to dramatically ease supplier interaction on the network.

What are the fees for Suppliers with SAP Ariba Snap?

Your suppliers can transact for free on the Ariba Network. They have the ability to send PO`s, Invoices, Order Confirmations, Ship Notices, and more. (Learn more about Light Enablement from SAP Ariba) 

Why should we buy SAP Ariba instead of a competitor’s product? Here are a few highlights:

  • Fast time to value (<12 weeks)
  • Best practices built in
  • Access to Spot Buy marketplace (content engine) that you control by commodity
  • UPGRADE Path without having to “upgrade”!!!
  • Local Resources – local language support and real-delivery expertise
  • Integration is simple and easy
  • Commercial flexibility i.e. Unlimited users and low subscription price
  • Suppliers can transact for free on the Ariba Network via Light Enablement

 


About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

Ariba Snap procurement implementation

Procurement with a Purpose – SNAP! Implementation

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Marisol Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, Inc., had the pleasure to speak in NYC at SAP Ariba’s Business with a Purpose Summit – along with Step Up for Students (SUFS) COO, Anne White.  The challenges faced by SUFS and and solutions of implementing SAP Ariba’s Guided Buying and SNAP! tools are highlighted below.

The Problem

At a high level, Premikati had been tasked with giving parents and guardians access to their children’s scholarship funds AND providing easy access to the things they are allowed to buy including tuition, provider services and school supplies.

If we asked to partner on this project a few years ago it would have been very difficult from a change management perspective and we would not have recommended Ariba due to the complexity and all of the massive capabilities of the software, which is a good thing for large corporations but rather confusing for a basic consumer who may not even know what the word “Procurement” or “advance ship notice means”.

The Solution

Now, through the innovations made by SAP Ariba to the user interface and adding Guided Buying, along with the simplicity of SAP Ariba SNAP!, the implementation end user training has been drastically simplified.

This is imperative considering the landscape of the situation:

We have:

  • 100,000 families
  • not using corporate devices with standard operating systems
  • limited access to email
  • low user experience with business support technology like WebEx for training
  • multiple languages
  • many families with multiple children
  • 2000 schools which now are “Suppliers” who have limited experience with “e-Invoicing”

With this said, Premikati, Inc. has developed a robust and creative Change Management Strategy.  In addition to standard business communication vehicles, we are leveraging social platforms such as text messaging, YouTube, Facebook and twitter to engage and interact with these families in a way that easy and common for them.

So, essentially, we are taking complex procurement technology and best in class business processes and applying them in a way to make a positive impact on families, because that is what really matters.  That is truly procurement with purpose.

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