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Procurement Transformation Webinar

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Digital transformation stands as a pivotal shift, reshaping how organizations handle growth and optimize operations.

PREMIKATI brought together industry leaders to share their experiences and insights on this journey, particularly focusing on the implementation and optimization of SAP Ariba.

Click below to watch the video

Highlights and Key Takeaways:


The Journey Begins: Ascend Elements and the SAP Ariba Onboarding Experience

Rodrigo Almeida, Supply Chain and Purchasing Director at Ascend Elements, shared the narrative of a mid-market, high-growth company embarking on its digital transformation journey.

Ascend Elements, a burgeoning player in the electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling industry, faced the challenge of managing rapid growth and the complexities of scaling operations. The need for a structured procurement process became evident as the company transitioned from informal methods to a more organized approach.

Almeida’s recount of Ascend’s journey with SAP Ariba sheds light on the critical role of digital tools in managing procurement in a fast-paced environment. The company’s move to adopt SAP Ariba was driven by the necessity to streamline sourcing events, contracts, and purchasing activities. This transition marked a significant step towards establishing a robust foundation for Ascend’s procurement operations, enabling the company to manage its explosive growth effectively.

The Evolution of Digital Procurement at Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Pamela Harris, Procurement Technology Manager at HHMI, offered a perspective from a large enterprise that has been utilizing SAP Ariba for over a decade. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a leading medical research organization, embarked on its Ariba journey to enhance its procurement processes and has since been optimizing the platform to meet evolving needs.

Harris highlighted the institute’s journey from initial adoption to continuous improvement, emphasizing the importance of evolving with the technology to meet the changing demands of the business and its workforce.

The integration of SAP Ariba with other systems, like Workday, and the adoption of new modules like Guided Buying, have been part of HHMI’s strategy to enhance efficiency and user experience. This iterative approach to technology implementation has allowed HHMI to refine its procurement processes continuously and adapt to the dynamic landscape of medical research.

Strategic Implementation and the Road Ahead

The conversation with Almeida and Harris underscored the strategic nature of implementing SAP Ariba and the importance of a phased approach. Both organizations recognized the need for a structured plan to integrate Ariba into their existing ecosystems effectively.

For Ascend Elements, the rapid implementation was a necessity to support its fast growth trajectory, while for HHMI, a more gradual approach allowed for continuous adaptation and optimization.

The discussion also revealed the common challenges faced by organizations at different stages of their digital transformation journeys. Ascend and HHMI emphasized the importance of change management and stakeholder engagement to ensure the successful adoption of new technologies.

They highlighted the need for ongoing evaluation and adaptation of the system to align with organizational goals and market dynamics.

Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The panel provided valuable insights into best practices for implementing and optimizing SAP Ariba. Key lessons included the importance of clear objectives, executive support, and effective change management. Both speakers stressed the need for continuous communication and training to facilitate user adoption and to maximize the value of the investment in SAP Ariba.

Additionally, the discussion highlighted the importance of aligning technology implementation with business strategy. For Ascend Elements, SAP Ariba is a foundational tool supporting rapid growth and operational scaling.

In contrast, HHMI utilizes Ariba to sustain innovation and efficiency in its procurement processes, ensuring that the organization remains at the forefront of medical research.

The Future of Procurement and Digital Transformation

Looking ahead, the journey of digital transformation in procurement is ongoing. As companies like Ascend Elements and HHMI continue to evolve, the role of technology in enabling efficient, scalable, and effective procurement processes becomes increasingly evident.

The insights shared during the event underscore the potential of SAP Ariba and similar platforms to transform procurement, providing organizations with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of modern business landscapes.


The experiences of Ascend Elements and HHMI with SAP Ariba offer valuable lessons for organizations at any stage of their digital transformation journey. The key to success lies in strategic implementation, continuous optimization, and the ability to adapt to changing business needs.

As companies continue to navigate their unique paths, the insights from industry leaders provide a roadmap for leveraging technology to drive growth, efficiency, and innovation in procurement and supply chain management.

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