With all of the buzz happening around digital transformation it is no wonder that many business owners are considering hiring an SAP Ariba consultant to help them with their implementation. Although it may seem like a simple task to slap some software onto the network and make things happen, it is not so simple.
Yes, SAP Ariba is a user-friendly platform that is easy to navigate and use once a person gets used to it and understands all of the functions that it has, but it by no means is a simple piece of software that can be run on a desktop like Word.
What is an SAP Ariba Consultant?
SAP Ariba is a dynamic software platform that was designed so that businesses around the world can connect to other businesses and have the capacity to do business anywhere. In addition to global connection, the platform offers powerful functions such as:
- Source-to-pay solutions
- Contract management
- Spend analysis
- Smart spending
What the platform does is allow the company to use its existing business structure to help to transform from a physical structure to a digital one that helps to connect all aspects of the business into one centralized hub that can be managed and controlled efficiently and accurately.
An SAP consultant is a person that is educated and has experience with the SAP Ariba platform in a way that allows them to share their expertise with business owners on a level that provides both education and technique.
A consultant will understand:
- The source-to-pay process
- Business spending patterns
- Smart sourcing
- Business management
A qualified consultant will understand the fundamental aspects of a business and how the spending cycle works.
The Heartbeat of the Business
Anybody that knows a thing or two about business understands that the way the business spends money can either drive them to succeed or drive them to go out of business. If a company spends more money than it brings in, there is no way for it to survive unless it finds a way to consistently secure loans and goes deeper into debt.
In any event, the procurement process of a business is the key to the health of all of the business. If the way that the company spends money results in big returns, all is good and everything is gravy.
However, what many companies learn after they implement the SAP Ariba platform is that they have been putting money in places that could have been generating more money for them, or that they could have been spending much less.
With the advantage of smart sourcing, a company can have a way to look at all of the sources that they have available to them and compare them next to each other. Sometimes companies learn that they could be spending thousands of dollars less each cycle for the things that they usually buy if they were to go elsewhere.
The Solution Finder
Just for the purpose of example, we can say that we are talking about a company that uses a certain type of glue in order to create a particular type of shoe that they create and sell online. Up until the point where they chose to implement smart software to help them with the spending practices they only had one source for this glue, and it was at a price that the vendor refused to negotiate.
Not that all companies will have the same issues or find the same kinds of solutions but this is where the help of a consultant could come in handy.
Since the application is connected to the internet and has access to the entire market all around the world it will have the capacity to find other potential vendors out there that have the same kind of glue that they need.
A consultant will stand by the business owner and show them how to:
- Find suppliers that offer what they are looking for
- Locate goods and services with comparable prices
- Match several potential vendors and compare them
- Reach out to sources and make deals
When the consultant shows the business how to find the best sources for their company the company can reach out and connect with these sources and venture on to forge lasting relationships.
Where the company could only find the particular glue with one vendor for a high price, they were able to connect with other sources that offer the same type of glue for a substantially lower cost. They also learned that if they bought the product in bulk they could get it even cheaper.
In addition to finding the best sources for a company, the software can also keep track of the contracts that are kept between the company and the sources while enforcing stipulated prices and negotiating new terms when contract terms expire.
The SAP Ariba platform is a cloud-based application that is connected through various servers in different places. A piece of the software, much like an app, is placed on the devices of the company where they connect to a centralized hub that stores information, users, groups, and other useful items of interest.
Needless to say, it is not just a simple one-and-done process that gets put on the computers and everybody goes to town. Since every business is unique and will have its own way of operating when the initial installation of the program comes into effect, everybody will have to learn how to use it.
Since the company will need its own parameters there will be a bit of creativity involved in planning out how the software will be implemented and used for each user and each group of users that will have access to it.
For example, one type of company could be a food-based business that has to have access to certain partner companies that have varying names and types of ingredients or other products that they sell. Another type of company may sell types of clothing and will need to access their distributors in order to purchase more items to sell.
The people that will have access to this particular information will be placed into groups that have a certain type of permission status, whereas other groups will not have the same kind of access.
Prices for goods, existing contractural statuses, and other various types of information that will be unique have to be input into the application in order to get the most accurate numbers for spending and forecasting.
The type of knowledge it takes to administer a software implementation is usually beyond a typical business owner so it is at this time that a skilled consultant will come in handy.
With Care and Attention to Detail
A high-quality consultant will work with extreme care and attention to detail because they know how important it is for a business to have the right information and correct spending numbers. The consultant will work with the company as if it were their own company as they make sure that every step of the way counts towards a successful transformation and an efficient way to maximize every penny that the company spends. Where the SAP Ariba platform will provide a sensible solution to everyday spending, the consultant will provide a lifetime of sound advice and solid education.