Managing supplier relationships through electronic business networks


Business networks have opened the door to a new way of collaborating. Mega-shifts in how technology is delivered, accessed and used have created this new era of sharing knowledge and improved collaboration.  Consequently, more and more companies across the globe are connecting to business networks to manage their trading relationships, Vanessa Burger, Services Director – Africa, for Ariba, an SAP Company, tells SmartProcurement.

Whether you are buying or selling, or doing both, cloud-based sourcing and procurement solutions are a must: open solutions (they allow you to connect to any back-end system); intelligent solutions (the ability to open and interpret transactions); and ubiquitous solutions (they enable both buyers and sellers to use the same solution with a single sign on).

Buyer benefits – controlling spending, collaborating with suppliers, and contributing to the bottom line

Buying smarter isn’t just buying at the lowest price. It’s knowing everything about your company’s spending habits, and using that knowledge to be a stronger negotiator. It’s knowing who is spending what and where so you can reduce maverick spending. It’s being connected to a diverse network of high-quality suppliers, so you can quickly discover collaborative partners who can lower your costs for goods and services while minimising your risks. And it’s contracting and procuring in ways that ensure compliance.

Supplier benefits – selling faster in the networked economy

As more and more of your prospects and customers launch B2B e-commerce initiatives to find new suppliers to fulfill their goods and services needs, have you stopped to think about the time you’re spending to manage each of those relationships?

There are so many separate connections, profiles to maintain, and so much redundancy and inefficiency. The truth is, if you want to grow your business in the new networked economy, you really don’t have that kind of time. To compete and sell faster, you need to drive e-commerce through a network-centric solution.

Selling via a business network allows your company to operate from anywhere in the world. The single data set available to both sellers and buyers allows for transparency and a much-needed audit trail. The service entry sheet (SES) reduces manual paperwork. The list of benefits goes on and on.

The Ariba® Network

No matter the size of your business, you can combine industry-leading, cloud-based applications with the world’s largest web-based trading community to discover and collaborate with a global network of partners.

Using the Ariba Network – anytime, anywhere – you can connect with your trading partners to buy smarter, sell faster, and manage your cash more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Companies around the world use the Ariba Network to make business commerce easier and more profitable and you can too.

With Ariba’s solutions, networked companies of all sizes, across industries can remove business boundaries and:

  • connect to customers, suppliers, and partners to facilitate collaborative commerce processes like sales, procurement, and finance;
  • gain efficiency through cloud-based applications that automate and enable shared processes like sourcing, invoicing, and payment;
  • become more informed through community intelligence, market insights, benchmarking, and best practices for better performance and decisions;
  • receive active leads from a global community of qualified buyers rather than simply tracking them;
  • manage orders and statuses in real time rather than chasing paper; and
  • accelerate payments for goods and services and optimise cash by making early payments.

To learn more about how Ariba can help your company to reap the benefits of becoming a more connected networked business, contact Graeme Yates on

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