SAP Ariba Spot on with Spot Buy

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Managing spot buys - those unplanned, time-sensitive and often

mission-critical purchases that every company must make - can be a

difficult, expensive and risky process. But it's gotten a lot easier

thanks to Ariba®

Spot Buy, a market-leading solution from SAP

Ariba that enables companies to find and immediately purchase

specialty items needed to run their business in a simple, yet compliant


As a consumer, if you need a new phone, you get online and order it and

in three days, it arrives on your doorstep. Or if you're willing to pay,

you can have it overnight. But what do you do as a business when you

need an ergonomic chair for an employee who is starting tomorrow or

imprinted items for a trade show in two days?

"You can't afford to have a category manager take this kind of spend

through a strategic sourcing process, which can take anywhere from six

to 30 weeks. You need a solution through which employees can buy them

now, and do it in compliance with your procurement processes and

policies," says Kurt Albertson, Associate Principal Advisor at The

Hackett Group and co-author of "Spot

Buy Software: A Modern Approach to Managing Tail Spend". "And if

there isn't a solution in place, they will go off and do their own thing

without involving procurement or applying any spend management rigor."

Simple is Good. Compliant is Better.

Herein lies the problem. In today's digital economy, buying things at

work has to be as simple as buying things at home. But it also needs to

follow rules.

"Spot buys are a huge category of indirect spend, which account for more

than 20 percent of the purchases made by the average company. And they

are largely undermanaged because procurement lacks effective tools to

facilitate the time-sensitive supplier identification, qualification,

and bidding necessary to secure them," says Tony Alvarez, General

Manager, Ariba Spot Buy. "That means many companies are leaving

significant savings on the table. And suppliers are missing

opportunities to expand and win new business."

Consumer Simple. Business Strong.

Plenty of marketplaces can create a consumer-like experience for buying

indirect goods and services. With Ariba Spot Buy, SAP Ariba goes beyond

simple catalogs to deliver the technology, content and expertise

organizations need to gain greater visibility into their tail spend and

fuel the compliance needed to get unplanned buys under control.

And more important, it provides an open and transparent marketplace

through which suppliers can deal directly with customers and open doors

to opportunities that had previously been closed to them.

Anne Kramer is head of Ergo Works a small, woman-owned company that

provides a complete line of ergonomic furniture, accessories and

computer peripherals.

"Ergonomics by definition is designing for the individual, and the

products are often unique and off-catalog," says Kramer. "Companies have

the need for these specialized products, but it can be challenging to

get an audience with them. Ariba Spot Buy gives us direct access to

large corporations and provides a vehicle through which they can

purchase specialty products from us while staying compliant within their

procurement guidelines."

Pairing SAP Ariba's global network and cloud-based procurement

applications with expansive catalogs for indirect goods from the

likes of eBay, Ariba Spot Buy combines the convenience of a

consumer-like shopping experience with business controls, enabling even

the most casual users to quickly find and immediately buy thousands

contracted and non-contracted items in accordance with their company's

procurement policies and procedures. Here's how it works:

Find: When an item cannot be found in the company catalog, users

can search the Ariba Spot Buy catalog and filter results by category,

brand, and price.

Approve: Configurable business rules and spot buy-specific

workflow automatically align purchases with corporate policies and route

through necessary approvals.

Buy: Approved purchases trigger checkout, secure payment, and

shipment of goods.

A Win-Win Solution

"When it comes to managing tail spend, procurement needs to take a

different approach," Albertson says. "Spot buying software solutions

offer a convenient way to search for suppliers and shop for goods in

external B2B catalogs and procurement organizations can use them to

increase visibility and control over a large category of spend that has

until now been very difficult to manage."

But there are benefits for selling organizations as well. With Ariba

Spot Buy, suppliers can offer their goods when and where buyers need

them and not only boost sales to existing customers, but forge new

opportunities and gain additional market share.

"One of the best things about Ariba Spot Buy is that it gives us the

ability to interact with our customer and sell our custom products and

then open the door to more project-based opportunities," Kramer says.

To hear more from Kramer about her experience with Ariba Spot Buy, tune

in to the Briefings

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