As a Product Manager for the SAP Sourcing Product, I have had the opportunity to experience (read “test”) first-hand the new features of SAP Sourcing Wave 9, which is currently scheduled to be released as an On Demand offering in Q1/Q2 2012, and as On Premise to ramp-up customers in Q2/Q3 2012. Since both deployment options operate on the same code base, the new features apply to both OD and OP. Please note that the above dates as well as the features described below are subject to change without notice.
As I write this blog, the software is in the early stages of testing, and there is a chance the some of the nuances of the features described below may change and be improved upon by the time the product is finally released.
Since there are many new features in Wave 9, I will be writing several blogs to cover the entire release. In this first blog, subtitled “Part 1: Strategic Sourcing”, I will be covering those features which are specific to the Strategic Sourcing module. My future blogs will cover the following areas: “New Features in SAP Sourcing Wave 9–Part 2: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)”, “New Features in SAP Sourcing Wave 9–Part 3: Usability”, and “SAP Sourcing/SAP CLM Integration with SAP SRM“.
SAP Sourcing Wave 9 includes a number of new features and functionality in the Strategic Sourcing area that improves user experience, enhances process flexibility, and maximizes cost savings. The new features in the Strategic Sourcing module are:
- Suppliers can decline to bid on an RFx line item. In previous releases, a supplier may not know how to decline bidding on one or more RFx line items. Should he skip entering any data on the line item? Should he explicitly enter a Blank character? Should he type in a Zero price? Would a Zero bid mean that he is offering the item for free? These questions were all potential supplier confusion points, and could lead to unnecessary time in training suppliers, answering their questions, and recovering from errors such as awarding a zero-dollar bid thinking this was the lowest (free) bid. With the new feature in Wave 9, the supplier has a “Decline to Bid” checkbox at each line item so he can clearly indicate his intent. Furthermore, with multiple incoterms on an RFx, the bidder can decline to bid for one or more incoterms within a line item.
- RFx Multi-Rounds with the same root ID. Multi-round RFx’s are not new, but in the previous releases, each multi-round RFx has a separately generated unique ID number. In Wave 9, you are able to configure the system to use the same root ID number for subsequent rounds, with a default suffix of “01”, “02”, etc. . Furthermore, you can customize the suffix with a fixed text string. For example, you can configure a suffix of “round-“, in which case an RFx with an ID of “ACME-RFQ-00555” would have a subsequent rounds called “ACME-RFQ-00555-round-01”, “ACME-RFQ-00555-round-02”, etc.
- Buyer-defined incoterms location with locking. In previous releases, the buyer can assign one or more incoterms onto an RFx, and the bidder would enter the incoterms location. In Wave 9, the buyer can now specify the incoterms location, as well as whether each incoterms location can be changed or not by the supplier. This is helpful particularly for incoterms where the location is the place of destination, and should be set and fixed by the buyer.
- Download all response attachments. With a single button, Wave 9 allows the buyer to easily download all attachments from multiple responses for a given RFx. A zip file is created that includes header level attachments as well as question attachments.
- Easier supplier entry to incoterms location. In previous releases, the suppliers sometimes have difficulties navigating to the incoterms fields in the RFx Response transaction. This information was located in a “Delivery Info” tab in the RFx Response. To make this information move visible, the incoterms fields are now in located in the Header tab of the RFx Response.
- Change currencies when creating a Master Agreement from an RFx Award. In Wave 9, the buyer can decide if the Master Agreement’s document currency should be the same as the originating RFx, or he can specify a different currency for the Master Agreement. If he specifies a different currency, he can further decide to use the system exchange rate, the exchange rate on the RFx, or he can specify his own rate. This feature gives the user more flexibility in tailoring the Master Agreement that is created from an RFx award.
- New Projects Report: Schedule Task Status. To improve project monitoring, Wave 9 includes a new report to show the status of projects’ schedule tasks and milestones. With this new report, buyers can quickly view the statuses of tasks and milestones
The above covers the new Strategic Sourcing features in SAP Sourcing Wave 9. Please look for future blogs on new features in other areas of SAP Sourcing Wave 9. More details, including screenshots, will be made available in the near future.
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