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BNC.Heart.Fotolia_38036570_XS.jpgWhen it comes to researching new suppliers, where does your business turn?

Search engines like Google aren’t likely to deliver the information that’s critical to know if suppliers are the right fit for your needs. Evaluating suppliers by visiting their websites, making phone calls, and trying to get a hold of the right contact person consumes time and staff resources – and many sourcing teams are time-strapped. If your business is faced with an urgent sourcing need, for example a rush order, your options could feel particularly limited. The wrong choice can be detrimental to your brand – just ask companies impacted by the horse meat scandal.

Just as networks like Match.com or eHarmony have reinvented the art of matchmaking, business networks are redefining how companies can quickly and confidently find suppliers who match their sourcing needs.

At Ariba, businesses have found that Ariba Discovery (http://discovery.ariba.com) is a valuable resource to quickly find suppliers that are the right match for different buying situations and often at competitive costs … or even lower costs than found with incumbent suppliers. Buyers simply create a posting describing their buying needs, and Ariba Discovery matches them to suppliers who can deliver the products or services needed. Buyers often get multiple quotes in hours, not days or weeks, can then easily compare them, and select the best bid – all within a short timeframe.

Ceylan Thomson is a member of the Ariba Discovery team and frequently talks with companies about the “win-win” benefits that both buyers and suppliers gain by participating on Ariba Discovery.

On average, buying companies save 15% on sourcing costs when they use Ariba Discovery to add new suppliers to their sourcing events. According to Ceylan, one buyer she recently spoke with saved 50% by finding a new supplier on Ariba Discovery. Other benefits that buying companies are seeing include shortened cycle times and improved quality.

For suppliers, Ariba Discovery provides an efficient and low-cost alternative to traditional sales lead generation activities, such as trade shows, lists purchases and cold colds. Suppliers get matched to high-quality leads with buyers in an active purchasing cycle, and these leads are delivered directly to the suppliers’ inbox. Companies like MarkMaster have boosted their business growth and captured significant sales from Ariba Discovery. MarkMaster CEO Kevin Govin states Ariba Discovery accounts for 80% of the company’s business orders and it has experienced 10% or more growth per year. These gains were achieved with minimal IT or business-processing spend.

With the Ariba Product Release 10 (AD10), buyers can now discover suppliers that match their buying needs not only by doing an RFI/RFQ posting but also through the “Suppliers You May Like” feature, which is displayed directly within the Ariba Sourcing solution. Buyers also see more information on suppliers’ capabilities (e.g. Ariba activity data, quality certifications) through an improved profile page for suppliers. Suppliers benefit from this exposure and also get the opportunity to create highly-targeted placements within the Sourcing solution.

Meet Ceylan and Chris Wang from the Ariba Discovery team and successful customers at SAPPHIRE NOW to see a demonstration and discuss how your business can enhance its sourcing practices by using Ariba Discovery. You’ll find Ceylan and Chris at the Business Networks learning campus.

To read more about how companies are benefitting from Ariba Discovery, check out Ceylan’s blog posts at Ariba Exchange. To get a snapshot of the daily volume of new lead activity generated at Ariba Discovery, follow @AribaDiscovery on Twitter.

Photo credit: © Sergiy Serdyuk – Fotolia.com

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