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Author's profile photo Ashley Tully

Procurement Gets Purpose with SAP Ariba

Written by: Karen Master

Leading organizations leverage cloud-based applications and business network to align purchases with higher causes and make a difference

As a procurement professional, James Edward Johnson had embraced technology to turn a painful, manual process that made the eyes of his colleagues at Nielsen roll into a consumer-like, digital one that made things easy. Costs were lower. People were happy. But Johnson wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to do more.

“When my kids ask me ‘what did you do today?’ I don’t want to tell them that I saved a bunch of money,” he says. “I want to tell them I saved lives.” With the help of SAP Ariba, he can. Johnson is one of a growing number of procurement leaders around the world who are using SAP Ariba’s Supplier Risk Management solutions to tie purchasing to purposes and make a difference.

“Consumers care about who and what is behind the products they buy, and companies are increasingly showing the same concern. Companies are held responsible for their supply chain and business partners’ practices. And many are looking at whether they buy from minority-owned suppliers and suppliers that promote safe and sustainable work conditions or operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. They want to know that no conflict minerals are being used to make their products and ensure that fair labor practices are in play across their global supply chains,” says Alex Atzberger, President, SAP Ariba. “Procurement is in a unique position to address these issues and beyond saving money and creating efficiencies, improve lives.”

SAP Ariba provides a unique platform which aids in their efforts to do this.

“Across procurement, we see people trying to tackle issues that impact the global supply chain such as slavery, poverty and diversity. But they are struggling because they lack visibility and data on their suppliers,” Atzberger continues. “At SAP Ariba, we connect more than 2.8 million companies around the world – many of whom share similar passions – and deliver the intelligence and transparency they need to manage these challenges and effect change.”

Leveraging historical and real-time purchasing data and supplier intelligence and applications for data analysis delivered on the Ariba® Network alongside data and services from third parties such as Made in a Free World, procurement can, among other things, shine a light on the materials, regions, and industries that are most likely to have forced labor and take action to combat it. Johnson is doing just this at Nielsen.

Through a link between SAP Ariba Discovery and the ConnXus Database, buyers can tap a wider pool of minority, woman, LGBT and veteran-owned businesses and enable global supply chains that are more responsible, sustainable and inclusive. Mitchell Ross, CEO of Muru Office Supplies, was the beneficiary of the diverse connections that SAP Ariba can help buyers and sellers make when he was invited to participate in an online tender on the Ariba Network by one of Australia’s largest companies that was looking to end disadvantage among Aboriginal people.

“Muru means pathway and as an Aboriginal man, I want to create a pathway for the next generation of Aboriginal people,” Ross says. “Through the Ariba Network, I was able to connect with a like-minded buyer who wants to do the same and win 100 percent of their  office supply business.”

And Ross is paying it forward, using his new-found success to launch an incubator he’s co-founded to help young Aboriginal people who want to start businesses learn how to do it.

“Today’s procurement professionals don’t just want to negotiate lower prices. They want to drive ethical behaviors across the supply chain and make procurement awesome,” Atzberger says. “We share their passion and are committed to delivering solutions that not only help them run better, but make the world a better place.

There is power in purpose. Click here to learn more about how SAP Ariba can help you leverage it to differentiate your organization and #makeprocurementawesome.

SAP and our Partners. Improving Lives. That is our purpose.

Ashley Tully
Director, Global To-Partner Marketing

Follow Ashley on Twitter – @AshleyTully2


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      Author's profile photo Monika Patel
      Monika Patel

      Excellent Share. Loved the purpose. NOT just MONEY !!


      Making The World A Better Space To Live in