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Objectives of Ariba Forward Action and Recommendation

During my journey of two (2) decades in SCM domain, came across multiple Supply Chain (SC) solutions.First decade as a commodity manager got an opportunity to conduct reverse auction events supported by “Free Market” (Earlier name of Ariba Product Company). Second decade as a consultant in leading software organization got an opportunity to support latest SAP -Ariba system for a large organization.

It was worth to see Free Market’s reverse auction standalone solution transformed into a full-fledged Ariba Procurement solution bringing buyer and seller community together for mutual benefits. Ariba solution today provides opportunities to integrate upstream, downstream & Ariba network modules seamlessly.

So as far as earlier “Free Market” standalone solution is concerned, it has now become “events” in Ariba sourcing capability. After critically examining current event templates in SAP Ariba sourcing, my observation is that forward and reverse auctions are separate templates with same process and code base behind these templates.

In real world though, reverse auction is cost reduction and is preferred by buyer community while forward auctions is price increase and preferred by seller community.

Thus my opinion is that forward auction functionalities need to be treated differently with respect to sourcing events, just to avoid confusion for end users. Here buyers and sellers will have different objectives to achieve. Buyer conduct reverse auction expecting lowest “quote/item’, while Seller expecting highest bid for each product.

In order to use or exploit forward auction functionalities by sellers in Ariba sourcing environment, buyer organization need to train seller community as well. Seller community can take advantage of forward auction functionalities and can reach out to potential buyers on Ariba network (here terminology will be “Supplier”, from Ariba network perspective).

Seller community can use forward auctions templates extensively (currently templates configured under forward auction are simple forward auction, forward auction with bid transformation, forward Dutch auction ,forward Dutch action with bid transformation etc.)

To avoid confusion for buyers/sellers in Ariba sourcing landscape,Ariba implementing organization can classify one sub-section of sourcing projects as selling projects in library templates during configuration and activate all the forward auction templates under this. Also, instead of activating access for buyer profile they need to activate access for seller profiles for forward auctions.

Illustrative approach:

  1. Change required in starting of event:
  2. Select one type of forward auction template:

Developing and managing templates in the Ariba system is critical to providing end users with the documents, process,and team necessary to complete their projects.Forward auction templates can be sub grouped as “Selling Project Templates” in library,this is to maximizing the use of Selling Templates by seller community or specific event owners,highlighting various use methods for users to populate the correct information including conditions,multiple templates,document storage, and team member rules.

In my views this approach can enhance usage of forward auction extensively.

Look forward to hear from you.

 

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