Advancing Supply Chain Resilience: How to Deploy a Vendor Portal with SAP Work Zone
Material costs are rising exponentially, delayed parts shipments are making production operations sporadic at best, and even labor shortages are stifling any hope of getting products to customers on time. These are some of the challenges supply chain management facing today.
What will be a quick and cost-effective solution? Many of our customers have deployed a vendor portal to address those issues and meet customer demand effectively.
As one of our customers put it: it’s faster to build a portal to drive a responsive network of parts suppliers than build new factories and hire more labor to produce the same outcome.
Scale and efficiency unlocked, even during disruption
Anyone who has tried to buy a car, gaming console, new laptop, or any other consumer electronics recently knows that these products could be in short supply in times of a chip shortage. Most manufacturers are desired to accelerate their chip supply as fast as possible to better meet the market demand.
Tracking vendors’ deliveries and anticipating prices are not always easy when using multiple SAP and third-party applications and tools. Instead, manufacturers need a better way to collaborate with their vendors more closely, so they orchestrate replacements at a better cost and forecast parts requirements and availability further ahead than their competitors can.
Many SAP customers have decided to implement a vendor portal that complements their existing deployment of SAP Ariba Procurement solutions to overcome these challenges. The portal enables them to coordinate thousands of parts associated with their supply chains with a longer planning horizon and a better view into opportunities to lower costs, optimize quality, and prepare for demand spikes.
By integrating SAP Work Zone on SAP Business Technology Platform with SAP Ariba solutions, manufacturers can gain supply chain agility by extending their network beyond preferred suppliers with a single vendor portal. As a result, they can capture more competitive pricing, acquire more sustainable parts, and seek vendors that can produce necessary volumes faster. Supply chain planners can also simulate and compare costs across multiple suppliers. And in several cases, these capabilities have helped SAP customers achieve a 10% drop in their spending while ensuring compliance and enriching regulatory and business governance.
More importantly, manufacturers can pivot their supply chain quickly as new requirements and needs arise. The portal is designed to contextually guide buyers through the approved procurement process during times of emergency spend, shifts in customer requirements, or accelerated launches of new products. When every purchase is made through the portal, organizations can help ensure requests follow internal policies, benefit from approved discounts and pricing, and comply with government mandates ‒ all without additional user training and process delays.
A fusion of the right technologies and processes
The vendor portal is a culmination of the vast potential of the cloud, the delivery of innovations with a quick ROI, and the flexibility to connect to existing technology and migrate to the latest. Whether organizations are onboarding new suppliers, requisitioning parts, or tracking goods movement, the portal is constructed to work with multiple SAP and third-party applications and provide a single integrated and extensible view based on those systems.
With the help of prepackaged content from SAP partner ConvergentIS, our customers can design and implement a vendor portal that best meets their needs. At the foundation is SAP Business Technology Platform, and SAP Work Zone serves as the point where users can access business processes, submit live requests, and create and approve purchase orders.
Moreover, this architecture securely connects every vendor to back-end systems such as SAP Ariba solutions. It is also important to note that manufacturers can control the information that supply vendors can access. By keeping the process streamlined and the interaction simple, organizations can turn a traditionally complex procurement process into a simple, yet highly governed, experience.
Stronger with responsive vendor management
Supply chains may comprise many different businesses ‒ some big, some small ‒ focused on fulfilling orders. But ultimately, the main objective is getting the right people to deliver the right components at the right spot and time.
With a vendor portal, supply chains gain the technology, processes, and standards to support the flexibility to respond to change, openness to collaborate fully, and insight to find the best suppliers. And over time, manufacturers open themselves to an entirely new level of competitiveness ‒ a supply chain that rivals the resiliency of their competitors.
To learn more about the vendor portal, watch the on-demand session “Rapid Deployment Vendor Portal with SAP Business Technology Platform and SAP Work Zone,” featuring Shaun Syvertsen, CEO of ConvergentIS, and Aviad Rivlin, director of Product Management at SAP.