Ariba simplifies sourcing direct materials; partners to combat slavery in supply chains

Ariba, an SAP SE company, is well-known for simplifying procurement of indirect goods and services, and the latest release of Ariba Sourcing promises to do the same for direct material purchasing.

Ariba Sourcing is now integrated with SAP ECC, allowing companies to more quickly respond to sourcing requests triggered by their ERP system and better manage the execution of these requests.

According to Ariba, this development will streamline the process for demand-driven sourcing, reduce duplicate data entry, extend the strategic sourcing process to cover a higher proportion of spend, and eliminate custom integration work.

Importantly, the bi-directional integration of vendor master data from SAP ERP and Ariba Sourcing will keep data consistent and ensure the correct vendor is linked to each sourcing opportunity.

“For many companies, supplier data is inconsistent and stored in multiple systems, making it difficult to determine if the right things are being bought from the right suppliers at the right prices,” said Andrew Bartolini, managing partner and chief research officer at Ardent Partners, a research and consultancy firm specialising in supply management.

“By synchronising this data and managing it in a single location, procurement departments can access the knowledge they need to optimise sourcing decisions and improve compliance.”

The latest release of Ariba Sourcing also boasts a new user interface and more intuitive search capabilities, which automatically perform searches from a single location across all projects, suppliers and associated documents.

Also announced at the Ariba LIVE event last week in Munich was a partnership between Ariba and Made In a Free World, a network of individuals, groups and businesses working to disrupt slavery.

By bringing together the Ariba Network and the world’s most comprehensive forced labour database, the partnership aims to help companies detect and mitigate slavery in their global supply chains.

There are an estimated 20 million to 30 million forced labourers in global supply chains – from conflict minerals in the Congo to fishing in Thailand to migrant workers in the United States and North America.

“Companies are now being held accountable, not just for their supply chain, but for their sub-tier supply chain,” says Justin Dillon, founder and CEO of Made In A Free World.  “And this requires a completely new level of information and transparency.”

Ariba plans to combine its network and more than 16 years’ worth of transactional, relationship and community-generated content that resides on it with Made In A Free World’s FRDM database, which maps the bill of materials of a range of products and services down to their raw materials and labour inputs.

This will enable companies to evaluate their spending and supply chain against the FRDM database to see where forced labour might exist; obtain alerts to potential future risks; identify alternative sources of supply; and access category-specific playbooks that provide a framework for detecting forced labour and outline actions to remediate it.

Chris Haydon, senior vice president of product management, Ariba, said, “In harnessing the connectivity and intelligence of networks like Ariba and Made In a Free World, companies can make more informed decisions about their supply chains that not only help their business, but make the world a better place. This isn’t just a huge opportunity, it’s a responsibility. Because at the end of the day, you can outsource processes and manufacturing, but you can’t outsource accountability.”


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