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How to Streamline Procurement Processes With SAP Ariba Operations Desk

Procurement efficiency depends on the correct implementation of each operation across a multistage process. There is a set of challenges that should be taken into consideration during the processing of buying requests.

  • More than 40% buying requests have to be handled manually; 
  • Multi-step approval process with category managers, buyers, and the other employees involved.

Each step causes certain issues among the process participants. 

End users can’t figure out whether they’ve provided enough information in the request, when it will be completed, and what’s the reason for its current status.

Category managers receive dozens or even hundreds of requests per day and spend much time to prioritize their processing manually and request missing information. 

Directors of the procurement divisions and shared services centers fail to know how many tasks are in already in progress. If any requests haven’t been processed yet, they have to redistribute workload and reassign request processing tasks.

 The SAP Ariba Procurement Operations Desk (POD) functionality for SAP Ariba Buying and SAP Ariba Sourcing helps to address all these challenges. POD is an application for procurement process automation. It processes buying requests and manages tasks between employees. 

How does Procurement Operations Desk work for SAP Ariba Sourcing?

After connecting POD to SAP Ariba Sourcing, all buying requests with the procurement desk tasks are automatically routed to Procurement Operations Desk for processing.

Automated rule-based assignments allow for flexibility and control. The Unassigned Tasks tab shows the requests which don’t correspond to any rule. In this case, a category manager can start working on the task, mark it as ‘done’, create an extra task if the information from the other employee is required, move to a project, and look through the details. The option to leave comments and add attachments is available. 

POD for SAP Ariba Buying

The application deals with all the requests related to the POD group. Each request is assigned to a category manager. Among the opportunities while handling the requests is defining their current status, like ‘Waiting for response’, ‘Waiting for the request details’, etc.

Distribution of roles in Procurement Operations Desk

Administrators, managers, and agents are three basic roles assigned to the users of the procurement management system.

Agents are responsible for handling requests, check their details, make necessary changes, and assign preferred suppliers. 

Managers stand for the users who distribute tasks across the team members based on their workloads and monitor due dates. 

Administrators are capable of distributing and prioritizing tasks. They also upload the reasons why requests were rejected and additional task statuses, restart task distribution, and extract data on the POD updates. 

Top 3 reasons to use SAP Ariba POD, a procurement management system 

  1. Balanced workflow. Vacations and employee availability are considered. A queue management mechanism is available for different product categories. Queues can be divided according to a company code or purchasing unit.
  2. Better transparency between teams and requesters
  1. SAP Ariba Buying and SAP Ariba Sourcing data synchronization lets tracking task status and seeing new requests five minutes after their creation.