Ariba Microprojects: Small Investments, Big Results

What is an Ariba microproject?

A microproject is a targeted, short-term project focused on improving your Source to Pay systems, processes, and performance. They can address any facet of your system or processes, focusing on those areas where your Ariba solution has started to lag in effectiveness.

Your initial SAP Ariba implementation was probably focused on the big picture. When problems arise it’s common to think that Ariba was deployed incorrectly. It can be discouraging to think you didn’t make the right design decisions. But that’s not usually the problem.

The fact is that Ariba is an evolving system and support needs to evolve as well. An Ariba microproject can keep those original goals on track by targeting problems as they appear, before they become overwhelming.

As a top provider of SAP Ariba Application Managed Services (AMS), we understand the outsized impact that a microproject can have on your system. That’s why it’s one of our most popular AMS offerings.

What is the benefit of a microproject?

An Ariba microproject is instrumental in driving process improvements. They focus on small, manageable tasks that contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of a process.

That targeted approach allows you to break down complex processes into smaller, more manageable, and budget friendly components. By targeting specific areas for improvement, you can tackle them individually and make incremental enhancements.

With a microproject, changes are implemented in short cycles. This enables you to test, evaluate, and refine process improvements rapidly. That means lower risks compared to large-scale process overhauls. You make important and impactful improvements without significant investments or disruptions to the overall Source to Pay process flow.

These smaller projects can also help with user adoption. Employees who work closely with the process can become the super user that encourages others to engage.

Last, but not least, microprojects are cost-effective since they require fewer resources compared to large-scale process improvement initiatives. The smaller scope allows you to allocate resources efficiently and achieve meaningful results within manageable budgets. And in a much shorter time period.

8 Best areas for Ariba microprojects

We have been providing Ariba consulting services for more than 25 years. In that time, we have found that these are the top areas where microprojects can make big improvements in the effectiveness of your system:

1. User Adoption

This is one of the top concerns we hear from our Ariba clients.  Your company had a vision when you invested in Ariba and we work to understand that vision. Then, we share this perspective and forthcoming benefits with your users, using proven change management techniques. That includes providing insight into policies, methods for accountability, new training approaches, and metrics for compliance.

2. Supplier Adoption

A very close second to user adoption is supplier adoption. A microproject can aim to increase supplier enablement within your Ariba system.   This may include reviewing your previous communications with suppliers, recategorizing waves of enablement, and enhancing documentation on your Supplier Information Portal.  Getting suppliers enabled to transact with you on the Network is the goal. We use every tool and method available to onboard them for your success.

3.  Data Cleansing

We are approached frequently by clients who complain that Ariba has too many errors, causes too much manual work to resolve issues or data is simply missing which prevents (and discourages) users from using the system.  This is usually a master data issue.  We quickly diagnose why you may be experiencing one or all of these issues. That includes reviewing your integration protocols, mapping, and ERP master data extraction rules. Data cleansing involves identifying and correcting these inconsistencies and inaccuracies. By focusing on a specific subset of data or a particular data source, a microproject addresses data quality issues to improve your users’ experience.

4. Process Optimization 

We target your sore spot in the Source to Pay process and provide best practice recommendations. Our focus is significantly improving touchless processing, compliance, and increasing your return on investment.

5. System Administration

Most clients that come to us because they are overwhelmed with managing Ariba. Often, the roles and responsibilities of managing the system were not discussed or defined during the initial investment or deployment. This leaves a huge gap after go live. The result is a plethora of documents and inquiries piling up, which can result in a chaotic administrative environment.  A microproject in this area improves user and supplier support. We create a seamless approach to system administration across the organization, installing a consolidated, standardized method for future system improvements.

6. Reporting and Analytics

One of the great benefits of Ariba is the insight it gives into spend, productivity, and compliance. Developing custom analytical reports can enable better decision-making, identify cost-saving opportunities, and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs).

7. Catalogs and Integration

Are you ready to take the next step in further automating your Ariba transaction through a catalog or integration?  We quickly assess where you are in this process. We then define efficient methods and approaches to working with your suppliers, internal stakeholders, and Ariba Shared Services to accomplish this next milestone in your Ariba journey.

8. Continuous Improvement

A microproject can establish a feedback loop to gather user insights and suggestions for system improvements. This identifies areas of enhancement and prioritize future system updates. That ensures that the Ariba system evolves in line with the changing needs of the organization.

By employing microprojects to address very specific areas of improvement across Source to Pay, organizations can drive continuous enhancements, adapt to evolving needs, and optimize the value derived from these solutions with a very budget friendly approach.

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