SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing: Key Features and Tips for A Successful Rollout

SAP Ariba always recommends that organizations take advantage of feature improvements to the platform that enhance user experience and adoption. For 2024, SAP is focusing on Guided Sourcing. Their goal is to encourage all organizations to deploy the interface by the end of the year. Here’s what you need to know.

What is SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing?

SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing was released in November 2020. Much like the very popular Guided Buying module, it simplifies the procurement process by making sourcing more user-friendly.

Basically, Guided Sourcing is a streamlined view of the full strategic sourcing module. Its resources are organized into one page to offer a simpler, more intuitive interface. It supports multiple event types, including Request for Proposal (RFP) and auctions, and a number of bid format options, including sealed bids, multi-round bidding, and email bidding.

What are the Benefits of Guided Sourcing?

Guided Sourcing is a more intuitive experience that allows anyone to create sourcing events. But it takes less time because everything is on one screen. That means even the more casual Ariba user can create a sourcing event.

Guided Sourcing supports both single event and full sourcing projects, just like the full sourcing module does.

Features of SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing

According to SAP’s most recent update:

A full project can contain multiple events and supports all project management features, including phases, tasks, project documents, and project teams. Full projects can also contain multiple subprojects with events that share planning and savings tracking information. Full projects enable multiple users to work on the same documents or events with defined roles and processes, as well as tasks.

A single-event project can contain only one event with limited project management features. Single-event projects can contain documents only as items or attachments in the event. Single-event projects support project teams with no limitations. Single-event projects do not support phases and support only the following event-specific tasks:

  • Approval for Publish
  • Approval for Award
  • Review for Team Grading
  • Approval for Team Grading
  • Approval for Timing Change
  • Creating an event inherited from the full project template.
  • Creating an event from an event template specified for reuse in the project template.

There are also messaging capabilities in Guided Sourcing to communicate about projects and RFx events.

How does Guided Sourcing work with Supplier Management?

If your site connects to SAP Ariba Supplier Management Solutions, accessing a supplier’s 360° profile within the platform is easy during guided sourcing events. This comprehensive profile holds all collected supplier information, accessible either from the supplier list or search results within the guided sourcing interface.

For integrated sites utilizing SAP Ariba Supplier Risk and Supplier Lifecycle & Performance solutions, the Risk level column enables you to view supplier risk levels.

If your site is linked with both SAP Ariba Supplier Risk and Supplier Management Solutions, you can effortlessly associate existing supplier risk engagement projects with guided sourcing events. This integration enables seamless navigation between supplier risk engagement projects and the supplier card within guided sourcing.

What is the cost of Guided Sourcing?

There is no additional cost for current licensed SAP Ariba sourcing customers, however Guided Sourcing does require some enablement and configuration to be able to leverage all of your existing templates.

Should we transition to Guided Sourcing now?

SAP has been introducing strategic improvements to Guided Sourcing since its release and we have covered them extensively in our Ariba Quarterly Update article series. The latest release, Ariba’s 2023 Q4 release, was no exception. Nearly all of the upstream upgrades were to Guided Sourcing.

According to SAP, customers are realizing a 50% improvement in time to create an RFx event. With that kind of time (and money) savings, there’s no reason not to at least start planning for the move. A consulting partner with specifc expertise in SAP Aribam, such as CCP Global, can be invaluable in helping to evaluate your current landscape and plan for that transition.

What are best practices for a Guided Sourcing rollout?

  • Familiarize yourself with the SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing features and how they differ from the sourcing solution you’re currently using. This allows you to identify where and how Guided Sourcing can add value and simplify the user experience. It will also help you determine which users to target in your deployment.
  • Review the available resources from SAP Ariba that can help walk you through this transition, so you understand what’s involved.
  • Engage key stakeholders early in the process so they have a full understanding of the new system.
  • Plan for facilitating training and change management initiatives to ensure full user adoption.
  • Develop guided sourcing templates based on your sourcing models.
  • Initiate pilot projects with defined scopes to acquire practical experience in guided sourcing.
  • Execute comprehensive testing to uncover any potential hurdles during the migration phase.
  • Collect user feedback and integrate their suggestions to enhance and streamline the transition process.

SAP Ariba Guided Sourcing is transforming the way organizations approach procurement. By integrating intelligent automation, data analytics, and supplier collaboration, it empowers businesses to make more informed decisions, reduce costs, and drive efficiency in their procurement processes. As the landscape of procurement continues to evolve, Ariba Guided Sourcing provides a competitive edge to organizations that want to optimize their sourcing and supplier management capabilities.

Ready to move to Guided Sourcing?

We can walk you through it.