SAP Ariba, what’s in it for me?

SAP Ariba, what’s in it for me?

SAP Ariba is a cloud-based Sourcing and Procurement solution, which facilitates a marketplace for buyers and suppliers to transact within a single network. Large enterprises, as well as mid-size companies, make use of SAP Ariba to gain more control on spend and configure efficient procurement processes. SAP Ariba is developed to coordinate the entire procurement process, from sourcing a product until payment handling.

Control and efficiency often contradict each other, as an increase in control frequently leads to less efficiency. SAP Ariba allows organizations to balance usability with internal compliance rules, ensuring a vibrant and fast procurement process.

SAP Ariba is available for large enterprises as well as for mid-size companies. Brainbox Consulting together with SAP offer implementation capabilities to the mid-size market of a digital procurement within only nine weeks.

A frequent question we face from our customers is how SAP Ariba will impact specific departments within their organizations. Brainbox Consulting understands business processes and focusses on exposing the underlying demands that exist within each department of our clients’ organizations. It is our goal to achieve seamless SAP Ariba integration, which can only be called seamless if all departments involved can reap the benefits of the procurement solution. This blog presents a couple of high-level user profiles to make you familiar with the implications.


Procurement is tasked with the process of finding and acquiring products and services with the most competitive terms. Procurement agents take purchase requests from various departments within the company and make sure the requisitioned items are procured according to company policies. SAP Ariba unburdens the procurement department as it distinguishes between no-touch, low-touch, and high-touch requisitions. No-touch and low-touch requisitions do not require (extensive) action from the procurement department and can be configured to automatically pass the approval process based on a set of compliance rules. Meanwhile, procurement agents can devote more time to “high-touch” requisitions that require end-to-end involvement.

SAP Ariba enables the procurement department to easily select preferred suppliers. This will counter supplier fragmentation and increases purchasing power, leading to better prices and strengthened supplier collaboration. With SAP Ariba, the procurement department can spend their time where it matters most.

“It is our goal to achieve seamless SAP Ariba integration, which can only be called seamless if all departments involved can reap the benefits of the procurement solution.”


Controllers protect the company’s assets by monitoring the financial condition of the organization and plan its resources with financial forecasts. They make decisions based on financial performance and enforce policies throughout the organization. SAP Ariba provides a clear data structure that can be utilized to create forecasts. The procurement solution can provide real-time evidence, delivering improved insights into demand and resource allocation.

SAP Ariba offers more control over the books, as it provides a clear overview of the purchased items and shows where the money is spent. Also, the controlling department can be added as an approver for high-value requisitions with additional compliance requirements.

The Ariba procurement software also contributes to accelerating time to purchase. This translates to catching cash flow issues early and lowers the amount of outstanding credit. With SAP Ariba, controllers can base their reports on real-time data which will improve the financial position of the company.

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable staff are concerned with processing invoices. Each location, department, country, or region can have its accounting details with separate cost centers. Manually processing invoices is time-consuming and requires a large amount of manpower. On average, an AP employee can process 7.500 invoices annually. SAP Ariba automates this process and can boost efficiency up to 50.000 invoices per FTE. The increase in throughput enables organizations to trigger payment term discounts and save money.

SAP Ariba can handle invoices through various integration methodologies such as a purchase order flip (P/O flip), invoice conversion services (ICS), direct the invoice from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and manual processing. A full-suite package provides end-to-end control of the invoicing process, makes it easier to onboard new suppliers and reduces the number of manual errors during invoicing. With SAP Ariba, the AP staff can process invoices faster and more accurately.


The IT department maintains digital systems and deploys technical support across the organization. IT professionals favor all-in-one solutions instead of fragmented systems to cope with knowledge centralization. SAP offers a complete eco-system to manage company processes and is currently the most adopted ERP provider for large enterprises and mid-size businesses. Ariba provides a powerful package within this eco-system and is known for its reliability and adaptiveness.

Our Brainbox Consultants are experts in the field of implementing and servicing SAP Ariba solutions. In addition, the Brainbox SNAP subscription model can provide long-term support for mid-size companies and unburdens IT departments with maintenance tasks. With SAP Ariba and Brainbox Consulting, the IT department can maintain a manageable IT software portfolio, benefits from (long-term) expert support, and adopts a flexible procurement solution.


End users are found throughout the entire organization. Their priorities are usability and having a fast-paced procuring process. For casual users, SAP Ariba includes the Guided Buying solution. Guided Buying is a multi-supplier catalog for the organization. In this catalog, end-users can effortlessly order their items, just like they would order products on consumer webstores. The user-friendly interface provides the end-user with an excellent buying experience.

The hierarchical structure of user levels in SAP Ariba makes it possible to assign authority levels to certain user groups, meaning that each user group will have access to different line-items or items categories. This structure withholds the possibility for compliance breaches or violations to occur.

The built-in approval overview shows the end-user the approval process. All approvers receive a notification when they are required to approve a requisition. When all the permissions are granted, the items will be ordered. The approvals require minimal effort and contribute to faster lead times. With SAP Ariba, end users can issue product and service requisitions quickly, effortlessly and without compliance infringements.

With SAP Ariba, Buying and Invoicing is made easy for the mid—size market as well as the large enterprise. 

If you are looking to digitize your procurement and want to know more about the SAP Ariba solution you can contact us directly and we will be happy to help you improve and control spend efficiently. 


“With SAP Ariba, Buying and Invoicing is made easy for the mid-size market and for large enterprises.”


Author: Rick Saasen,

Associate Consultant at Brainbox Consulting