Supplier Enablement is a hot topic in the procurement domain. More and more cloud solutions are emerging for processes involving suppliers. Think of tenders, contract negotiations, order creation/ordering and invoicing. Because of this, you can no longer see an IT transformation in isolation from those suppliers. Your internal organization changes, but so does supplier collaboration.
We see that with new systems, organizations often underestimate the impact on suppliers. They are not involved and supported (enough) in the changes, which leads to ambiguities and pain points. Suppliers report these to their internal contacts. As a result, procurement gets saddled with the problem. Or someone is given this aspect "in addition" to their current role.
The trick is to approach suppliers as critical stakeholders in the project. Supplier Enablement, in other words, and it is essential that you designate someone with experience to do this. This way you avoid mistakes that damage the relationship with suppliers. Our supplier enablement specialists distinguish themselves through the unique mix of content (SAP Ariba) and change management knowledge. Moreover, we bring a set of tools, materials and best practices as an accelerator.
The trick is to explicitly set aside time and budget for Supplier Enablement early in the project. By doing so, you give the topic the attention it deserves, and avoid having to "fix" suppliers not using the system properly after implementation. This includes clear communication about timelines and expectations and preparing good training materials. It is crucial that you have consultants on board with knowledge and experience of both Ariba and Supplier Enablement and change.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel for Supplier Enablement. We already have a well-stocked toolkit in place containing everything you need per project phase. From a stakeholder analysis at the start to a wave planning, supplier website, communication plan and monitoring of adoption.