Discussing the Buyer and Supplier Integration


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of buyer and supplier integration

Buyer Integration

All buyers are "integrated" by default, by virtue of the buy side app’s native integration to SAP Business Network.

Buyers may AUTOMATE their process; via products we sell; integration comes with:

  • Collaborative Commerce
  • Doc Automation
  • SCC

OR any transactional solution that is NOT P2x/SAP Ariba Buying.

Subscriptions come with a setup included

Suppliers can select routing methods for incoming documents if they are the administrator, if they have Transaction Configuration permission, or if they have cXML Configuration permission (only for suppliers using cXML). Suppliers can specify order routing methods for incoming documents if the account is either in preview or production mode.

When selecting a routing method, consider your infrastructure, technical capabilities, purchase order volume, and order fulfillment systems. You can select different routing methods for different types of order documents.

SAP Business Network stores all transactions (including orders and releases) in the online regardless of routing methods you select. Users can always view transactions by logging on to their user account. Online order routing is the best choice for some suppliers, because it requires only an Internet connection and a supported browser.

The most common order routing methods are fax and email, because most suppliers already have a fax machine or email account. Suppliers with advanced order-receiving infrastructures can choose cXML or EDI routing. These methods send electronic documents to suppliers' order receiving systems. They require suppliers to have technical personnel available to set up and maintain their cXML or EDI systems.

All routing methods are free, except for EDI routing through a Value Added Network (VAN). VANs typically charge suppliers for membership and a per transaction fee. EDI suppliers can avoid this cost by using EDI over the Internet (AS2 transport). Contact SAP Ariba Customer Support if you want to implement EDI routing using AS2 transport. Additional order routing methods are available if your customer has requested SAP Business Network to provide you with custom routing methods. If you choose a custom routing method, documents are sent through a mapping process to or from cXML.

Supplier Integration Overview

What is supplier integration?

Supplier integration is connecting a supplier's ERP to SAP Business Network via an electronic method (cXML / EDI) to transact POs, OCs, ASNs, Invoices and other documents with buyers via a touchless process.

Supplier integration is recommended for suppliers who transact 500 documents a year or more. In some cases, integration may be recommended for as low as 200 documents.

Regardless, suppliers are able to integrate no matter this document count.

Why is integration important?

Large suppliers only accept to use SAP Business Network via an automated connection. These suppliers have the highest document volume and will heavily contribute to the success of a buyer’s enablement program business case. The type of suppliers or may integrate include:

  • Suppliers with high annual document volume: ~500+ docs/year per relationship
  • Technically sophisticated suppliers with integration capabilities
  • An eCommerce or IT team

How is it different than PO-flip?

PO-flip is a manual invoicing option in the SAP Business Network user interface where suppliers log in to their SAP Business Network account, select a PO, and manually flip it into an invoice. Integration removes the need for a seller to login to SAP Business Network portal to transact.

Value and Benefits of Integration

Why are integrated sellers an important part of a buyer’s enablement program?

  • Many large suppliers ONLY accept to use SAP Ariba via an automated connection (high document volume).
  • These suppliers are typically the most strategic suppliers for a buyer and will heavily contribute to the success of a buyer’s enablement program and business case.
  • Buyer’s need to be fully prepared with resources to support integration scoping and testing.

Additional Benefits of Integration

Integration means that more activities happen behind the scenes, there is less chance for errors, transactions occur faster, and fewer people are required for tactical processes.

1. Reduces Procure-to Pay Cycle Time

Faster processing of documents, real-time system-to-system

  • 75% order processing productivity gains via Integration
  • Minimize delays in securing payment

2. Increased Transaction Accuracy

  • No human entry errors results in reduction of disputes
  • Increased accuracy by 45-60%

3. Efficient Management of Business Transactions

  • Reduced cost for resources to PO Flip at high volumes
  • Reduced Invoice inquiry by exchanging real-time Invoice status via SAP Business Network

4. Improve customer retention, integration is "stickier"

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