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Spend Target 

Tactical Sourcing, together with Service Purchase Order, is the most appropriate buying channel for specialized spend, in between core and tail spend. It helps users by expediting requests for detailed pricing for specific purchases. This is always executed within the company's policy, and if the need arises, with procurement team support. 


Figure 1 – Specialized Spend definition.  

For a brief overview and demonstration of Tactical Sourcing, we recommend watching Tactical Sourcing in the SAP Ariba guided buying capability (youtube.com).

Procurement Scenarios 

Each request's content and corresponding policies decide the level of procurement team involvement. We have grouped this into four diverse scenarios: 

  1. Self Service: Casual users interact directly with suppliers via an RFQ (Request for Quote) under policy guidelines within Guided Buying. 
  2. Low Touch: Casual users submit an RFQ in Guided Buying. This RFQ is reviewed by the procurement team in Guided Sourcing and, if necessary, adjusted before being published for suppliers. 
  3. High Touch: The RFQ is not only reviewed before publishing but also awarded in Guided Sourcing. This must occur before the requester can convert the Award to a Requisition in Guided Buying. 
  4. Sourcing Request: Here, no RFQ event is directly created, but a Sourcing Request is submitted for procurement team to review and decide following actions.  


Figure 2 – Tactical Sourcing scenarios based on procurement involvement  

To better understand the Self-Service Scenario, do watch our SAP Ariba Guided Buying Tactical Sourcing End to End Walkthrough (youtube.com) demo. 

Process Components 

The key elements of this process are: 

  • RFQ Form: Designed in Guided Buying UI, defining the structure and item types of the request. Published as a tile in Guided Buying for specific category and, if required, location or job function. 
  • Policies: Created in MS Excel and with two types: 
    • Supplier and Touch policy (mandatory): This policy defines the conditions to allow end users to collaborate with preferred and qualified suppliers, the RFQ type and when and how sourcing department should be involved. 
    • Supplier Selection policy (optional): This policy narrows the pool of suppliers available for selection in forms. 
  • RFQ Template: Built in SAP Ariba Sourcing, defining the RFQ event properties. Which template applies to each event is determined from the Supplier and Touch policy. Guided Sourcing templates are supported and recommended.

For an in-depth look at these scenarios, process components, and steps to configure them, refer to our complete Value Accelerator: SAP Ariba Tactical Sourcing. 

Recent Enhancements 

From November 2020 a new RFQ form is available, and many customers are yet to discover. This new RFQ form is a prerequisite for all Tactical Sourcing enhancements delivered since its release. Here are some key features: 

  • Multi-line items RFQs support. 
  • Direct API communication: Facilitates smooth data exchange between Guided Buying and SAP Ariba Sourcing. 
  • Enhanced Supplier and Touch policies: Provides additional fields for more detailed "Accept Quote" phase validations. 
  • Improved Quotes Visibility: 
    • Supplier Participation Details: Access to suppliers' contact information, participation status, and reasons for decline. 
    • Bid Comparison Overview: Provides a high-level snapshot. 
    • Detailed Bid Comparisons: Detailed item-level comparison with additional filters. 
  • Refined Quotes functionalities: Additional features include options for -  
    • Alternative bidding. 
    • Supplier-added items.
    • Buyer added items (applicable to Low and High Touch only).
  • Awarding enhancements: To further streamline processes, we have added -  
    • A clear, designated section for awarded quotes to aid transparency. 
    • Support for awarding a single event to multiple suppliers (High Touch only). 
    • The choice to select the award content that converts into a Requisition (High Touch only).
  • Additional Guided Buying RFQ form actions: These include – 
    • Save draft. 
    • Edit. 
    • Cancel. 
    • Duplicate. 
    • Team RFQ 

Please note, these enhancements are currently unavailable for the Sourcing Request scenario. 

For future enhancements, stay tuned to our SAP Road Map Explorer.

For more details about last enhancements, feel free to check our blog post Guided Buying Tactical Sourcing Innovations Update - SAP Community.

Summary of Configuration 

Below is a concise overview of the primary configuration steps to activate the new RFQ (Request for Quote) form. Please, always refer to the latest version of the Guided Buying Administration | SAP Help Portal for the most precise and up-to-date details.  

  1. Enable new API communication parameters: 
  2. Design the forms components: 
  3. Add a “Request Form New” tile to Guided Buying using form components created in previous step: 
  4. Adjust Supplier Touch policies to the new RFQ options: 
  5. Review required terms for new API communication, and optionally (SAP Ariba Sourcing license is required), create custom Guided Buying Quote templates to modify standard event settings.

We Value Your Insight! 

Throughout this blog, I sought to outline the business need, process flow, necessary components, the most recent enhancements, as well as the essential steps needed to effectively enable Tactical Sourcing in Guided Buying.  

My sincere hope is that this information equips you with a deeper understanding, whether you are looking to implement or upscale your Tactical Sourcing buying channel.  

We would appreciate it if you could share your experiences with Tactical Sourcing in the comments section below. Your insights and perspectives are invaluable to us as we strive to improve and evolve. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Great blog Jorge!!


Very good summary Jorge.... Thanks