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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
How far along is your company on the digital transformation journey?

You need to invest in technology to automate tasks and integrate processes connecting your business end-to-end and providing suppliers and partners along your supply chain the required transparency. The key to your successful digital transformation is to turn your business into an intelligent enterprise. Intelligent enterprises run agile, integrated business processes, and use advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things. Running an intelligent enterprise helps you to become more resilient enabling your business to adapt, innovate and overcome challenges and more sustainable supporting the reduction of waste and emissions as well as responsible choices. SAP has the solutions, the services, and the ecosystem to deliver this vision as the example from the area of purchasing shows: Purchasing the required quantity at the right point in time under the best conditions is essential for smooth and efficient operations. This requires clear processes and responsibilities as well as a system that provides automation and decisions support and is tightly integrated into business networks to continuously interact with suppliers.

Learn how SAP S/4HANA Cloud leverages intelligent technologies as well as its tight integration into business networks to optimize the purchasing process:

The described process flow shows the procurement of goods via a business network end-to-end. Thus, it starts with the creation of a Purchase Requisition and only ends with the posting of the supplier invoice in the customer system.

An operational purchaser normally enters the excel sheet input like new Purchase Requisitions (PRs) manually one by one. With help of an intelligent bot running on the Business Technology Platform (BTP) the PRs will be created automatically in the SAP S/4HANA cloud system (1).


Opening the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system shows that the PR from the Excel has been successfully created and is ready for further processing (2).


The strategic purchaser needs to ensure that the created PRs are aligned and fit to the purchasing strategy. Therefore, the purchaser receives PRs with specific criteria for approval. As his inbox can be very busy, it is key to optimize decision making. For this purpose, the strategic purchaser leverages the decision support provided by SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Based on a machine learning algorithm the system analyzes each requisition and indicates based on historical data, how likely the approval of the PR is the right decision (3).


After the PR is approved, the operational purchaser can create Purchase Orders (POs) from the approved requisitions. After the successful order creation, the Purchase Order is sent to the supplier network. Here an overview of the documents which are created so far (4).


Signed up to the SAP Ariba Network, the supplier reviews new incoming orders and finds the order that has just been placed on the customer side (5).


He opens the options for this order to confirm it, adapts, if necessary, the default confirmation date and submits the confirmation, which is sent back to the customer directly. When the logistic department has prepared delivery, the supplier selects the order again in order to create an advanced shipping notice, which allows the customer to prepare for the goods receipt. The supplier confirms the quantity to be shipped and submits the advanced shipping notice (6)


Back at the customer, the confirmation has been received and the warehouse clerk prepares goods receipt entering the ASN as reference. As soon as the goods arrive physically, he posts the goods receipt and the respective material document is created (7).


The supplier logs on to the SAP Ariba Network again where he has a look at the detailed order history to ensure that everything is correct before he creates an invoice for the processed PO (8).


The order history once again emphasizes the tight integration showing that all relevant documents from order confirmation to the confirmation of goods receipt are directly synchronized between the supplier and the customer. After confirming the order history, the supplier creates the invoice, checks all details of the transaction again and submits the invoice to the customer.

The customer now finds the new supplier invoice in his supplier invoices worklist and opens the invoice details. Due to the tight integration with the SAP Ariba Network the invoice receipt for received invoice from the Network has been posted automatically and all steps are already done (9).


In the shown purchasing process, SAP S/4HANA Cloud fully leverages the advantages of applying intelligent technologies to a business process while also streamlining supplier collaboration via a Business Network. The result: Improved process efficiency and increased user and customer satisfaction.

This is only one of many innovative processes in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Follow our upcoming video series to get insight into further innovative and integrated processes regularly.

To find out more, feel free to have a look here:

SAP S/4HANA Feature Scope Description: http://spr.ly/6009Ds0UT

SAP Fiori Application Library: http://spr.ly/6006Ds0Uw

SAP S/4HANA Trials: http://spr.ly/6005Ds0Uc