One year ago, I embarked on an exciting journey as the Procurement Adoption Director in EMEA/MEE part of the Solution & Value Advisory Team within SAP's Customer Success Organization. Having previously spent over a decade as a Senior Consultant at SAP Services, I wanted to reflect on the challenges our customers face and share how my team is dedicated to transforming those challenges into triumphs.
Lately, we've noticed a growing number of customers seeking guidance on guided sourcing capability in SAP Ariba Sourcing. Some customers inquire about the product itself, while others have questions about the change management process, so I thought it made sense to blog about it.
First things first, there's no separate license required for guided sourcing and enablement is a straightforward, and your System Administrator should be able to handle it by reviewing our step-by-step guides Setting up guided sourcing (SAP Help).
SAP Support is not needed and once enabled, users can access guided sourcing through a dedicated system group which means you can run both guided sourcing and classic sourcing side-by-side. You will need to create a guided sourcing version of your sourcing templates.
Be rest assured, there are currently no plans to discontinue classic sourcing however, guided sourcing is the roadmap and the future for SAP. Now about the interface, not only does it have a sleeker, more modern feel but it also offers new ML/AI-based features, and not to mention regularly feature release every quarter.
When it comes to adopting guided sourcing, our team have developed an overview of Do’s and Don’ts’s to support you further:
Plan and Prepare:
Analyze your organization's current sourcing processes and identify areas where guided sourcing can provide added value
Engage with key stakeholders and create a roadmap outlining the transition process
Allocate resources for training and change management initiatives to support a smooth transition (12 keys for Success)
Understand guided sourcing features
Familiarize yourself with the enhanced capabilities and features of guided sourcing
Explore the available resources, documentation, and training materials provided by SAP Ariba to gain in-depth knowledge of the new system (see below)
Pilot Projects and Testing
Create a guided sourcing version of your sourcing templates
Conduct pilot projects with a limited scope to gain hands-on experience with guided sourcing
Perform thorough testing to identify any gaps or challenges in the migration process
Gather feedback from users and incorporate their insights to refine and optimize the transition approach
Collaborate with SAP Ariba
Leverage the expertise and support of SAP Ariba Consultants and Customer Success Teams throughout the migration journey
Review knowledge materials, g., guided sourcing buyer Value Accelerator,
Engage in regular communication to address any concerns, seek guidance, and ensure alignment with best practices
Don’t Rush the Migration Process
Avoid hasty decision-making and ensure ample time for planning, testing, and user training
Rushing the migration can lead to overlooked issues and negatively impact user adoption and system performance
Avoid a ‘big bang’ approach and release it to all your users. Pilot first with a subset of users whilst classic sourcing is running in parallel
Don’t Neglect User Training
Do not underestimate the importance of training users on the new guided sourcing platform
Provide comprehensive training programs and resources to empower users with the knowledge and skills necessary to leverage the system effectively
Don’t Ignore Change Management
Change management plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition
Do not overlook the need for effective change communication, stakeholder engagement, and support mechanisms to help users embrace the new system
Don’t expect guided sourcing to be a 1-1 copy of classic sourcing functionality. There are differences in the functionality and behavior
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog – I hope you found it interesting.
The following documents and content have been collated to assist you with the enablement and setup of guided sourcing capability within SAP Ariba Sourcing: