How does SAP Stack Up When it Comes to Supplier Management Fundamentals? (Part 1)

In recent years, SAP's investments in the supplier management area have ranged from exceptionally innovative (e.g., Supplier InfoNet – which you can read about here, here, here, here, here) to more foundational areas. One of the core areas where SAP has put quite a bit of development focus in recent years has been the foundational supplier management capabilities of its On Demand Sourcing product suite. In a recent Spend Matters Compass report, Supplier Management Market Observations: Recent Trending, Musings on SAP's Core Offering and General Deployment Pitfalls (for all Solutions) to Avoid, we take a look at a recent version of SAP's On Demand Supplier Management solution, noting that from a procurement perspective, SAP checks the box with what we would consider core supplier management features including supplier self-service (or the potential for self-explanatory, self-service, based on how a user chooses to configure their system).

In addition, the solution provides core capabilities enabling:

  • Supplier search, identification and profile maintenance
  • Supplier performance measurement (note, several SAP solutions offer SPM capabilities, not just SAP Sourcing's supplier management module)
  • A basic centralized supplier information repository
  • Integration with SAP back-end systems
  • The option for SaaS/on-demand deployment

The SAP Wave 7 (from earlier in 2011) release adds the following capabilities:

  • The ability to more easily publish and replicate supplier information from/between/to multiple backend ERP systems
  • Enhanced configurable supplier creation and change workflow approvals
  • Configurable access/greater granularity around specific supplier attributes during workflow approval
  • Enhanced supplier performance visibility through supplier performance dashboards
  • Incorporation of additional Business Objects dash-boarding and reporting capability (Wave 7 and Wave 8)

We encourage customers considering SAP's supplier management capabilities to check out a more complete review of the solution in the recently released Compass research brief (free download-- registration required): Supplier Management Market Observations: Recent Trending, Musings on SAP's Core Offering and General Deployment Pitfalls (for all Solutions) to Avoid

- Jason Busch

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