Detail: Key roles and responsibilities




Recommended skill set

Ongoing FTE


Person who has budget responsibility for the program

  • Establish and communicate overall project vision
  • Provide senior leadership communication in support of the project
  • Mandate appropriate change management across leadership of all affected departments
  • Mandate and drive supplier compliance policies
  • Monitor status reports and timelines
  • Resolve escalated issues including those which involve company resources, lack of participation, or supplier compliance messaging
  • Senior management / executive level position
  • Authority within the company to drive the change
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills
  • Background in e-commerce and sourcing methodologies

A few hours per week


Decision-makers within Procurement, AP, IT, and Training who help establish policy, define business processes, and provide resources

  • Assign resources to support the core team
  • Support senior leadership communication in support of the project
  • Mandate appropriate change management across their department
  • Establish objectives in support of the program within their department
  • Resolve escalated issues including those which involve company resources, lack of participation, or supplier compliance messaging
  • Management position
  • Authority within their department to drive the change

8 hours per quarter

Supplier enablement lead

Project manager who leads the cross-functional team

(If the program grows to greater than 500 sellers, add one-half FTE.)

  • Primary liaison between customer, suppliers and SAP Ariba (when SAP Ariba Services are leveraged)
  • Manage supplier compliance and escalation process for non-compliance
  • Enforce program goals within organization
  • Approve lists of suppliers targeted for Ariba Network enablement
  • Plan and support supplier communications
  • Approve supplier communications and education materials to be shared with suppliers
  • Participate in system test and UAT
  • Reinforce supplier enablement program compliance with identified suppliers and internal stakeholders
  • Manage supplier relationships, monitor and enforce supplier compliance
  • Facilitate supplier training sessions (if any)
  • Lead/participate in regular status meetings
  • Promote the initiative internally with category managers, business relationship owners, and AP group; externally with suppliers
  • Strong project management skills
  • Background in e-commerce and sourcing methodologies
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills
  • Candidate should not be an external consultant; should come from within the organization
  • Candidate must be able to work with multiple departments and all levels of management
  • Ability to analyze issues with business documents (PO, invoice, credit memos, etc.)
  • Ability to analyze and determine solutions to problems that arise with business processes
  • Workload management skills and the ability to get engaged in complex assignments and meet tight deadlines

0.5 – 1.0 FTE

Supply chain managers

Departmental lead who supports messaging to suppliers and provides assistance with catalogs and purchase orders

  • Plan, manage, and conduct user acceptance testing
  • Act as point of escalation for issues related to business processes and non-compliant suppliers
  • Help define and execute internal change management program within their respective departments
  • Act as knowledge expert on Ariba Network and SAP Ariba solutions
  • Serve as the champion for the program within their respective business unit
  • Participate in requirements -gathering and configuration workshops
  • Identify power-users within each business unit to act as expert, providing assistance to peers and input to overall process
  • Help roll out and drive the supplier compliance mandate within their respective departments
  • Answer business-related questions from suppliers during enablement process 
  • Deep understanding of the business processes and the possible scenarios that may occur
  • Able to communicate effectively to suppliers and key stakeholders
  • Strong organizational skills for monitoring the progress of supplier enablement and tracking progress of non-compliant suppliers
  • The team can be comprised of personnel from any department; consider Procurement  because of the importance of relationships with suppliers

1.0 – 2.0 FTE based on project scope

Accounts payable resource

An individual who manages clean-up of the master vendor list and program execution

  • Provide a list of all suppliers and associated data (e.g. transaction volumes, spend, etc.) from vendor master system  to project team leading enablement
  • From the list of selected suppliers, determine what data is missing from the individual suppliers (e.g. phone number, email address, fax numbers, contact names, ERP spend data, etc.)
  • Update vendor master records; make changes to vendor master based on collected data
  • New suppliers should be added through a formal process.  This puts in a layer of control over how many new suppliers are added or if employees should be using a preferred supplier (i.e. office supplies)
  • Help facilitate training sessions for internal users (business process changes, Ariba Network responsibilities, etc.)
  • Monitor and enforce supplier compliance
  • Contact suppliers directly who are not in compliance
  • Individual(s) with background on accounts payable systems and processes
  • Able to communicate effectively with suppliers and key stakeholders

Ad-hoc support; a few hours per month

IT resource

There are times when an IT resource is needed, someone who is familiar with the project and can troubleshoot purchase orders and/or invoices. This person is not needed full-time, but needs to have responsibility for this support in their job description.

EDI and cXML suppliers sometimes need a buyer IT resource to understand the validations performed within the back-end systems.

Ad-hoc support; a few hours per month

*These are suggested resources for a baseline collaborative commerce program meant to provide food for thought and a starting point for those embarking on a new program. Numerous factors, including project complexity, project scope, resource skill set, and resource experience will influence the actual requirements of your program.

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