Channel Collaboration


SAP solutions support channel collaboration for the retail industry and business network by helping reduce product development time, launch new products faster, and increase promotional effectiveness. In addition, collaborative retail also increases product availability and reduces inventory levels by creating an ecosystem of shared insights, plans, and results.

Retail companies using SAP collaborative retail solutions have experienced approximately a 45% decrease in purchase order error rate in scenarios where change orders/PO acknowledgements are controlled and recommunicated electronically to the supplier.


SAP Collaborative Retail Solutions give companies the ability to manage complex business networks and improve retail master data reliability and accuracy. By sharing key supply-chain information, retailers can improve customer service and in-full delivery. Through offering transparency about plans and forecasts with vendors, retailers can boost marketing and promotions. They can also expect to minimize errors and earn early payment discounts by exchanging POs and invoices electronically.

Collaborative retail benefits include:

  • Master data collaboration to provide global data synchronization tools to improve the reliability of master data that is sent from product manufacturers.
  • Purchase order and invoice collaboration that allows retailers to automate processes, drive efficiencies, and share information with vendors as they buy and pay.
  • Promotion collaboration to create visibility in marketing and promotion planning while buyers analyze contract conditions.
  • Product design and development collaboration to streamline product development, improve quality, and reduce costs for launching private label products.
  • Planning and forecasting collaboration to share strategic information with vendors, including consumption data and order forecasts.

Why SAP Ariba Is the Right Choice for Retail Enterprise

Leading retail companies are leveraging business networks to improve engagement with their trading partners. SAP supplier network features make it possible for retailers to:

  • Collaborate with trading partners
  • Validate customer data
  • Ensure compliance of invoices for orders and contracts
  • Improve management of all spend of all suppliers
  • Find trusted business partners
  • Strengthen trading partner relationships

SAP Ariba provides retail organizations with access to industry-leading technology, process expertise, and community-shared best practices for retailers and their partners to alleviate paper-based processes that slow down commerce. SAP Ariba allows network users to share information for compliance, risk, performance, and transactions. In a digital economy, this type of collaboration offers several benefits for retailers, including:

  • Delivering an ecommerce platform to improve the way trading partners buy, sell, and manage cash
  • Driving collaboration for key transactions documents – including POs, change orders, order confirmations, advance ship notices, invoices, and others
  • Spending management including direct, indirect, services, MRO
  • Supporting electronic catalogs, contract management, and matching invoices to POs and contracts
  • Validating line-level detail on invoices to promote straight-through processing
  • Consolidating the use of paper and electronic invoices
  • Reducing time to process payment through dynamic discounting
  • Supporting multiple formats to accommodate all suppliers
  • Serving as a key channel for developing new business
  • Connecting easily to an ERP or back-office system for global business commerce collaboration

When they are armed with greater visibility and business intelligence, retailers can align business decisions to react to changing market decisions while maintaining agility to set themselves apart from competitors. To streamline commerce within the retail business network, Ariba network offers:

  • Spend and supplier management, which opens users up to a network of qualified, global suppliers and access to comprehensive, recent supplier management information.
  • Ecommerce and account management for retailers who want to add value to their business as they are sourcing high volumes of goods and services.
  • Financial supply chain management to electronically exchange POs and invoices on a global scale, while achieving compliance and discounts for early payments.

SAP Ariba Features to Drive Retail Business Trading Performance

Through integrating the SAP Ariba Network, retail organizations will be able to employ several techniques that create better ways to buy, sell, and manage cash flow. The Ariba Network seamlessly connects buyers with all suppliers and simplifies cloud-based commerce for retailers and their consumers through offering the following features:

Technology: Cloud-based network that connects buyers and suppliers through a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) based ecommerce platform, extending virtually any back-end system for business commerce collaboration.

Community: With the inclusion of Ariba Exchange, retail organizations can share insights and best practices with value-added business partners via an online community of peers and retail industry leaders.

Capabilities: Automates trading partner collaboration and transaction processing across the ecommerce spectrum: source-to-settle for buyers and order-to-cash for suppliers. Supports electronic catalogs, contract invoicing, PO-Flip, dynamic discounting, electronic payment with detailed remittance, new business discovery, and more.

Retailers can use the SAP Ariba Network to effectively engage customers to increase satisfaction and enable new processes such as:

  • Spot buy for non-contracted items to increase control and visibility over multiple areas of spend
  • Supplier discovery to meet corporate social responsibility, diversity, and regulatory requirements
  • Dynamic discounting, which builds cash that can be repurposed for research and development or to expand the business

SAP and VisionTree Partnership to Further Retail Support

Retailers interested in collaborating across the entire commerce process can benefit from SAP channel collaboration solutions, including SAP Ariba. Retailers can partner with VisionTree’s experts to help them get started and stay up and running. VisionTree helps retailers focus on how they optimize their spend and supply chain management by using innovative consumer insights via SAP solutions. VisionTree offers ongoing support for retailers who use its SAP-based training services.

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Solution Focus

**Similar solutions are available for the Retail and Consumer Product Industry.

Other Industries
  • Consumer Goods
  • Wholesale Distribution
  • Health Care
  • Financial Service
  • Chemical
  • Engineering
  • Oil & Gas
  • Utilities
  • Automotive
  • Industrial Machinery & Component
  • Professional Service