Using SAP Ariba, ALDI SOUTH is breaking new ground at Corporate Buying

Transparency, efficiency and standardised processes are the be-all and end-all of a globally operating company such as ALDI SOUTH. SAP Ariba plays a central role in achieving this.

The International Information Technology department at ALDI SOUTH controls, for example, the Sourcing and Contracting module of SAP Ariba and transfers product and contract data from and to SAP S/4. As a powerful supply chain tool, SAP Ariba offers a variety of functions ranging from supplier management, tendering and contracting to risk management and procurement activities.

This solution is therefore indispensable for creating and implementing tenders and contracts. In order to create a solution that perfectly matches ALDI SOUTH’s requirements, one of the key aspects of working with SAP Ariba is the Co-Innovation Partnership between the ALDI SOUTH Group and SAP. Experts from SAP and ALDI SOUTH are working together to implement new retail functionalities in Ariba, thus creating a tailor-made solution for our processes at ALDI SOUTH.

On the one hand, the new functions optimise the purchasing process by making it easier, for example, to obtain alternative quotations and to simplify integration in S/4HANA. On the other hand, processes for the creation, management and involvement of production facilities and their evaluation can be more easily integrated into the purchasing process.

Imagination and experience

Due to the fact that Ariba is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution operated in the cloud, our ALDI SOUTH IT experts are in constant exchange with the SAP Ariba developers in order to plan add-ons and new releases and overcome challenges together. ALDI SOUTH’s high standards, the new Ariba functions developed within the scope of the Co-Innovation Partnership and the retail orientation of the Ariba solution often raise questions that are uncharted territory for both partners. Answering them requires ingenuity, experience and collaboration as partners.

As a cloud solution, SAP Ariba offers the advantage of being available as a standardised platform to all of our national business entities in the future. It significantly improves the level of transparency between the individual national business entities involved in the purchasing process and optimises cooperation between our national business entities and our International Buying department. Since the processes for tendering and contract creation are also within the scope of this transformation, this will result in our suppliers gaining a uniform perception of ALDI SOUTH in the future and enable us to carry out many processes even more efficiently in collaboration with our suppliers.

However, even for experienced specialists, SAP Ariba still offers challenges, for which solutions must be found. The influence of ALDI SOUTH IT experts on the hosting process is limited and they have to work with the relevant releases of SAP Ariba. Moreover, whenever they encounter any errors, our ALDI SOUTH IT experts are dependant on the SAP Ariba support team. Consequently, this tool is not only a new software for ALDI SOUTH that modifies our existing processes for business users, but it also changes the way in which we handle support, expandability and system maintenance for IT solutions.

More transparency in purchasing

The Co-Innovation Partnership plays a major role in ensuring that the processes between ALDI SOUTH and SAP Ariba run smoothly. Our ALDI SOUTH IT experts have the unique opportunity to influence the SAP Ariba overall solution in collaboration with SAP and to gain insight into the development process, future innovations and the positioning of the software within the SAP portfolio. According to SAP, ALDI SOUTH is currently the only company in the direct spend environment that has been able to implement an integration at this level.

Among other things, SAP Ariba will be used as a central purchasing solution in the area of tendering and contracting and will both prepare and create data for the operational core. This makes it one of the main solutions for the Corporate Buying departments at ALDI SOUTH, as SAP Ariba offers a common tendering and contracting platform, improves transparency in purchasing and promotes cooperation across all ALDI SOUTH national business entities.

Anyone working with SAP Ariba at ALDI SOUTH IT contributes to the shaping of the IT transformation of our purchasing processes. As an IT Specialist, you don’t just have to keep an eye on the acute requirements of the ALDI SOUTH Group, but you also need to think ahead: Developing future processes, coordinating with Ariba developers and subsequently implementing features in internal processes are examples of why this job is so exciting.

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