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ABB chooses IBM for procurement digitization

IBM has been contracted by ABB to help support its procurement digitization journey with the launch of SmartBuy, a newly designed end-to-end employee purchasing program that aims to match the ease of online shopping with the intuitiveness and speed of a search engine. 

The solution is designed to also be tasked with automating the process of finding, procuring and managing ABB’s supplier network, with services like self-registration and contract processes.

Daniel Stumm, ABB’s head of indirect procurement, says: “We wanted to transform our eProcurement processes to drive business value and create a better experience for our user community and suppliers while avoiding the need for major training and allowing for an increased level of self-service.

“Along with IBM’s industry experience and guidance, we chose SAP Ariba solutions because we believe in their ability to help elevate our procurement function and support our longer-term business objectives.”

On the journey to becoming a true cognitive enterprise – automating business processes and workflows – organizations like ABB are increasingly looking to modernize their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which can lack the maturity and the flexibility needed to support rapid business growth.

By building intelligence directly into their enterprise systems, the foundation is set to apply technologies like AI and blockchain in the future, to help unlock new value for customers.

With SAP Ariba solutions at its core, SmartBuy is designed to help provide ABB employees with an enhanced self-service method to purchase indirect materials and services, guiding users to preferred suppliers, processes and policies.

SmartBuy provides 24/7 support with an intuitive, single, self-service interface for ABB’s employees and suppliers across the globe, creating a seamless experience that also aligns with ABB corporate policies.

ABB tapped IBM Services, which was recently named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAP S/4HANA Application Services, to help design and implement SmartBuy.

IBM has completed more than 5,500 successful SAP projects and helped more than 400 businesses transform their enterprise systems with SAP S/4HANA. Its long-standing relationship and experience with SAP solutions helped enable implementation of the new tool.

Neil McCormack, managing partner geo leader, IBM services EMEA, says: “At IBM, we believe that there is more to an eProcurement solution than just cost savings, we’re also focused on security and user experience.

“With SmartBuy, ABB can tap into the power of AI to help remove manual error-prone repetitive tasks and long search times for products and manufacturers, allowing procurement resources to focus on more strategic operations.

“And while running SAP Ariba solutions in a hybrid cloud environment, we’re able to make ABB’s systems and processes more intelligent without sacrificing existing security controls.”

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