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CBA brings ‘home shopping’ feel to procurement portal – Finance – Cloud – Software

The Commonwealth Bank set up a SAP-powered portal called Buy.CBA that brings a consumer-like ‘home shopping’ experience to internal procurement.

The new portal is the culmination of efforts that began in March last year under an SAP Ariba P2P uplift program.

The bank saw a need for a “technology and user experience uplift” for its existing Ariba-powered purchasing portal, ‘Buy Right’.

It also wanted a procurement platform that drove more of its spend through “compliant buying channels” and to preferred suppliers.

CBA has set a corporate target for 95 percent of spend across the CBA and Bankwest businesses to be conducted through compliant buying channels.

The result of the uplift is Buy.CBA, which launched in December last year as a one-stop procurement portal for upwards of 50,000 employees.

Buy.CBA is based on SAP’s Ariba guided buying technology, which – SAP says – allows “users outside the professional procurement group [to] have one place to search for goods and services, making purchases with little to no involvement from procurement departments.”

The portal has been designed to provide internal buyers with “the same experience as ‘shopping at home’, with CBA making use of a creative agency for the look-and-feel.

In materials disclosing the project, Buy.CBA is described as “one of the most comprehensive SAP Ariba guided buying platforms developed to date.” 

“It showcases a great collaboration effort between CBA, [implementation partner] Bloom IT Consulting, and SAP Ariba to deliver a next generation procurement experience that can adapt quickly to new trends and needs,” the materials state.

“CBA involved a creative agency to professionally design category tiles and banners – setting a new standard for ‘look-and-feel’ within CBA and amongst SAP’s guided buying customer base.”

CBA said the new portal had been crucial in helping bank locations to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks as the pandemic set in.

“In Feb the CBA chief medical officer requested face masks be loaded into Buy.CBA (guided buying catalogue) immediately, which the CBA Ariba team managed to complete within a day,” an unnamed executive of the bank said. 

“It was critical to allow banks and users to order face masks which saw CBA order over 50,000 masks in the space of weeks prior to the virus escalating within Australia. 

“The Ariba platform has significantly aided CBA during this crisis.”  

Other executives at the bank also lauded the new portal.

“Leveraging SAP Ariba guided buying’s search capabilities, our users are able to discover a multitude of relevant goods, services and policies, and complete their purchasing through qualified, compliant buying channels,” senior manager of technology delivery in CBA enterprise procurement and partnerships Alan Zahringer said.

“Guided buying’s requisition forms and recommended supplier display enables users to procure from preferred panel suppliers and provide them with the supplier-required information first time, expediting the accurate delivery of services.”

A CBA spokesperson declined to comment on the amount of spend routed through the previous Buy Right portal versus the new Buy.CBA portal.

“Commonwealth Bank has used SAP products for many years across different areas of our business,” the spokesperson told iTnews.

“We are always looking to create easy ways for our teams across the bank to access approved suppliers and this system is a SAP system.

“Recently we have updated the user-experience to focus on a more friendly, graphical interface.”

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