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900 square miles in 10 states
Area covered in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts
Whether it’s one family losing a home to a fire, hundreds of miles of coastline ravaged by a hurricane, or a unit of lifesaving blood needed, there’s no such thing as a small disaster—and the American Red Cross is there to help. Using Ariba® solutions from SAP, they ensure that needed supplies and people get to the right place as fast as possible.
American Red Cross
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
~US$3.2 billion (Operation Budget)
30,000 staff / 500,000 volunteers
Ariba procurement solutions, Ariba Network
Since it was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has continually expanded its commitment to relieve human suffering. Its services include: rapid disaster response, community services for the needy, support for military members and their families, blood collection and distribution, disaster preparedness, health and safety education, and international relief and development.
The American Red Cross has a formula for success, Simplicity + Synergy + Systems. A vast network of caring, compassionate volunteers is mobilized and supported by technology that leverages the latest cloud-based applications to procure and distribute goods and services where and when they are needed.
Disaster can strike anywhere at any time. The effective coordination of information and materials is critical for the American Red Cross to successfully deliver humanitarian aid. Limited access to information can cause delays and drive up costs, particularly during large events that may require thousands of volunteers and cover hundreds of square miles. The Red Cross maintains relationships with numerous suppliers and transportation providers. However, disaster may require the rapid engagement of additional organizations due to geography or availability.
The American Red Cross sought out solutions that would eliminate costly and time-consuming paper based processes. They discovered Ariba. Ariba provides access to industry-leading technology, proven process expertise, and community-shared best practices via the Ariba Network. With Ariba solutions, the American Red Cross gains immediate access to its humanitarian supply chain, connecting with thousands of suppliers in the Ariba Network, the world’s largest trading partner community.
Internally, the Ariba solution is known at the American Red Cross as ReQuest. The organization wanted everybody who interacts with the system to consider it a seamless, internal resource characterized by simplicity and reliability.
The Ariba Network enjoys a premier reputation, and this track record of satisfied customers appealed to the American Red Cross. ReQuest gives managers the ability to engage directly with suppliers. This function is critical during disaster response efforts.
The Red Cross wants to connect with the largest number of suppliers as quickly as possible and uses digital application technology to increase the flexibility of its workers and volunteers in the field.
The Red Cross uses Ariba solutions to help foster positive relationships with suppliers, by ensuring speedy payment for goods and services. Automated Ariba solutions minimize many manual tasks that can delay payments, and rewards supplier organizations even faster for their help during emergencies.
Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive storm of 2012, and provided a demonstration of just how important Ariba systems are to Red Cross efforts. The ReQuest solution, powered by Ariba, enabled the efficient distribution of shelter, food, and relief totaling 81,000 overnight stays, 17 million meals and snacks, and 7 million relief items including blankets, coats, and personal items.
The American Red Cross continues to connect with suppliers through the Ariba Network. The agency believes that technology is a critical component of its mission, and is establishing a larger, broader network of suppliers to ensure it can provide aid and comfort quickly anywhere in the world. Supplier connectivity is being expanded to suppliers, warehouses, transportation companies, and non-governmental organizations that must all work seamlessly together in times of crisis.