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Spot Buy capability

With our B2B marketplace, you can make it simple for employees to buy non-sourced goods from trusted suppliers according to built-in controls.

The powerful way to capture and control tactical purchases

Simplified spot buy purchases

One-off purchases are often considered too costly and time-consuming to source. However, using the Spot Buy capability available with SAP Ariba Procurement solutions, you can achieve effective tail spend management while offering employees an on-demand catalog of approximately 200 million items.

The goods and services that employees can choose from are provided by trusted, vetted suppliers on SAP Business Network and pre-enabled B2B marketplaces. So, employees can comply with purchasing policies while using an intuitive, consumer-like shopping experience to quickly search for items and place orders.

Reduced costs, faster buying

Finding and buying non-sourced goods and handling non-catalog requests can require long and costly processing time. The Spot Buy capability is ready at your fingertips and using it eliminates the need to manage and update a database of one-time, ad hoc suppliers. What’s more, pricing available through the Spot Buy capability can deliver considerable savings over non-catalog and existing contract prices.

Capture and control of tail spend

Non-sourced spend can get out of hand and be difficult to track. Spot Buy offers greater purchasing control with a trusted base of qualified suppliers, monitored against Office of Foreign Assets Control directories.

You can choose which suppliers your buyers can access. You can also turn buying restrictions on and off based on parameters, including supplier, category, price thresholds, manufacturer, user, and even preferred items.

Pre-enabled marketplaces


Spot Buy can be used with pre-enabled resources, such as Amazon Business and the Unite marketplace. Providing the same native shopping experience offered by approved supplier catalogs, real-time search integration enables employees to access more than 200 million items. Meanwhile, each partner offers supplier vetting, workflow, and management processes to help bring tail spend under control.

Explore more capabilities of SAP Ariba Procurement solutions

Guided buying capability

Give employees a simple experience that guides them to buy from preferred suppliers while complying with your procurement policies.

SAP Ariba Catalog

Help employees buy what they need, strengthen compliance, and cut costs with a simplified and centralized procurement catalog.

SAP Ariba Invoice Management

Increase the accuracy of invoices to speed up both processing and payments.

Frequently asked questions

A spot buy is an unplanned or ad hoc purchase made by a business user that does not go through an organization’s sourcing or contract channels. Spot buys often represent a significant portion of a company’s indirect spend, comprising around 15%–20% of overall buying volume. Yet, because these one-off purchases occur outside procurement systems, control over this category is limited or absent – preventing the organization from realizing the greater efficiency and cost savings possible with a more managed purchasing process.

The Spot Buy capability available with SAP Ariba solutions enables users to purchase millions of non-sourced items more quickly and easily from trusted, pre-enabled suppliers in a custom B2B marketplace. Built-in controls automate compliance with company procurement policies. Simple navigation and real-time processing help users find what they need fast, without having to search through external sites and stores.


Meanwhile, shopping cart data goes directly to your e-procurement system for requisition creation and approval, eliminating the need to deal with payment cards or expense reports. Users benefit from a better shopping experience while procurement gains greater visibility and a tighter rein over this formerly unmanaged area of spend.

The main differences between spot buying and tactical buying is that tactical purchases are typically made from suppliers already known to or approved by the company. In addition, the items bought are usually needed by users to do their job or keep business processes moving forward, which means some short-term planning is often involved. Conversely, spot buys are made in the moment to meet an unplanned need, desire, or change in circumstances. This impels users to choose whatever supplier seems best at the time – with immediate delivery playing a key part in their decision.

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