Ariba Discovery Matches Business Buyers and Sellers, Catalyzes New Business Relationships

Minority-owned firm leverages the business commerce network to connect with trading partners and business opportunities

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Sunnyvale, CAJune 22, 2015—As president and chief operating officer of M&R Distribution Services, a small, minority-owned firm based in the Midwest, Quentin McCorvey, Sr. used to find it hard to get a foot in the door with major companies. Then he signed on to the Ariba Network. Now, he’s not only cracking doors open, he’s kicking them down. Using Ariba Discovery, a service for matching business buyers and sellers offered by Ariba, an SAP Company, McCorvey was able to form relationships with significant new trading partners and earn opportunities to compete for—and in many cases win—their business.

“There is often a stigma associated with awarding large contracts to small, minority-owned firms,” McCorvey said. “But I am not looking for a handout, I am looking for a handshake—an opportunity to earn the business of a customer. Ariba provides me with a platform from which I can do this.”

Digitizing Handshakes

A year ago, M&R Distribution earned the right to bid on a project for Caesars Entertainment. But in order to do so, the company had to register as a supplier on the Ariba Network. “I like to say that I joined accidentally on purpose,” McCorvey joked.

After completing a basic profile, McCorvey participated in the event. And while he didn’t win the business, he came away with something more valuable: a contact within Caesars who was responsible for purchasing the janitorial and cleaning-related products and supplies, foodservice disposables, and industrial wipes that M&R Distribution sells.

“To have insight into whom the buyers are on the Ariba Network, and to be able to reach out and have a conversation with them has been instrumental for our business,” said McCorvey, who eventually met face to face with the contact. “Being able to articulate to the buyer what competitive advantage we have and what we can bring beyond just the bid is critical for our ongoing success.”

And it ultimately won him a contract to provide gloves and drum liners to Caesars’ property in Cleveland, Ohio, where M&R Distribution is based. “They figured out that they liked me and my business model, and that there was some value that we could create together,” McCorvey said.

Casting a Wider Net

McCorvey is now leveraging the Ariba Network to expand M&R Distribution’s opportunities with the nearly 2 million other companies who are connected to it.

“There are some very powerful purchasing organizations who use Ariba,” he said. “And when they hear that I am connected to the network, it gives me added credibility because there is a level of respect.”

In the old days, McCorvey’s partner used to leave the office with a pager and a pocket full of quarters in search of customers. Thanks to Ariba Discovery, McCorvey can now find and qualify opportunities without leaving his desk. Combining a proprietary matching engine with unique profile information, the cloud-based service instantly matches buyer requirements to M&R Distribution’s capabilities and automatically delivers the company qualified leads.

Since signing on, McCorvey saw a 50 percent reduction in time spent on lead generation. And 100 percent of the leads he receives are targeted and qualified.

 “There are other services that claim to be like Ariba that I tried, but found completely useless because I couldn’t get down to the specific products I sell to generate relevant leads,” McCorvey recalled. “Ariba not only helps me target my products, but connects me to the right people who are ready to buy.”

M&R Distribution already converted several of these connections into contracts worth a few hundred thousand dollars. And McCorvey is hoping to close a multi-million deal with a national restaurant chain within the next 30 days.

“For me, Ariba is all about deepening relationships and solutions-based selling,” he said. “Because that is catalytic to growing my business.”

According to Rob Mihalko, vice president of Ariba Network marketing, this is what true business networks are all about. “Today’s networks are smarter, faster and more global than ever,” he said. “And they will transform business in ways never thought possible as innovative companies like M&R Distribution harness their power to simplify the sales process and run simple.”

In the last year, over $3.7 billion in new business opportunities were posted and more than 23.6 million leads exchanged through Ariba Discovery. To learn more about the service and the value it can deliver for your organization, please visit http://discovery.ariba.com.

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