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Coupa Success Portal

Drive Services Spend to Preferred Suppliers


In services world spend is typically negotiated via Master Services Agreement (MSA) and Statement of Work (SOW) to cover milestones to be delivered and associated costs.  In Coupa that agreement can be stored as contract and then referenced on transactions that are raised against it.   This ensures that users are purchasing from existing negotiated contracts and contract owners are able to track historical spend against their agreement with supplier.  There are several ways to drive users to buy from these preferred service providers:


Common way to purchase services in Coupa where user has flexibility to 'write' service line description, price, commodity, supplier and any other backing documentation.  This works great when user is close to negotiated SOW with supplier and knows milestones and pricing that needs to be added on requisition/order.  Many times user will also attach SOW itself to a transaction as backing document for reference.


Web Forms:

Web forms allow for more structured way to provide information about service requests.  These are accompanied by questionnaires where users are asked to provide relevant information about the type of service requests they are making.  A different web form can be created with different questions for each type of service.  In addition unlike free-form method you can also default a supplier record or provide a list of preferred suppliers who offer that service to help user select the right one and drive to negotiated spend.  This can be really helpful when ordering recurring services not tied to a specific project or SOW.  A contract can also be attached to a web form for a specific supplier to associate spend against.  Price is another attribute that can be defaulted if it's relevant that one standard price is associated with that service request.  Web form questionnaires can be as basic as information text descriptions that provide user instruction on proper procedures to request spend and recommendations on preferred suppliers.


Coupa catalogs allow for name, price, commodity, supplier, contract, etc. definition to have all that information searchable and pre-filled for end user when they create their shopping cart.  Professional services rate cards is a great use case where catalogs are preferred method of driving spend.   An item would be created for each rate and include all pertinent information allowing user to easily search and add to cart.

Examples of maintenance service catalogs items:

Even non rate card type of services that have been brought up in free-form and web form scenarios can be set up as catalogs to help drive to proper supplier and contract.  This is beneficial when price can fluctuate but you still want user to be able to search and find supplier/contract that service should be purchased from.  Since price is not an editable field you can create catalog item with price $1 and then train users to enter the actual amount into quantity field on requisition.  The resulting line amount will then be the amount due for the service.  Please consider any downstream impact specifically in integrations as part of this setup so that fields are mapped appropriately since the actual unit price will be in qty field. 

Buying Policies:

While not a shopping method this is an excellent way to provide certain guidelines about service type and preferred suppliers who offer that service to help user with their free-form or web form request.   For more on how to use buying policies to drive service spend to preferred suppliers please see another KB article here:






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