This module offers a three tiered process that allows you to precisely manage the numerous purchase orders in your business and keep control of purchases either for internal purposes or specific projects. The first tier is the requisition process where the purchase of an item or consumable can be requested and routed to a head of department for authorisation. The second tier allows purchase orders to be generated based on configurable rules. Different levels of authorisations can be administered and setup. The procurement process also validates all purchases against budgets setup in the general ledger. The third tier allows the purchase order to be converted into a goods received voucher to receipt the inventory items. Throughout the span of a requisition to purchase order completion, all movements or comments are logged against incidents in CRM Premium. Workflows and Escalations rules can be configured to create efficiencies and automate processes ensuring that purchase orders are actioned on time.
The Procurement add-on module allows you to control purchase order processing. There are two separate processes:
- You can set the system up so that purchase orders need approval before they are processed. You can apply the approval process to all purchase orders, or orders over a certain amount, which you specify per agent or per agent group.
- If there are separate agents who obtain pricing in your company, then, prior to placing a purchase order, you can issue a requisition detailing your requirements. Once the agent(s) obtain pricing and availability for the item(s) you requisition, they approve the requisition. The original, requesting agent then receives a notification. They can then turn the requisition into a purchase order, which in turn may then go through the approval process.
The Procurement add-on module makes extensive use of the Contact Management Premium add-on module to send requests, notifications, and authorisations between agents. This involves the setting up of workflows and incident types, and the use of incidents. To set up procurement processing, you need knowledge of this module.
If you are also using Contact Management for other purposes, the system keeps the procurement process and the other purposes separate. For example, you specify per workflow and per incident type that they are for use in the purchase order process.
Approving Purchase Orders
The user guide contains an example with screen shots of the process of creating and finally processing purchase orders once they are approved.
The steps are as follows:
- You can specify per agent whether they need approval, and if so, you can specify an amount below which they do not need approval. For this example, Agent Mike’s purchase orders require approval.
- Agent Mike starts a purchase order. Since he requires approval, he can enter, but he cannot process, the purchase order. Instead, he requests approval, which he does by clicking the Request Approval button. Agent Mike cannot continue with the purchase order until he obtains the approval.
- The agent in the purchase order workflow step, in this case Admin, receives the authorisation request, in the form of an incident, in their My Desktop. The system generated the authorisation incident automatically when agent Mike requested the authorisation. The Admin agent opens the incident and creates a new action. Admin cannot approve or reject the purchase order until they view the actual purchase order.
- Once the Admin agent approves the purchase order, it shows up in agent Mike’s My Desktop, in the My Notifications section. Mike opens the purchase order, the system displays it as approved, and agent Mike can continue to process.
Prior to the purchase order approval process, you can have a requisition process. You use this when you have separate persons in the company who obtain the best possible prices for products. Once they obtain the optimal prices, you can then proceed into the purchase order process. The steps are as follows;
- The requisition process starts with a requisition from agent Mike. A requisition can contain multiple lines. Each line specifies an item you wish to purchase. You can specify a supplier, or leave the supplier blank. Per line, Mike can route the request to an escalation group or an agent, and you specify an incident type.
- When Mike posts the requisition, the specified agent, in this case the Admin agent, receives a notification in their My Requisitions section. Admin opens the requisition and can adjust the details such as the supplier, the pricing, and the expected delivery date. Once the process is complete, Admin clicks the Post Requisition button to complete the requisition.
- Agent Mike receives notification in his My Desktop that the Admin agent processed the requisition. Agent Mike then uses the Requisitions to Purchase Orders function. Each approved line is on a separate line in the table. Agent Mike selects which lines to use to create a purchase order. The system shows the purchase orders it will create, which can be for multiple suppliers. Agent Mike clicks the Place Orders & Close button to create the purchase orders.
- You can then use the Purchase Orders function to open the purchase orders and process them. If you are using purchase order authorisation as well, you have to request approval for the purchase order.
Note: When processing new requisitions, the budget validation takes unprocessed purchase orders into account.
Note: The authorising agent can re-action a rejected purchase order.