Any business or organisation that frequently purchases materials or stock from suppliers and vendors needs to have an efficient purchasing process in place. The initial catalyst for this entire process is the purchase order – the commercial document issued by a buyer to a vendor specifying the items or services they want to purchase, including agreed-to quantities and prices.
Purchase orders are extremely important as they give you a record of what has been ordered, which is essential for keeping track of inventory, and also extremely useful for both forecasting and reporting on many aspects of the business.
Purchase order authorisation and SAP Business One
As a fully integrated, end-to-end business management application, SAP Business One provides an extremely efficient workflow system that helps run the purchasing process, starting with the purchase order and continuing with the rest of the purchasing documents.
When a purchase order is entered into SAP Business One, no value-based changes are posted in the accounting system. However, the order quantities are listed in inventory management. It is, therefore, important that purchasing workflows are quick and as efficient as possible to make sure that the information held in SAP Business One is correct and as up-to-date as possible.
Although SAP Business One has a good integrated workflow process, one of the biggest obstacles in the purchasing cycle is actually the initial step – getting purchase orders authorised. The procedure is often a manually driven process that is slow and open to errors.
Furthermore, many purchases can require multiple levels of authorisations unique to business rules and departmental structures – especially if the value exceeds a designated amount. Unfortunately, this can mean more manual communication being pushed around the organisation and longer purchasing cycles. This becomes a hindrance to company productivity and performance.
Automating purchase order authorisation workflows
Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform for SAP Business One can automate this process by providing SAP Business One users with the ability to streamline purchase order authorisation as well as recording an audit trail of all purchase orders approved or declined.
Once installed, the BPA Platform quietly monitors the purchase order table in the background. When a purchase order is entered into the system it will automatically identify if the request requires approval from multiple line managers. It will also direct the request to another authoriser for review as and when a preceding authorisation has been given.
How does Purchase Authorisation software work?
Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform identifies the order total and uses the Decision Tool to check the value of the purchase order. It then cross-references this against an established rule. For example, the business may determine that orders over £2k need authorisation by one person, whereas orders over £5k need authorisation by two people.
Once the information has been gathered by the Database Query tool, the data is placed into an Authorisation Workflow. This is then collated and sent as an HTML email, containing a link to the workflow job, to the relevant person via the Send Message Tool.
The email will then arrive in the inbox requesting approval for the purchase order. The user then simply clicks the link to go to the workflow page upon which they can make comments and accept or reject.
If the purchase order requires a second authorisation, the BPA Platform simply repeats the steps with the updated information and automatically notifies the second person. Once this is complete, the BPA Platform responds to the user that inputted the purchase order, including all comments.
Automating this process enables companies to easily and quickly establish more streamlined workflow authorisation processes, whilst removing a lot of manual tasks and decision making. As a result, this speeds up authorisation response times and will help improve the efficiency of the entire purchasing cycle.
For more information about Codeless Platforms’ Purchase Order Authorisations solution for SAP Business One download the brochure below or call us on +44 (0)330 998 8700.