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Any purchase-to-pay process involves the moving of key documents and requests around the organization, so that they can be reviewed and approved with the minimum of effort and delay. In each process, there are a number of approval and authorization requirements. Now you can make document, data and task authorization quicker and easier for all involved. An integral part of the Spend Management solution’s efficiency is our powerful Workflow application. This is specifically designed to automate cumbersome, repetitive manual administration processes, such as the flow of accounting documents for approval and authorization − sending them direct to the desktops of the people that need them. Our integrated system comes with templated workflows, and applies familiar Microsoft® conventions and functions, making it easy for users to work with these powerful tools and get started immediately.
Flexible workflow support not only drives completion of tasks but also keeps participants informed, with permitted users able to see and access approved and pending orders at any time. You can tailor procurement processes to your organization’s specific rules and approval hierarchies. Authorizers only receive purchase requests after they have been validated against purchasing rules and budgets, so no time is wasted assessing requests that are unfunded or “outside policy”. The result is a truly efficient, online procurement process that allows users to access and share real-time financial and purchasing information.
For example, having received an email request for a new piece of equipment, the company buyer can go straight to their procurement toolbar within Outlook to start the sourcing process. Potential suppliers are identified and selected – that might simply be straight from the Outlook contact list or (if these are in place), the company’s approved supplier lists or online catalog.
If an RFQ (request for quotation), requisition or order is raised direct from an email, this original email can be attached to the created document and stored in the central repository, so that it is linked and accessible from that business document, anywhere in the system. This provides an excellent audit trail.
The RFQ is created either using or adapting the templates provided, or by taking advantage of the system’s flexibility, to quickly design specific forms to meet the organization’s precise requirements. Having created a single document, it is then sent to each of the selected potential suppliers, as a personalized request – but without any of them knowing who else has received it.
Once suppliers have reviewed the RFQ document they click on a hyperlink to enter a secure online form, where they provide their response. The buyer will then receive a system-generated email with a link, which opens up a browser-based Microsoft® Excel® report to review the responses. The buyer can use all of the features of Excel to analyze the information – e.g. price and delivery dates – but the data is still securely stored in the Spend Management system.
After an award decision has been made, the buyer simply “sets the preferred supplier”. This updates the whole procurement system and (if appropriate) can support commitment and encumbrance accounting by updating your finance system at the same time. The order (another system-generated form) is created with the RFQ information pre-loaded into it. The order can be saved for later, and there is the flexibility to amend it or add new items using the task pane – once again from the procurement toolbar in Outlook.
Once ready, the purchase order can be sent for approval. Approval routing can be handled either by UNIT4 CODA’s own powerful workflow engine, or through Windows workflow, or any other workflow system to suit the organization’s broader IT strategy. The exact point(s) at which approvals are sought will vary depending on each organization’s own policies; Spend Management gives the complete flexibility to tailor the timing, type and number of approvals to your requirements.
"Requisition" is part of the UNIT4 Coda Financials line of products, developed by UNIT4 Business Software.