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Procurement 3.0 Overview

procurement 3.0 manages the complete purchasing cycle from Requisition to Invoice Approval. With multi-company, multi-currency and multi-language capabilities, this browser-based system is suitable for deployment across small or large enterprises with minimal administration.

Home Page

When procurement 3.0 is deployed on an intranet, access is usually through a procurement home page. Written in HTML, this page may be customised to suit a particular corporate style if required.

The user home page provides the following navigation as standard:

  • Purchase Requisitions - Opens up the User's Purchase Requisition screen
  • Assistance - Provides a "Getting Started" guide and access to Technical Support
  • Core Modules - Access to the core modules
  • System Maintenance - Access to the System Maintenance functions
  • What's New? - An area where system related information may be displayed

Requisitioning

The Purchase Requisition module is used to raise, amend, approve and manage all requisitions.

A user is able to:

  • Raise new requisitions by selecting items from a catalogue or entering freeform descriptions of non-standard items
  • Use an existing requisition as a template for a new requisition (for repeat purchases)
  • Submit requisitions for approval including notes for the attention of approvers
  • View their requisition history including outstanding requisitions and progress information

If required, the purchasing system can automatically generate an email to inform the approver that there is a requisition requiring approval.

In addition, when a User who is also an Approver logs on to the requisition module, they can access a list of requisitions awaiting their approval. They may:

  • Accept or Reject individual items on the requisition and forward all or part of the requisition to the next person in the approval process.
  • Reject all or part of a requisition
  • Approve all or part of a requisition so that orders can be raised for the items
  • View and allocate budgets to individual items

The Workflow module controls requisition approval processes. An approval process can be very simple allowing a user to choose the next person in the approval process, or complex involving business rules to determine multiple routes for the requisition. (e.g. If the requisition value is greater than 10,000 then go to the Financial Director).

Catalogue

The system maintains an electronic catalogue containing approved products that are available for ordering by the company. Details such as supplier, product description and cost price are held by the system. The catalogue can be a subset of a catalogue from a preferred supplier, which can be imported electronically from disc or over the Internet. In addition the user can access supplier's catalogues ("punch-out") directly from the system, returning required items onto the requisition for approval.

Users can select items from the electronic catalogue by product group or use powerful text searches that display a selection of matching choices. The user can view the product details as a web page including multimedia pictures and detailed descriptions. These product details can originate from the supplier or can be automatically generated from the product catalogue database.

Catalogue management is an important part of the procurement process and the Requisoft system has a range of administration tools to make this as simple as possible.

Access to the catalogue can be restricted to ensure that the purchasing department has full control over the suppliers being used and the products being ordered.

Workflow

Using the Requisoft Workflow module, rules are established that govern the approval route taken by a requisition, invoice or other document. Examples of such rules are:

  • Value - Requisitions with a value greater than a preset figure have to be approved by a Manager
  • Type - Requisitions for assets have to be approved by the budget holder as well as by the Finance Director.

The above examples are relatively trivial. Workflow allows complex business processes to be modelled and acted on. Using Workflow, the system can be configured to monitor where requisitions are and how long they have been waiting for action. Automatic escalation of uncompleted tasks allows the system to ensure that there are no delays caused by approver's absence, on holiday for example.

Emails can be automatically raised by the system and sent to the next person in the approval process. These emails contain a hyperlink to the requisitioning system. The user simply clicks on the hyperlink, enters the relevant password and is automatically shown the requisition requiring approval.

Leading-edge browser technology enables the automation of approval processes such as purchase requisitions. Any employee in the company can be allowed to raise a purchase requisition that is then automatically sent to a Manager or Managers for approval. The approval process can be as complex as required and can present the approvers with information from other systems as required.

Budgeting

The Budgets module uses a flexible company and cost centre structure allowing budgets to be set up for financial years and financial periods. The system is multi currency and allows budgets to be viewed in the local currency, the standard currency for a Group of companies or in Euros.

For each budget period, the system keeps account of the budgeted amount, the amount outstanding on requisitions and the amount invoiced. Managers can view and allocate budgets as part of the Purchase Requisition Workflow process.

System security prevents a user from viewing data outside their Company and/or Cost Centre.

Purchase Order Processing

Using the Purchase Order Processing module, the Purchasing Department can view a list of Approved Requisitions and have the ability to:

  • Check and amend the details of individual requisitions
  • Suspend any requisitions pending correction of problems
  • Delete any requisitions
  • Select one or more requisitions to be converted into purchase orders

The system will convert selected requisitions into purchase orders by splitting individual items into a number of orders based on supplier and delivery address. Flexible and powerful rules determine when and how purchase orders are produced. For example, multiple requisition line items can be combined to produce one order for a supplier; requisition line items can be held until a bulk order is raised daily or weekly, or items from a single requisition can be forced onto a single order.

The Purchasing Department will then be able to view a list of purchase orders and have the ability to:

  • Check and amend the details of individual orders
  • Suspend any orders pending correction of problems
  • Delete any orders
  • Produce and dispatch the orders
  • Purchase orders can be printed, faxed, emailed or sent in XML format over the Internet. Print layout is very flexible and can be customised to a company's requirements.

Goods Receipt

Goods Receipt can be handled either by a conventional goods inward department or, more flexibly, by any authorised user via the intranet-based interface. The user is presented with a list of outstanding purchase orders and can:

  • Book deliveries and allocate against ordered items
  • Handle part deliveries and deliveries that are over or under the ordered quantity
  • Manage the cancellation of items from an order
  • Receive goods without a purchase order.

Where there is over-delivery or under-delivery of line items, acceptance can be left to the discretion of the authorised user or can be held pending further authorisation. The system can print a Goods Received Note if required. Where there are goods received that are not on a purchase order, the goods can still be received and logged with a goods received number.

If any goods are to be returned, the user will enter details of why the goods are being returned and reference the goods to a purchase order if applicable. The system will generate a Goods Returned Note for return to the supplier with the goods.

Where the received product is an asset, the user will be prompted for asset information such as barcode number, serial number, and confirmation of the asset type and internal location as entered on the requisition. The user can navigate from the purchase order to the requisitions that made up the order to assist in resolving any issues with a delivery.

Once Goods In procedures have been completed the purchased items are then available for deployment. To this end, procurement 3.0 has been designed to interface easily with third party systems. For example, all the relevant information about an asset can be passed straight to an Asset Management package such as the Hardcat Asset Management system.

Invoicing

This module is used to register and approve purchase invoices and credit notes against a purchase order. The user is presented with a list of orders that have not been fully invoiced and can:

  • Register invoices against a purchase order
  • Register invoices or expenses where there is no purchase order
  • Register credit notes
  • Import or export a schedule of invoices from another system e.g. accounts suite.

The system can handle discrepancies between the order and the invoice - this can be left to the discretion of the authorised user or can be held pending further authorisation. The system can handle multiple currencies and invoices are booked in using the purchase currency.

Invoices can be either paper-based or electronic documents. Electronic XML documents can be automatically received and logged ready for allocation to an order. Invoice batch files can be imported from and exported to other systems such as accounts and ERP.

On approval of the invoice, the status of the purchase order and the associated requisitions are updated. If budgets have been allocated during the ordering or requisition stages then the budget is updated with the invoiced amount.

System Administration

The administration module is used to manage users and system configuration. Users are assigned a role and a cost centre. The role defines which modules of the system are available and what the user may do within them. The system allows these roles to be constructed. Examples of role types are:

  • Administrator
  • Requisitioner
  • Approver
  • Budget Manager
  • Purchase Clerk
  • Goods Inward Clerk
  • Accounts Clerk

Cost Centres allow users to be grouped and Managers to be assigned to be responsible for them. In this way, a hierarchy can be established which controls the access to information on the system. For example, a Manager may be set up as being in charge of a Cost Centre and able to see all requisitions raised within the Cost Centre.

The reporting module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with reports appropriate to their status. A number of standard reports are provided with the system but users may add their own using a report generator such as Seagate Crystal Reports.

The Help module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with help appropriate to their current position in the system.

System Requirements

The Requisoft procurement 3.0 system is an n-tier application that uses XML for all internal and external data exchange. The system is deployed on an intranet using browsers or can be deployed using conventional Windows clients.

Server

The server requires the following specification:

  • Microsoft NT 4 Server (Service Pack 4 or later) with Option Pack 4 or Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server 7
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server (Version 3 or later)
  • Microsoft Transaction Server
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5

If email is required then a suitable SMTP email server should be installed. The Requisoft installation will install Microsoft ADO V2.5 on the server.

Browser Client

The Client machine will require:

  • A 32-bit Windows Operating system
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5

The Requisoft application will automatically deploy ActiveX controls from digitally signed CAB files to the Clients as required. Security on the browser will need to be set to allow the downloading and running of signed ActiveX controls.

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Administration

The Administration Module is used to manage users and system configuration. Users are assigned a role and a cost centre. The role defines which modules of the system are available and what the user may do within them. The system allows these roles to be constructed. Examples of role types are:-

•  Administrator
•  Requisitioner
•  Approver
•  Budget Manager
•  Purchase Clerk
•  Goods Inward Clerk
•  Accounts Clerk

Cost Centres allow users to be grouped and managers to be assigned to be responsible for them. In this way, a hierarchy can be established which controls the access to information on the system. For example, a Manager may be set up as being in charge of a Cost Centre and able to see all requisitions raised within the Cost Centre.

The reporting module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with reports appropriate to their status. A number of standard reports are provided with the system but users may add their own, using a report generator such as Seagate Crystal Reports.

The Help Module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with help appropriate to their current position on the system.

Budgets

The Budget Module uses a flexible company and cost centre structure allowing budgets to be set up for financial years and financial periods.

The system is multi-currency and allows budgets to be viewed in the local currency, the standard currency for a Group of companies or in Euros.

For each budget period, the system keeps account of the budgeted amount, the amount outstanding on requisitions and the amount invoiced. Managers can view and allocate budgets as part of the Purchase Requisition Workflow process.

System security prevents a user from viewing data outside their Company and/or Cost Centre.

Benefits of this feature include:-

•  Flexible, powerful cost centre structure can handle budgets by Project and/or Department and/or period;
•  Up to date information ensure that Managers do not exceed budgets;
•  Cost Centre structure ensures that spend in properly allocated.


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