Manage your Approval Workflows efficiently
An efficient vendor, proper management, technological excellence, trained staff…while all of these ingredients are essential for designing an eProcurement model, one aspect that surely defines its success is a simple and clutter-free approval workflow. Whether you are a service provider or a service seeker, approval is the quintessential step needed to ensure a smooth and transparent relationship. At Mikrofax we strive to help you make informed choices by sharing expert solutions and technical know-how so that you can enjoy seamless eProcurement services and single-click approvals to accelerate your purchase process.
Let’s look at the various stages where an Approval Workflow comes in handy.
We can sum these up into three key stages:
1. Requisition: This marks the beginning of an eProcurement process, where the actual Purchase requisition is made. Approvals across stages mainly happen on the requestor side, where the need for a commodity or a service is raised, analyzed, issued and approved. The nature of requisition is also a deciding factor for the desired eProcurement partner.
2. Purchase Order: Most departments have their respective budgets against various functional areas like marketing, human resource development, client servicing, IT etc. Once the procurement is put under the respective budget head, the vendor is shortlisted and requisition made, the Purchase Order is raised after approval of the requisition and budget by an Approver identified in the workflow having appropriate budget approval level. The details are entered into the system and the procurement becomes a shared asset between the management (or approval authorities), the execution team and the accounts team. Inclusion of Accounts Team is crucial at this stage to give them a heads-up on the impending outsourcing, the related expenses likely to be incurred and to establish a smooth payment gateway.
3. Invoicing: Invoices are raised by the vendor at various stages. This may be done at the beginning of the procurement, midway or towards the end. Approvals of these invoices are automatically routed to a person with appropriate approval level. Invoices are raised based on the client payment cycle and their understanding with the vendor.
So, who all are the key stakeholders of an Approval Workflow?
As a design of the eBuyerAssist system, below stakeholders see many aspects of their area, some purchases may be over their approval levels in which case the system automatically escalates the PO approval to someone appropriate. All of the approval routing is automated and may function as a single-click approval via email notification.
Project Manager: In some cases, the eProcurements are organization-specific, in some cases department-centric and many-a-times related to a particular project. In each case the requisition is made by the respective Project Manager. He is responsible to objectively analyze the various aspects that have translated into the requirement. The Project Manager has budget allocation for the entire year and is responsible for designing the complete proposal while earmarking the desired amount to be set aside for the requisition in question.
Budget Manager: While the Project Manager is expected to handle initial budget allocation, he must consult a Budget Manager before formalizing the proposal. A Budget Manager brings in the desired foresight for effective management of the financials and irons-out fiscal loopholes, if any.
Subject Matter Expert: A Subject Matter Expert is an important stakeholder both at the pre and post purchase level. At the Requisition stage, he is the competent authority who approves the proposal on technical and financial fronts. And once the eProcurement has been made, he is once again responsible for validating the quality and efficacy of the services received.
eProcurement Manager: Once all the aforementioned people have done their bit and formalized the proposal, the eProcurement Manager is the one who heads the vendor-management front. He is mostly kept at bay from the Approval Processes, but may be involved in some cases where certain specs or confirmations need are required to be sought from the vendor or service supplier.
Well, now that you have sorted, it’s time to choose an efficient Purchasing Software. So, choose it right and get going!