Purchase orders need to move
faster. The current manual system uses a
variety of forms created by the employees using Excel.
Orders "get stuck" when the managers whose
approvals are needed travel. And, nobody
really knows what is happening - orders cannot be
tracked through the approval process and there is no
reconcil-iation or coordination between
orders that have
accounts payable, departmental
budgets, and accounting's
view of actual
The process of submitting,
tracking, approving, and issuing purchase orders
needs to be automated and integrated with the
company's accounting and budgeting systems. Managers
must be able to approve while traveling.
Orders must be track-able through the process.
Department spreadsheets must automatically reflect
the commitment implied by each issued purchase order.
Received shipments must automatically trigger
payment from accounting and increment the inventory.
The ReFrame Application
Service Grid Solution
Multiple applications or
"services" were written and deployed progressively
onto the ReFrame Application Service Grid.
Business value was delivered quickly by first
providing a basic solution to the most pressing
problems. Additional elements of the overall
system were rolled out in the order in which they
would deliver tangible business results.
Finally, the initially deployed applications were
enhanced to better serve the business needs and
wants of the users.
Stage one was to solve the
most serious operational problem - POs "getting stuck"
because the approving manager was out of the
office. An on-screen ReFrame client form was
created for submitting a new purchase order and
automatically notifying the manager by email that it
was pending. The
manager can click on a link in the email to open a web
form that can be used to approve, disapprove, or return with
comments. The response is automatically sent to Purchasing
and the originator.
Stage two automated routing,
allowed assignment of alternate approving managers and
added the tracking function. A company
organization chart service was created and the PO
form's rules were modified to have it use the
organization chart service to find the appropriate
Stage three integrated the
department managers' budget spreadsheets through a
ReFrame adapter. This stage also integrated with
the Inventory Management system so newly received
items can automatically be registered.
ReFrame enabled a quick solution to
the most pressing problem followed by evolutionary
enhancements that added major business value,
simplified the process for the users, and brought new
levels of business insight to both the process and the
Enhance, Change, Grow
The initial deployment of this system used three
servers in the ReFrame Application Service Grid.
Increased traffic can be handled by adding servers
to the ReFrame Application Service Grid to handle
more transactions, maintain speed, and serve more
Modifications to enhance workflow or improve
processes can be quickly implemented because the
combination of ReFrame's fine granularity and the
ReFrame Exception Engine make changes simple, fast,
ReFrame enables you to quickly, easily, and safely
accommodate the changing size and shape of your