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Purchase Order Processing

The Need

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 been issued,

accounts payable, departmental

manager's budgets, and accounting's

view of actual expenses-to-date.

The Challenge

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 recipient.

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 financial ramifications.

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 users.

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, and safe.

ReFrame enables you to quickly, easily, and safely accommodate the changing size and shape of your business.



"ReFrame applications scale to any desired size, handle exceptions in a uniquely useful manner, and maintain state across failures."

Technology entrepreneur

Copyright 2007 - HingePoint, Inc.