Workflow Optimization for Electronic Order and Quantity Contract Approval in SAP

customer projectA major company for energy and water supply turns to inPuncto to digitize and optimize its workflow processes in the purcahse order approval area

Procurement Processes – The Initial Situation

Media discontinuities and interruptions in the information chain slow down entire business processes in the company, costing both time and money. The frequent transmission errors that arise often result in increased effort. This was also the case for a major energy and water utility, where digitally generated documents, for example, had to be printed again for further processing, making the entire order approval procedure cumbersome and time-consuming. As the processes were supposed to follow the principle of dual control, this was done through a physical order folder.

Workflow Optimization – The Solution

The water and energy utility decided to find a solution that processes all information directly in a digital format, thereby optimizing and making the processes more sustainable. On one hand, it should simplify the SAP workflow, and on the other hand, enable finer workflow granularity. inPuncto’s workflow management tool not only perfectly mapped the customer-specific requirements in the workflow but also significantly increased process transparency.

Purchase Order Approval Workflow – Process Description

After creating an order in SAP, it is automatically entered into the respective approval process based on context, content, and the prescribed signature regulations. All required attachments (such as quotation comparisons, negotiation protocols, etc.) are then centrally added to the workflow via the cockpit, converted into different ArchiveLink document types, and automatically attached to the order after the workflow is completed. Additional individuals can be included in the workflow at any time, if necessary, along with all communication, such as comments from individuals and system-level notifications. After each workflow step, the current workflow log is available in the attachment list of the order (ME23N), making the entire process easily traceable.

Benefits with the inPuncto Digital Solution for Workflow Optimization

After implementing the inPuncto solution, the customer quickly experienced the positive effect on data quality and processes, immediately benefiting from numerous advantages of the solution:

  • Accelerated approval processes
  • Elimination of paper documents
  • Increased transparency, flexibility, and enhanced information content
  • Faster insight into the status of orders
  • Compliance conformity

Simplified Approval Processes – Mission Accomplished

The exchange of many paper documents now takes place digitally for the energy and water utility, significantly simplifying the approval processes and resulting in shorter process lead times. The specific document types of the order-related documents (attachments) are conveniently stored in the workflow via a selection menu and later archived. The availability of the workflow log in the attachment list of the order has also proven to be particularly advantageous, providing a comprehensive overview of the approval process and associated documents at a glance.

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