A few years ago Triumph Gear Systems of Macomb Michigan was in the process of implementing the purchase requisition module for requesting expensed items. The company was using a manual system that would allow users to fill out either a paper form or an electronic form in Microsoft Excel for requisitioning expense items. Once this requisition form was filled out the appropriate signatures based on the G/L account number or work order was needed for the purchasing department to issue a purchase order. This was a daunting job to determine who needed to sign-off on each line of the requisition multiple account numbers. They decided that an electronic solution was needed that would allow them to retain their level of approval by G/L account number. The current Visual software allowed for sign-offs using messaging and workflows but not to the level of complexity that was desired for their company.
A solution was designed to satisfy this need. A custom developed application was designed for the approval system. The users still use Visual Manufacturing to enter purchase requisitions just as it was designed. All users have access to place these requisition lines in either “Draft” or “In-Process” status. No users have rights to change the status to “Approved” within Visual Manufacturing. Only by using the custom application can a requisition status be changed from In-Process to Approved. This forces the signers to use the custom application to approve requisition lines that they have the right to do so. Each signer is given one or more accounts that they are responsible for. For each of these accounts they are issued a “Max” value equal to their signing authority. This allows for tiered approvals on each account based on approval levels.
The example shown here displays the approvers for the “SUPP AND EXP ASSEMBLY” account. There are four signers that are authorized to signoff for this type of expense, as long as the line amount is less than their “Max Amt.” If the line had been valued at $3,000 only one signer has the proper authority to approve.
Once a requisition is placed in the “In-process” status it is waiting for approval from the appropriate signer(s). The signer has the ability to either accept or decline any requisition line they are authorized for. Once this is decided the line status is changed to either Accepted or Cancelled. Once all lines have been approved or declined the purchase requisition status is changed to Approved.
Below is a screen capture of the approval system that is used to achieve the goals set forth by Triumph Gear Systems. This solution is using a combination of Visual Manufacturing and a custom application to accomplish this. The application has been in use since 2009 and has since processed approximately 8,000 requisitions using this system.
This goes to show that Visual is only limited by your imagination and just about anything can be accomplished given the right tools and time.
Wayne Bourdage is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com and is an active participant in the VISUAL community. He has custom developed several software solutions to enhance the Visual product, allowing it to run more efficiently by simplifying and automating redundant tasks
Connect with Wayne online at LinkedIn