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Maintain Purchase Info Record in SAP ERP with Approvals using SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management

SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management provides digitalization of Workflows, decision management, visibility on end-to-end business process, enable line of business users with SAP Fiori-based user interfaces, and let Line of Business Experts configure new Process variants in a low-code no-code approach. SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management provides pre-built process content templates that include re-usable process steps/workflows, decision logic, integration flows to connect with the backend system, dashboards to monitor the process, and SAP Fiori user interfaces. This enables customers to import the content template, configure it as per the requirement, deploy, and run the process.

There are quite a few content packages available for consumption like the capital expenditure approval process, vendor onboarding for SAP ERP, purchase requisition approval for SAP ERP, business partner payment data change with approval for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, etc.

In this blog, I will give an overview of the content package Maintain Purchase Info Record that enables customers to create, change or display an SAP ERP purchase info record from SAP Cloud Platform without any additional development in SAP ERP.

Problem Statement

In SAP ERP, a purchase info record is a significant master data and contains information on a specific material and a vendor supplying the material. For example, the vendor’s current pricing for the material is persisted in the info record. Being a critical master data, any updates to the info record should ideally be validated and approved before being used productively. This will prevent any mistake in entering the price conditions, including validity, and hence avoiding any rework towards the fag end of the purchasing process, which could prove costly.

There are no standard approval processes for a Purchase Info Record in SAP ERP. If you need such an approval process, then it requires some development effort in SAP ERP.

Solution: Pre-built Process Content in SAP Cloud Platform

SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management provides a pre-built process content template to do the following:

  • Configure a multi-level approval process using the pre-built process steps, in a no-code/low-code manner with a simple drag and drop.
  • Create multiple variants of the same process based on the business requirement. For example, you could define a ‘High Proces Variance’ approval process (like the below screen capture), if the variation between the old & new price of the material is more than 25%. You could define a different variant with one-step approval for other cases or a variant for auto-approval in case of specific material. Refer to the configuration guide for more information on how to configure a process variant.

  • Create a new purchase info record or search for an existing purchase info record in SAP ERP to change/display the same, using the pre-built SAPUI5 application template.

  • Configure business rules to determine the approver and perform (optional) additional business validation.

 

  • Approve/Reject the purchase info record using pre-delivered user interfaces accessed from My Inbox app. The approvers are automatically determined as per the business rule configuration and are also notified by an email. Only after the approval from all parties, the info record is updated in SAP ERP.

  • After the approval process, persist the info record in SAP ERP using the pre-built integration content in SAP Cloud Platform Integration.
  • Gain out-of-the-box visibility with a ‘live’ dashboard. From high-level process metrics (like cycle time), you can navigate to a specific purchase info record contributing towards the metric. If required, the dashboard can be configured (change the representation from the pie chart to a line chart, change pre-built process metrics, add additional process metrics, etc.) in a no-code manner.

How to get the Process Content

The Maintain Purchase Info Record process content comes as part of SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management. High-level information about the content is available in SAP API Business Hub, where you can view process steps & templates along with the setup guide, configuration guide, and user guide. If you want to consume the process content package, then you need a subscription/CPEA license to SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management.

Once you have a subscription/CPEA license to SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management, you will be able to search and import the content package into your cloud platform tenant using the Process Flexibility Cockpit app in the Fiori Launchpad.

Once the content package (with process steps, workflows, decisions, and live process dashboard) is imported into your SAP Cloud Platform tenant, follow the configuration guide to set up new variants, configure decisions & policies, and configure process visibility.

Then import the SAPUI5 application template to start the approval process (as detailed in the content setup guide). Finally, import the integration content and set up the cloud connector and destinations to get the application running in no time.

Closing Remarks

The Maintain Purchase Info Record content package from SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management provides an option to quickly set up an approval process for purchase info record in SAP Cloud Platform with zero development in SAP ERP. By using the process flexibility cockpit, the business users can quickly adapt to any new requirement (like additional approvals, configure auto-approval, or add custom validations) with no coding involved. Additionally, you can also enhance this process with intelligent technologies like a chatbot using SAP Conversational AI or RPA bot using SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation to deliver truly digital process automation.

 

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