Pre-built Content for SAP Ariba Purchase Requisitions Approval using SAP Workflow Management
This blog post brings to you a new content Ariba Purchase Requisition Approvals which enables the procurement experts to automate the approval of Purchase Requisitions created in SAP Ariba, using the capabilities of SAP Workflow Management, in a flexible and transparent way. Workflow Management is the process of digitizing discrete processes and managing the outcomes. And workflow management software allows you to build, run, and manage workflows.
SAP Ariba has its own approval process. This content package is developed based on the feedback received from some of the SAP Business Technology Platform customers who are looking for managing the approvals centrally via common BTP Workflow Management framework. Hence that brings the need to configure such external approvals of the purchase requisitions created in SAP Ariba via BTP Workflow. The process can be configured for internal approval (within SAP Ariba) or external approvals via the SAP Workflow Management.
A purchase requisition is a request that is made to the purchasing organization to procure a certain list of items and needs approval from the purchasing organization. When a Purchase Requisition marked for External Approval is received from SAP Ariba, a pre-configured process variant is triggered in SAP Workflow Management via the integration flow configurations. The approvers are determined based on the incoming purchase requisition’s data. The purchase requisition is either Approved or Rejected based on the approvals performed in the process and the document is updated back in SAP Ariba.
The workflow content package is published on SAP API Business Hub with the following artifacts, and it works in conjunction with the Integration package ‘SAP Ariba Integration with SAP Workflow Management – Purchase Requisition Approvals.
- Process Template
- Decisions and Policies
- Visibility Scenario
The below solution diagram explains the involved technical artifacts and how Purchase Requisitions data are extracted from SAP Ariba using the Cloud Integration capability of SAP Integration Suite. An approval workflow is created, and the approval tasks are assigned to the determined approvers using the Business Rules capability of SAP Workflow Management.
Key features of the content package for Ariba Purchase Requisitions Approval
- Plug and Play with SAP Ariba without additional development
- Pre-configured process steps for approval
- Automatic email notification to parties involved
- Agent/approver determination using Business Rules or external service
- Pre-built integration content to process Purchase Requisitions
- Out-of-the-box visibility into key process performance indicators
Discover Content Packages via Process Flexibility
Once you have a subscription/CPEA license to SAP Workflow Management (or using the SAP BTP trial), you will be able to search and import the content packages into your SAP BTP tenant using the Process Flexibility Cockpit app. This cockpit also provides a view on all the imported process content packages from SAP API Business Hub
Configure Process Content Package
Once the workflow package is imported into SAP BTP tenant, the package can be configured and consumed with the help of the delivered guides which are available along with the package. The line of business user can then configure new variants, adapt decision & policies and the process visibility scenario as per the business requirements.
Manage Process Variants
The process expert can create a process variant using the Process Variant Editor.
The business process expert can modify the decisions and polices based on the business needs using the Manage Decisions application. The package provides flexibility in determining the Cost Center, Quality Check and Global Purchasing approvers through the Business Rules capability of SAP Workflow Management and any other business group of approvers can be determined from other external applications.
A purchase requisition consists of header and line items data. This content package focusses on the approval of incoming requisition documents at header level, from essentially three approval groups namely Cost Center, Quality Check and Global Purchasing Organization.
The content is developed such that it makes sure all the line items within the incoming requisition documents are looped through to determine the cost center approvers using the Loop Function FOREACH within a Text Rule for Execute Operations available in the Business Rules capability.
Once the cost center approval is through, the next steps of Quality Check and GPO approval will be triggered based on the configured process variant, which will create subsequent approval tasks for designated approvers based on the business rules configuration.
Live Process Insights
The business process expert can gain end-to-end visibility on process using the out-of-box Visibility dashboard based on the pre-configured visibility scenario. The Process Workspace provides real-time insights into critical business-related situations of the running process and thus helps identifying bottlenecks well on time.
When a Purchase Requisition configured for external approval is created in SAP Ariba, the approval flow gets triggered based on the configured process variant in the Workflow Management tenant on BTP. Approvers then receive tasks in their My Inbox application to approve or reject the document.
Setup integration between SAP Ariba and SAP Workflow Management
The Ariba Purchase Requisitions Approval Package works together with the Integration package SAP Ariba Integration with SAP Workflow Management – Purchase Requisition Approvals to automatically create an approval workflow or to start an approval process to approve and update the purchase requisition in SAP BTP.
In your integration tenant, discover and import “SAP Ariba Integration with SAP Workflow Management – Purchase Requisition Approvals”. It consists of an Integration Flow which is called periodically by a timer. In addition, a Value Mapping to define regions based on company codes is provided. That region information can be used for approver determination. You can find more details in the setup and configuration guide which is delivered along with the Integration Package.
This concludes the blog post which essentially showcases how a purchase requisition created in SAP Ariba can be externally approved by designated approver groups using the capabilities of SAP Workflow Management and then posted back to the source system for further processing like Purchase Order creation etc.
The workflow content package Ariba Purchase Requisitions Approval is available for consumption along with its Integration Package on SAP API Business Hub. There are many more SAP Workflow Management content packages published across different industries and lines of business applications on SAP API Business Hub. They can be enhanced further by our customers to meet the business requirements. The list is ever growing, so stay tuned!
Great blog and very well explained! Question: when it comes to finding the approver, if I select approver = cost center manager or WBS element owner. will the tool dynamically define the approver? Meaning, if the cost center manager has changed in ERP since I created the workflow, will the approval go to the new cost center manager?