M5-PO-1010 eRequistions Enhancement

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Contents

Introduction

The eRequistion Enhancement from Blytheco LLC enables users with Internet access to submit requests for material and services to a central purchasing office from a remote location. The software creates a Sage 500 Purchase Requisition by importing data entered via a Web portal.

The package provides internal controls of the purchasing process. User roles determine which employees may add or edit system users, assign or change their authorizations, and who can authorize the creation of a Sage 500 requisition. Purchase dollar limits are enforced on a user level.

Tracking of requests are provided through the requisition cycle to point of import into Sage 500. The enhancement serves as a one-way portal into Sage 500; the only information that is “written back” from the Sage 500 purchasing process into eRequistion data files is the Sage 500 requisition number assigned to the imported requisition.

Installation and Requirements

Pre-Requisites

  • SQL Server software capable of hosting a v6.5 database
  • Licensed Sage 500 installation
  • IIS is installed on the Web Server
  • SQL connectivity from the Web Server
  • MDAC v2.5 or greater
  • Minimum 1.8 Ghz Pentium 4 server with 1Gb RAM


Installation Steps

Create the eReqs database on Sage 500 SQL Server (Suggested DB Name: mas500BC_req) Ensure that IIS is installed on the Web Server When running the installation, be sure to be logged on to the Web Server as the Administrator.

Run the provided installation build. You should see the following screen.

eRequisitions_Installation_Wizard


Click NEXT on the Welcome screen. Accept the License Agreement and click the “Next” button on the License Agreement screen.

Enter your User and Organization information on the Customer Information screen.

eReq Customer Info


You will receive the ready to install screen. Click Install on this screen.

eReq Start Install


On the next screen you will be prompted for information to configure server connections.

  • Select the Server where the eRequisition database shell was created. This should be the same as the Sage 500 database server.
  • Enter validation user credentials to be used in creating the database objects. You should use the SQL Server "sa" account information for the validation fields.
  • Click the Login button to establish the connection
  • Select the Databases using the drop down selection boxes.
  • Choose the Sage 500 databases to be configured
  • Choose the eReqs databases to be configured
  • Click the “Execute” button.

A command script window will open and execute the necessary SQL scripts. Once the scripts complete the command script window will close.

Click the Exit button to complete the install and close the eReqs Server Installation screen.

eReq Server Install


ODBC Setup

The last step in installation setup is to complete the configuration of the local data source to point to the appropriate server for the e-Reqs database. This is necessary as the installer only sets up the driver with “local” by default.


Open the “ODBC Data Source Administrator”, typically found in “Control Panel | Administrative Tools”.

Click the “System” tab.

Select the "acuity-req" data source and click on Configure.

eReq ODBC Setup


Change the Server entry to the appropriate database server where the eReqs database resides. Then click the “NEXT>” button.

eReq DSN Server Config


Select the radio button beside SQL Server Authentication. Enter the SQL Server "sa" user credentials in the Login ID and Password boxes.

Click NEXT.

eReq DSN Config


Check the check box beside “Change the default database to”. Select the appropriate database in the drop down box.

Click NEXT.

eReq SQL Server DSN Config


On the next screen, click the “FINISH” button.

eReq SQL Server DSN Config


Test the connection by clicking on “Test Data Source” button on the configuration review screen.

ODBC MS SQL Server Setup
ODBC MS SQL Server Data Source Test



Verify the success of the test on the “SQL Server ODBC Data Source Test” screen. If the test is unsuccessful, you will need to reconfigure the Data Source to resolve any errors.

Click OK for both screens.

Launching eRequisition

You should now be able to launch eReqs using the default URL below. Replace “<server>" with the name or address of the web server.

http://<server>/BC_EReqs/default.asp

The default login credentials are "Admin" with password "Admin".

eRequisition Set-Up

After the eRequisition package is installed by your supporting vendor, the software must be configured to match the work flow processes in your company.

eRequistion Roles

Users are assigned to one of three eRequisition groups, called “Roles.” The available Roles are User {User_Role}, Administrative {Admin_Role}, and Accounting {Acctg_Role}. The assigned group controls the activities that the user may perform within eRequistion software.

System Planning

eRequistion features a hierarchical approval system based on reporting relationships and spending authorization levels. Blytheco recommends that you prepare a chart of your work flow before beginning software set-up. The best vehicle for this purpose is the basic organization chart diagram. Each eRequisition user should be depicted, showing his authorized spending limit and his approval chain. A typical diagram is illustrated in the following figure.

The chart should show:

User Name
Next Approver Relationships
Assigned eRequisition User Role
Spending Authority Amount


EReq Planning Chart


First Login

The software is loaded with the default user “Admin” with the password “Admin.” Enter the URL address provided by your I/T system manager to access the eRequisition login screen.

eReq Login


Enter “admin” (all lower case) in the User ID and Password fields.

Important Note: The password for the administrative user should be changed as soon as your production system is set-up and should be carefully controlled. The administrative user has complete access to eRequistion software settings.


eReq Maint Users


From the Administrator’s home screen (shown above), click on the “Maintain Users” link to begin setting up the system.

eReq Add New User


Use the “Add New User” link to set up the users. The figure above shows a screen for an installation with existing users – when configuring a new installation, the Admin user will be the only one in the grid.

The next figure illustrates the screen for entering new users. The following notes pertain to entries for this screen:

  • The User ID value is used for login and can be initials, numbers, first initial/last name, etc.
  • E-mail address is for reference only – the software does not support any mail protocol
  • Credit Limit is the maximum dollar value per purchase for which the user is authorized
  • The roles are discussed in the following section
  • Next Approver is the user who approves requisitions that exceed the maximum spending authorization for this user. Must be selected from a drop-down list of valid users.
Note – the most effective method for creating users is to start at the top of the organization chart and a work down. This method ensures that next approval users are created as authorization levels decrease toward bottom of chart.
  • Out Of Office, when checked, will automatically forward eRequisitions requiring the user’s approval to the next higher approval authority. Used when user will not be available for a period of time (i.e., vacations, business trips).


eReq Add New User


As noted in the eRequistion Roles section , users may be assigned to one of three roles – User, Admin, or Accounting. Most members will be set up as Users – they create and/or approve requisitions. The member(s) of Accounting have authorization to make final approval of the eRequisition, which triggers the import into Sage 500 as a purchase requisition. Note: Admin role members cannot enter or approve requisitions – logins assigned to this role are responsible only for system maintenance. Restrict the assignment of the Admin role to as few individuals as practical – Admin role members can set up new users, activate/inactivate existing users, edit user information, and change spending authorizations.

User Maintenance

Users are maintained by clicking their user ID in the "add new user" grid, which is a link to the maintenance screen (shown in the following figure).

eReq User Maintenance


Since existing eRequisitions (including closed requisitions) are tied to a user ID, users are not deleted. When a user is no longer authorized to request purchases on behalf of the company, the Administrator un-checks the active status checkbox. When this is accomplished, the user cannot access the eRequisition software (illustrated in the following figure).

eReq Cancel Login


Inserting A User In Approval Process

As firms grow and develop, additional users may need to be added at various levels of the approval process. This is accomplished with the Insert User task.

eReq Inserting User


This task simplifies the addition of a new user into an intermediate level of the approval chain by automatically assigning the new user as the next approval authority for those below his level in the chain. This task is used only for adding a new user who will be approving requisitions for existing users in the system. When adding new users who do not have approval responsibilities, use the “Add New User” task.

eReq Inserting User - User Creation


As shown in figure above, the user setup is identical to the create new user task. However, the next figure illustrates opening the profile for an existing user situated under the new user and shows that the task has automatically changed the next approver to the new user (this person previously had Msaunders as their next approver).

eReq Next Approver


User_Role Profile Maintenance

Users can maintain their own profiles within eRequisition. From the User Home screen (below) the “Maintain Profile” link is used for this task.

eReq User Home Screen


Users can edit name, email, telephone number, and password fields. The “Out Of Office” box should be checked if the user will be unavailable for an extended time period and has approval responsibilities for other users. When checked, the box automatically forwards requisitions requiring the user’s approval to the next higher approval authority.

eReq User Edit Profile


Entering Requisitions

Use the “Enter New Requisitions” link from the Home screen to create a new eRequisition. The new requisition screen will open with the user defaulted as the originator and the current business date as the request date.

eReq New Requisitions


The following notes correspond to the reference numbers in the figure above:

1. Expedite is a reference field only; there is no automated software function connected to the field. The drop-down to the right is linked to the Sage 500 Reason Code table.
2. MAS comment is transferred to the Sage 500 purchase order header comment field
3. Classification is an eRequisition reference field
4. Attach file provides a windows browse task to attach a file to this requisition.



EReq Browser Window


The ability to view this attachment is dependent on the viewer software resident on the user’s workstation – there is no file viewer built into eRequisition. File attachments should reside in a shared server directory to ensure accessibility for all users.
5. Extended comment field for eRequisition. 350 character limit. If more than 350 characters are entered into this field, user will receive the following warning:


eReq Comment Field Exceeds Limit


6. The vendor selection field is a list-box linked to the Sage 500 AP Vendor master table. Therefore, a vendor must exist in Sage 500 before it can be selected in eRequisitions. The entire vendor list can be browsed by opening the vendor selection list box:


EReq Vendor Selection Drop Down


eRequisition also provides a Boolean search engine for both vendors and items. The fields available for searching are displayed below the main list box. The available Boolean terms are “begins with” and “contains” (see the next figure for example). Key the search value into the blank field to the right of the Boolean selection box and click on the “Search” button. Results will display in the vendor or item main list box.


EReq Boolean Search Engine


7. The item selection field is a list-box linked to the Sage 500 IM Item master table. Therefore, an item must exist in Sage 500 before it can be selected in eRequisitions. The entire item list can be browsed by opening the item selection list box (same as shown for vendors above).
8. If a value is entered, the override cost will be used in the requisition instead of the Sage 500 inventory cost.
9. This is the delivery date specified by the requisition originator.
10. MAS500 department, if the department option is activated.
11. MAS500 warehouse. Department or warehouse (but not both) is required for Sage 500 inventory items. If both fields are completed, the following error is generated when attempting to save the requisition:


eReq Warning - Dept & Whse


Note: Only valid inventory can be requisitioned for a warehouse (i.e., item must be assigned to the warehouse in Sage 500 Maintain Inventory task). The following message will be generated when attempting to save a requisition for an invalid warehouse / item combination:


EReq Error - Invalid Item Warehouse Combo


12. Requsition line item comment. This is imported into Sage 500 as a line item comment.
13. Requisition line item classification. The is eRequisition reference only.

When all fields are complete, click on the “Save Changes” button to create the eRequisition. If the total amount of the requisition exceeds the originator’s purchase authorization, the following message will be generated:

eReq Purch Auth Amount Warning


Entering Additional Line Items to a Requisition

Additional lines may be added to an eRequisition prior to submitting it for approval. The requisition is displayed as “Pending” after creation. Click on the “Add New Detail” link to add lines (or edit existing lines) of the requisition:

eReq Link to Add or Edit Lines


The working screen for adding new items or editing existing lines has identical structure to the screen for creating a new requisition – the only difference being the screen title bar to indicate you are in the edit function (below).

eReq Add Detail to Existing Req


Submitting eRequisitions

When a new eRequisition has been created, edited, and it is ready to be submitted, the originator selects the document from the home screen:

EReq Home Screen for Processing Reqs


In the above figure, notice the tabs across the top of the screen. These divide the display of requisitions according to their status. The statuses break down as follows:

Open
Requisitions that have not yet been submitted by the originator
Pending Approval
Requisitions submitted for amounts greater than authorization; awaiting approval by next approval level
Pending Accounting
Requisition amount has met with approval; waiting for accounting approval to import into Sage 500
Inactive
Set to “Put On Hold” by originator, pending research or further action
Cancelled
Originator or Approver decided to cancel the requisition
Closed
Requisition imported into Sage 500


Requisitions ready for submission will appear on the “Open” tab and are selected by clicking on the requisition number (shown above). The approval screen will open (see next figure) and the user selects

eReq Submit Req


the desired action (Complete, Put on Hold, or Cancel) and clicks the “Submit” button. The document is processed and moved to the appropriate tab based on dollar value and eRequisition authorization rules. Note: After submission, the quantities, vendors, items, and prices cannot be edited further.

When all eRequisitions have been submitted, the originator’s “Open” tab will display no documents, as shown below:

eReq All Reqs Submitted


Printing Requisitions

The Home screen for Processing figure (Submitting Requisitions section) illustrates the printer icon, used to print paper eRequisition documents if desired for work flow process or record keeping requirements. This is an optional step and is not required for processing.

eRequisition Approval Process

The “Pending Approval” tab on the Home screen will list eRequisitions that have been submitted for dollar amounts in excess of the originator’s authorization and are awaiting approval from the next level of purchasing authority.

eRequisitions is designed to allow departmental-type reporting structures and therefore will only permit approval authorities to view the requisitions of their direct reports. For example, refer back to the figure in the System Planning section of this document – where the company’s process flow was charted. In this diagram, Knewhouse would be able to view only requisitions for Kbaker and Djacobs. BBrown would be able to see Knewhouse, Msaunders, and all of their subordinates.

The level of access to items on the “Pending Approval” tab (next figure) is controlled by the user login.

eReq Pending Approval Tab


To illustrate, both the originator (sortegon) and the next approval authority (tbaker) will see eRequisition number 0000000019 displayed. However, sortegon can only edit the comment once she has submitted the requisition for approval. Tbaker, on the other hand, will have access to the approval screen when he clicks on the requistion number link:

eReq Next Approval Auth Screen


As the various authorities submit approval, the document is displayed on the “Pending Approval” tab of the appropriate person in the hierarchy until approval is finally rendered by the individual with authority to approve the full dollar amount of the purchase.

Final Approval – Import Into Sage 500

Individuals who are assigned the Accounting Role check the “Pending Accounting” tab for requisitions that require their approval.

When approved by the individual with authorization to O.K. the full purchase amount, the requisition will appear under the Pending Accounting tab. This is the final approval and will trigger an automatic import into Sage 500 as a Purchase Requisition. The approval dialog for the Accounting Role is slightly different from preceding screens:

eReq Pending Accounting Dialog


Members of the Accounting Role can enter the PO Number into the appropriate field. Also, their option is to “Close” versus “Approve,” because when they submit the eRequisition is closed and converted to a Sage 500 Purchase requisition.

The topics of editing Sage 500 Purchase Requisitions and generating purchase orders from them are covered in the Sage 500 Purchasing module training.

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