The SAP-integrated xFlow Order Confirmation application provides procurement staff with at-a-glance information, rapid workflows and integrated supplier correspondence functions.
WMD Group developed a new solution for processing incoming order confirmations. ‘xFlow Order Confirmation’ addresses the needs of companies that use SAP MM (Material Management) to create purchase orders and forward them to suppliers. The solution fully integrates with SAP and automatically checks order confirmations against SAP purchase orders.
For any manufacturing company, getting their goods to the right place at the right time is a critical requirement in order to implement just-in-time production. If they fail to do so, severe problems will result, right down to causing entire production lines to grind to a standstill. This underscores the importance of having suppliers confirm and process orders precisely as instructed. The new WMD solution helps SAP users make this happen by automatically comparing incoming order confirmations from suppliers against the associated purchase order in SAP MM and immediately raising a flag in the event of deviations.
The application automatically captures incoming order confirmations from any available input channel by means of OCR and data extraction. A highly complex rule engine analyzes all document contents without the need for structured input data and checks whether the information is plausible and if the numbers add up. For perfect results, the solution compares the captured data against existing SAP records – more precisely, with the purchase order maintained in SAP MM.
In the next step, an employee, for example a member of the procurement team, receives the digitized and analyzed order confirmation for validation in the SAP GUI. This process is performed based on a list (xFlow Order Confirmation Monitor). To facilitate the validation task in SAP, the tool highlights relevant data in color directly in the image. xFlow Order Confirmation provides a traffic-light indicator that alerts users to potential deviations from the original purchase order and shows them where the issue was detected. Users can toggle between header and line-item data. By default, the tool checks amounts, prices and the delivery date, but if required, the delivery address can also be accounted for.
A direct link to the order allows employees to view details and make adjustments, e.g., by cancelling either the entire purchase order or individual items. There are also text templates for communicating with suppliers. Outbound mails are automatically attached to the current process and archived. Moreover, ad-hoc workflows enable employees to forward the work item inside the company. This is useful for tasks such as, for instance, asking the production department to check and confirm an altered delivery date.
If key processes are in danger of running late, this information can be looked up in the order confirmation ledger at any time. Automated reminders and escalation e-mails provide an additional safety net and facilitate smooth workflows. These and other functions, including resubmissions and automatic forwarding, ensure that all parties involved are always up to date, receive reminders about important deadlines and are thus able to take quick action whenever necessary. Also, easy and flexible customizing results in a verification process that is perfectly aligned with a company’s specific requirements.
The new solution can process shipping notifications in addition to order confirmations. Here, too, the document is captured and compared against the existing SAP purchase order.