Best Practices Workflow

With traditional purchasing management methods, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the tail end of the process with the auditing of invoices either by a purchasing agent, a manager, or by accounts payable. This can be a timely and inefficient method offering very little in return. When an error is caught, the savings is minimal due to the amount of time already spent by each individual involved in the transaction. In order to combat these inefficiencies, Cinema Solutions has a built-in workflow designed to manage the procurement process throughout its lifecycle, with heavy emphasis placed on the front end where incorrect products and pricing can be eliminated.

The Workflow is defined by the five stages of the procurement lifecycle - Content Management, Ordering, Shipping, Receiving, and Invoicing. The workflow allows buyers and suppliers to co-manage the process by interacting through each stage in the process. Some steps require manual intervention with the system while other steps can be fully automated.

Read on for more detail about the various stages of the Cinema Solutions Workflow.

Content Management Stage

The Content Management stage is the initial stage of the Workflow. During this stage, buyers and suppliers add information to the system and configure their accounts appropriately. For the buyer, the main steps in this stage involve adding users and locations, approving products, and configuring the ordering templates and workflow. For suppliers, users and locations (warehouses) are added as well, along with their full or partial list of products. Also during this stage, buyers and suppliers will interact in order to mutually add pricing contracts and configure settings for any automated steps.

Ordering Stage

During the Ordering stage, purchasing agents use multiple methods of purchasing to create purchase orders. These methods include a Shopping Cart, Requisition Form, Ordering Templates (called Order Guides), and spreadsheet uploads. The choice of method normally depends on the category of purchasing. For example, Order Guides are typically used for replenishment ordering such as with Food and Beverage and Janitorials while the Shopping Cart is used for specialty items.

Suppliers are sent orders electronically using a variety of methods (Ftp, Http, AS2, Fax, and Email) and formats (EDI X12, XML, Flat File, and PDF) and can respond with an order acknowledgment. Read more about System Integration capabilities in our Features & Benefits section.

Shipping Stage

The Shipping stage is focused on collecting information from the suppliers regarding the shipping status of an order. This allows the purchasing agent to be notified of any important advanced shipping details. For example, information regarding shipping delays or product shortages can alert the buyer to make alternate purchases, if necessary, to satisfy their inventory needs.

Receiving Stage

During the Receiving stage, final information regarding the order delivery is collected from the purchasing agent. The received quantities are matched with the original order and shipping quantities and all parties are notified of any exceptions. Once the exceptions are handled, the purchase order is now ready for the final stage of the Workflow, Invoicing.

This stage can also be used to invoke integration procedures that will send data to a third-party inventory system. This helps to streamline the process for inventoried items by eliminating the double entry of data.

Invoicing Stage

It is in the electronic Invoicing stage that the true benefits of e-Procurement are realized. As discussed earlier, all products and pricing, as well as purchasing agents, have been approved on the front-end, leaving your organization with an electronic invoice ready for your Accounts Payable system. In order to ensure the highest level of data integrity at this critical stage, Cinema Solutions employs a three-way matching system to all electronic invoices sent by the supplier. If required, an Invoice Approval and Tolerance feature is available at this stage in the process.

Contact a Sales Representative today to learn more about Cinema Solutions and the benefits of e-Procurement.