Purchase Order (PO) Collaboration is one of the more effective ways to work collaboratively with suppliers. Many smaller suppliers may not have the capability to support electronic/EDI based collaboration as it is complicated and in many cases cost prohibitive. One of the best ways to support effective PO collaboration with the supplier is to take advantage of collaborative workflow.
While electronic/EDI based PO collaboration is ideal for high volume direct material schedule oriented purchasing relationships, it is not well suited for purchasing relationships that focus on services, capital equipment, and other indirect materials (MRO). A better and effective approach is to use a collaborative workflow driven process as shown below.
Illustrative PO Collaboration Process in ZFlow
Below shows an illustrative example of the PO Collaboration process in ZFlow. When the PO is released (can be SAP or other ERP/Finance systems), the workflow allows Supplier contact to join the workflow and either confirm or change PO. Depending on the action the next steps can be ASN process (done by the supplier), waiting for goods receipt (automated), and invoice submission (automated or done by supplier).