With the release of Dynamics GP 2013 R2 came the introduction of new workflow approval functionality that is directly within Dynamics GP. These workflow approvals have since been expanded upon with the recent release of Dynamics GP 2015 to include more transactions that are available for routing and approval. These releases are collectively known as Workflow 2.0, namely because workflow has existed for years in Dynamics GP but previously required SharePoint to execute the approval process. So why would Microsoft make this change? Now that there is workflow within Dynamics GP why would a customer want to utilize another Requisition Management application?
Let’s start with the first question of why Microsoft would want to do this. The simple, one word answer is “simplicity”. To achieve workflow previously, a customer would need to install SharePoint and configure an approval process using a different web based interface. Since not all customers use SharePoint this could be an additional burden and cost just for the sake of achieving a simple approval process. This is even more compelling if the reviewers are already Dynamics GP users and within the application on a daily basis.
So the next question that comes to mind is now that this functionality exists within Dynamics GP, why would anyone want to use a third party product, like DynamicPoint’s Requisition Management application? Strangely enough, the one word answer is the same as it was before, simplicity. So how, you ask, is it possible that a customer should pick one option over the other if they are both simple. Well that of course depends on your situation.
Let’s take for example a customer where the users that will be creating the requisitions are already in Dynamics GP on a daily basis and are familiar with its layout and functionality. When creating a requisition they know what items are within inventory and which items should be added as a non-inventory item. There is no confusion as to which vendor to select and no need to create a new vendor if one doesn’t exist. From the workflow perspective, managers can review using the email sent and can either approve or reject the review task without the need to make edits or reference attached documents. Upon final approval the requisition can be converted to a PO using the default accounts for the inventory and non-inventory items added. The person who created the requisition doesn’t need to receive nor print the PO upon final approval. If all this sounds like your company’s requirements, then the approval process of a requisition in Dynamics GP using Workflow 2.0 is the simplest answer to meeting your requirements.
Now let’s take another organization. Users that create requisitions are not typical GP users nor have they ever logged-in to the application. Maybe they are familiar with SharePoint as they are already using it for collaboration, document storage, project management, etc. Upon creating a requisition there is a chance they may know the vendor but maybe they don’t know or care as long as they get the item or service they are requesting. Upon adding items they can search records that exist in GP or add non inventory items in which GL accounts are assigned based on configurable lists. Attachments can be added by uploading them or snapping a picture with their phone or tablet. After the requisition is approved they need to print it or email it directly to the vendor. Upon the good or service being received, they need to reference the same requisition and denote the quantity received so that finance can complete the three way match with the invoice. If this is more like your company’s process, then using DynamicPoint’s Requisition Management application is the simplest way to achieve the functionality you require.
Most procurement processes are a little more complex than the high level examples I have laid out here, but hopefully you get the idea. Depending on a company’s business needs they may be best served by Dynamics GP’s, DynamicPoint’s, or dare I say, another company’s requisition management application. The point is that the evaluation should be based on the main objective of satisfying the company’s requirements with the best application for the job.
If you are interested in learning more about Purchase Requisition Management, Employee Expense, or Invoice Automation using SharePoint check out our online videos or contact us for a demonstration.
By Mike Marcin, DynamicPoint