Strength and Weakness of Approval Hierarchies available in Oracle Purchasing

Strengths and Weaknesses of Approvals Using the Employee/Supervisor Relationship

Strengths

Allows flexibility of establishing approval groups around either jobs or positions.

Assuming Oracle Human Resources (HR) is installed and the data is being maintained, Purchasing uses the supervisor name on the employee record which should be entered and maintained for HR purposes already.

Weaknesses

Documents may not travel by the employee/supervisor relationship for approval purposes, but take a different path in part or entirely.

Documents can get hung up more frequently due to the volume of personnel changes that typically occur in companies.

Higher volumes of documents need to be re-routed using the Forward-To settings. Recall that the first name alphabetically appears as the default.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Approvals Using Position Approval Hierarchies

Strengths

Allows approval paths to be set up that follow the actual flow of documents for approval

Assuming Human Resources is installed and the data is being maintained, Purchasing can make an employee representation of the position approval hierarchy by simply running the Fill Employee Hierarchy process. This will allow changes occurring in personnel assignments to be updated in the position approval hierarchy.

Documents can get hung up less frequently due to the lower volume of structural hierarchy changes compared to the higher volume of personnel changes that typically occur in companies.

Lower volumes of documents need to be re-routed using the Forward To settings, especially when there are multiple holders in a particular job or position. Recall that the first name alphabetically appears as the default when there are multiple holders.

Weaknesses

Cannot be used with jobs, but must be used with positions.

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4 thoughts on “Strength and Weakness of Approval Hierarchies available in Oracle Purchasing

  1. how to customize a printed invoice …
    add some info like ” Reg no. or Bank Account no. ” etc
    thanks

  2. Hi,
    Based on which crieteria we can suggest the customer to go for position or supervisor Hierarchy.
    Assume that both job and positions are available for customer

    Thanks in advance
    Ravi

    • The choice between using Approval Hierarchy vs Employee-Supervisor is more a question of maintenance than limited functionality. Either choice will get you the same functionality. Approval Hierarchies are hierarchies that have a Job/ Position relationship. Approval Hierarchies will require more upfront leg work, but once you have it setup it tends to “maintain itself” for the most part. The one weakness in the Position Hierarchy is that if an employee reports to a position of Finance Mgr. and there are 4 holders of the Finance Mgr. position, the holder whose employee last name is first alphabetically will receive the approval request notification automatically.
      Employee Supervisor requires you only to define jobs. If the purchase order raised by the employee exceeds the approval limits, the purchase order is forwarded onto the employees’ supervisor, as defined on the Employee form. In the setup of Employee Supervisor you identify an employee’s supervisor on the Define Employee Form and then assign each employee a job on which approval limits are assigned.
      A weakness of this approach is that if a supervisor in the approval chain leaves the organization, you must update the gap in the hierarchy. Otherwise, if no Supervisor is able to be located and the Job assigned to the employee does not have Approval Authority, then the Approving employee must enter a forward to person, or the Document will be returned to an Incomplete status and a notification will be sent to the Approving employee, stating – No Approver Found – Please Select a Forward To Employee.
      2) An additional big advantage using position hierarchy is, that you can define different hierarcies for different purposes – e.g. typically it is my experence that you will have different persons to approve Internal Requisitions, External Requisitions and Purchase Orders – if it is tha case – just define 3 different hierarchies and reference them on the Document Types.

      3) Also there may be ahuge overhead when supervisors move around as you will have to go into each underling and amend the supervisor. Having hierarchies in place provides the ability to configure the Requisition (or PO) approval workflows to route to separate hierarchies based on commodity, supplier etc. which provides tighter application of customer business rules.

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