A New Way of Thinking about Supplier Management

Integrating Oracle Procurement Cloud with JD Edwards for Collaborative Supplier Management

In the past year, there’s been an increase in the number of companies integrating cloud applications with JD Edwards (or migrating to cloud ERP). Organizations that transition from JD Edwards to Oracle Cloud, or integrate cloud applications with JDE, are challenged to take full advantage of all the opportunities for business process improvement.

One area that businesses running JDE are gaining efficiency is by integrating cloud applications to improve procurement processes. In the use case below, Oracle Procurement Cloud enables collaboration between Accounts Payable and Procurement Administrators while also freeing up time spent on manual or tedious tasks through workflows and other smart tools.

Below are three examples of new functionality in Oracle Cloud that may completely change how your organization’s stakeholders collaboratively interact with each other.

Approval Workflows

There’s often confusion between accounts payable and procurement as far as who “owns” and maintains supplier records. In other cases, some organizations have rigid rules for functional ownership of the supplier Address Book and the corresponding data. These rules most likely exist due to the lack of workflow or approvals related to supplier updates in native JD Edwards. As a result, Accounts Payable or other non-procurement employees, “own” supplier maintenance activities. This causes unnecessary congestion of an AP department for administrative tasks that could more effectively be administered by a procurement agent.

Examples of data fields that can be enabled for modification approval in Oracle Procurement cloud, when it comes to the supplier management process:

  • Organization Details
  • Contacts
  • Contact User Account
  • Addresses
  • Business Classifications
  • Bank Accounts
  • Products and Services
  • Qualifications Questionnaire

 

List of fields that can be enabled for modification approval:

  • Organization Details
  • Contacts
  • Contact User Account
  • Addresses
  • Business Classifications
  • Bank Accounts
  •  Products, Goods and Services
  • Qualifications Questionnaire

Supplier Business Relationship Status Feature

A second barrier to a collaborative model within Oracle Cloud is JD Edwards’ lack of supplier status. Internal organizational structures often disqualify procurement agents from being empowered to create and transact against a supplier record. With Oracle Cloud’s introduction of the Supplier Business Relationship Status, suppliers can be created at a “Prospective” status. This status allows the supplier to participate in sourcing negotiations and supplier qualifications but will prevent the supply from becoming engaged in contractual spending contracts (purchase orders, vouchers, etc.). Once the supplier is moved the “Spend Authorized” status by an empowered administrator, the supplier becomes an eligible transactable sourcing partner.

Utilizing supplier statuses to ensure all relevant stakeholders have an opportunity to review modified supplier information and data allows procurement agents, procurement managers and other strategic sourcing roles to have a more hands-on supplier relationship with administrative tasks, while simultaneously allowing financial administrators to enact the appropriate level of oversight and approval prior to the activation of the proposed changes.

Self-Service Supplier Portal

The third tool that can be used to drive a more collaborative model between AP and procurement is use of the Supplier Portal. It is not uncommon for a newly engaged supplier to require a significant amount of administrative bandwidth to ensure correct master data setup prior to payment. Security configuration in JD Edwards is often the primary reason for ownership of these tasks to fall upon an accounts payable member to update. By using the Supplier Portal, your organization can begin to process of pushing administrative ownership onto parties with a vested interest in completing a supplier profile.

Special roles may be configured for suppliers that are key supply chain partners to access your Oracle Cloud ERP environment. Portal links, supplier users and individual strategic supplier roles can ensure rapid collaboration. As with internal changes, any external or requested changes from a supplier can be routed to an appropriate internal reviewer before enacting any updates. This allows for a massive reduction in non-value adding administrative tasks related to supplier updated.

The transition to Oracle Cloud from JD Edwards offers many opportunities for redesigns of existing business processes. Often, smarter cross-functional collaboration will eliminate waste within an organization and allow for a more dynamic reaction time to environmental changes. When examining the lifecycle of a supplier’s record within an ERP, your organization will likely find a plethora of opportunities for refinement.

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supplier management
Written by Cameron Copper

Cameron is a Senior Distribution consultant with a history of successful implementations of JD Edwards, Oracle Cloud and hybrid solutions. Cameron developed Terillium’s Functional User Defined Object training curriculum, has spoken at user group events and currently acting as the Assessment Practice Lead and Pathfinder methodology design.

supplier management