In Sourcing 7.0 SAP introduced an useful feature that allows a supplier registration to route through an approval workflow. When a new supplier registers via the supplier registration page, the registration request can be routed to one or more approvers or approver groups before the supplier is added to the supplier master in Sourcing.
Supplier workflow is very similar to project and contract approval workflow. When a supplier registration is submitted the approver will receive an email notifying them about the current approval. Upon logging into the system, the approver can either use the “My Supplier Workflow Activities” channel to access the current approvals or go to the supplier record to approve. In this short blog I will cover the configurations needed to enable this. It is assumed that the readers are somewhat familiar with the general workflow configurations.
The first step is to create a Workflow Definition for the supplier workflow. This step is similar to creating a Workflow Definition for Project or Contract workflow. It includes creating an XPDL file that contains the logic for the approval workflow including the details on how many approvals and the order of approval. For more information on creating a Workflow Definition, please refer to the Scripting and Workflow Configuration guide on the SAP Service Market Place.
Step 2 – Define Supplier Field Access Definition
In project and contract workflow when the workflow is trigged the document is locked so all the fields are read-only. In supplier workflow, with Supplier Field Access Definition it is possible to control what fields can remain editable on the supplier record in a specific phase. Supplier Field Access Definition can be accessed from Setup > Document Setup > Suppliers. Note this is an optional step depending on the requirement of your supplier workflow. Create a new Supplier Field Access Definition and select the fields you want to allow edit access to. The screenshot below shows the edit access allowed for Order Address 1 through 3 fields. Both the standard fields and custom fields will be listed on this page. Note that this does not apply to collections (both standard and custom).
Step 3 – Define Supplier Phase Configuration
Supplier Phase Configuration is where the phases for the supplier registration/modification are defined. There are four system phases – Created, Modified, Approved and Rejected. These system phases cannot be modified or removed. Let’s take a look at each one of these phases:
Created phase - Created phase is automatically set when the supplier registration/modification is created.
Modified phase – This phase is set when the data is updated
Approved phase - When this phase is reached, the vendor registration/modification request has been processed by the approver
Rejected phase – Indicates a request that is denied
Note that both Approved and Rejected phases are configured as “next” phase in the Supplier Configurable Phase Definition. New custom phases can be added but should be added between the Modified and Approved phase.
Now that the phases are configured let’s take a look at the configurations for each custom phase.
Next and Previous Phase: For each custom phase the valid next and previous phases should be configured.
Add Workflow Definition: For each workflow phase a Workflow Definition should be added
Add Supplier Field Access Definition: Each phase can be associated with a Supplier Field Access Definition. It allows you to control what fields can be editable on the supplier record for a particular phase. By default all the fields on the supplier record are not editable. In most cases, Supplier Field Access Definition will be added to a workflow phase; however, it is also possible to add it to a non-workflow phase.
Step 4 – Define Supplier Type
This is the last configuration step. In this step, Configurable Phase Definition created in step 3 is added to a Supplier Type. In addition, the Supplier Type should be associated with a supplier self-registration UI mapping. Note that the changes made to the Supplier Type do not affect the current supplier registration requests / modifications.
As a last step, ensure the Document Security Templates for supplier registration and supplier modification are configured so that the approvers are properly added when the registration or modification approvals are triggered.