I am currently working on a project where I need to automate all of our sales orders that come into our system. We have EDI in place for one customer but cannot expand this much further. We are working on configuring ECM Sales Order Automation, and that’s good and dandy for new orders coming in. However, it does not handle sales order changes (POCs).
Unlike distribution or other short-flow manufacturing processes, most of our orders come in at full manufacturing lead-time, often 6+ months before we are expected to deliver the product, and the customer will continually update the existing order up to the point where we make delivery. Thus 60-75% of the value for automation is in these change orders. The types of changes we receive most often are required by dates, adding/canceling additional lines/releases, adjusting line or release quantity, the ship via, and occasionally other order requirements.
We have had conversations with the ECM team about custom development and are working on that angle, but I need to ensure there is no available off-the-shelf product that would be faster/cheaper to deploy.
Do you have a similar business model? Have you implemented any software, custom or otherwise, to help you manage the change orders from your customers?
EDI handles this natively , but outside of that if you can process the change through Demand Management (which is what EDI Does) it could work but you’d have to find a way to get those Demand records created.
I had to do SOA on the fly a couple of years ago after a rif, but ours is all new with few changes so we do those manually.
How many customers are you looking at and what kinds of files can they send?
I have a ubaq that reads an 850 and makes new demand management app files. I can read an 860, but never tested it, If you can get a csv of the changes it could be adapted easily and since you already have demand management it would be quick to put in place.
You are welcome to the baq if you want it.
We are receiving PDF documents mainly either through email or via a customer portal that we have to download manually. Not an EDI 860. So far, only one customer has been able to interact via EDI (Aerospace… a bit behind the curve). We are struggling to find others that are even willing to have this conversation. Therein lies the challenge. Our customers don’t want to play ball, so we need to deal with this on our own.
In the SOA workflow there is Ignore duplicate and continue. Have you tried that with a change PO to see if it just updates the old order?
@OrderNum is an input into the datalink SO_CREATE SALES ORDER. I wonder if you make a separate branch and call create with an existing SO number will it update?
You could branch from duplicate found to your own datalink to make the app file needed by demand management and let that process the changes.
Maybe @swilliasc111 has an idea on a change order workflow.
Yes, there are a few ideas available.
If using SO Automation, each time the base workflow is used it will create a new OrderNum. I used a different workflow to find the OrderNum based on the PONum then used a REST api with the update SalesOrder sec to update orders.
Since the base workflow will only create orders, you would need a variable to switch workflows and update orders. Sounds interesting and I’m guessing that the update I have in place for one implementation would work for anyone.
The key will be making the update inputs on a fieldgroup and test it out. I still use the default workflow but with no precheck or create for that scenario.
As the others who have replied said, you may be able to get some base functionality but I suspect the last mile will be some combination of automation or customization.
We have seen this in the Defense Industry (especially Aerospace) and the ones I am familiar with had customizations built and/or a dedicated person to manage.
Punchout is another procurement technology that could help solve your issues - it is designed to handle change orders electronically. It’s a cXML-based ordering framework that integrates with a lot of procurement systems like SAP Ariba. I know Epicor supports it via ECC, so that could be another avenue to explore.