19Define Self Service Procurement Configuration

This chapter contains the following:

Manage Information Template Descriptive Flexfields

An information template is used to gather additional information from a user. It can be assigned to an item, a category, or a request form. Information templates are used in the creation of a Request Form to provide the flexibility to add additional attributes in a request form in order to gather required information from a user. Information templates are also applicable to item master items and purchasing categories.

The data entered for an information template, which is associated with a request form, item or category, is available as attachments in downstream products (such as Purchasing) after the requisition is approved. When creating an information template, the catalog administrator selects the attachment category that determines if the attachment will be available to the supplier or buyer.

How You Use Information Templates

Information Templates are created in a Procurement Business Unit and are available to Requisitioning Business Units serviced by that Procurement BU. In the event where a Requisitioning BU is serviced by multiple Procurement BUs, and more than one service provider had assigned an information template to an item or category, applicable information templates from all service provider Procurement BUs will be returned.

Information templates are available to the user if the items or request forms that the information templates are associated with are available to the preparer.

Procurement catalog administrators can define a unique information template name so they're easily identifiable in a request form. Information template header information provides users the ability to specify a non-unique Display Name, while creating information templates with unique information template names. For example, more than one procurement BU can maintain information templates to collect business card information. The same Display Name, Business card information, can be used on these information templates to indicate the purpose of these templates when displayed in Oracle Fusion Self Service Procurement. Procurement Catalog Administrators can also define an information template section description or instruction text providing users with specific instructions on how to fill out the form.

Information templates can only be deleted if they're not referenced. An information template is considered referenced if it's applied on any requisition lines, whether in completed or incomplete state. This is to prevent deletion of an information template that's currently in use.

Once an information template is deleted, it's no longer returned on the Manage Information Templates page.

How You Add Attributes

Information template attributes are maintained as Descriptive Flexfields.

Attributes first need to be set up in the Descriptive Flexfields application, and the catalog administrator specifies the descriptive flexfield context on the Create and Edit Information Template page to apply the list of attributes.

For example, the catalog administrator set up a context Business Cards Marketing, with the following context sensitive fields:

  • Job Title

  • Organization

  • Office Location

When creating an information template, the catalog administrator can then specify in the Attribute List field the context Business Cards Marketing, which will associate the attributes to the information template.

Note: The maximum number of attributes that can be created for an information template is fifty.

Existing information attributes are maintained as attachments downstream, such as in Purchasing.

Attributes That Are Supported By Descriptive Flexfields

The following attribute types are supported by descriptive flexfields:

  • Text: Text attributes can be setup using descriptive flexfield to be added to an information template. For example, the procurement catalog administrator can create an information template called Business Card Information USA to be used for collecting related information when ordering business cards. Examples of text typed fields are Name, Title, Address and so on.

  • Number: Procurement catalog administrators can create number types attributes using descriptive flexfields, to be used in an information template. For example, region code, telephone, and area code.

  • Standard Date, Standard DateTime and Time: Procurement catalog administrators are able to define date format attributes in descriptive flexfields, to be used in an information template. This allows for automatic date formatting according to globalization requirements, since 09/01/2007 may mean September 1, 2007 in the US, but January 9, 2007 in others.

  • List of Values: Value sets can be added to Information Templates through descriptive flexfields as List of Values. Implementing attributes as List of Values allows enforcement of values that can be populated in these fields. For example, as part of an address, the Country field can be implemented as list of values containing only countries that are applicable.

  • Choice Lists: Choice lists make use of value sets as well, similar to List of Values.

End Dates

Procurement Catalog Administrators can specify an End Date on an information template. An information template is inactive if the system date is more than or equal to the End Date.

When an information template is inactive, it will no longer be applied when items (to which this information template is assigned) are added to the requisition. Requisitions created with lines that are associated to this information template will continue to display the information template information.

For incomplete requisitions, the inactive information templates are no longer available at the time the requisition is retrieved.

For copied and withdrawn requisitions, information templates are also no longer available if the information template is inactive at the time the requisition is copied or resubmitted.

Manage Catalog Category Hierarchy

A catalog category hierarchy presents a hierarchical view of the catalog to users.

Catalog category hierarchies allow administrators to create a parent category that includes child categories. When users navigate through the parent category, the child categories appear, helping them to navigate quickly to the catalog category containing the products they need.

What's a category?

Categories are used to classify items. You can develop your own method of categorizing products or use a standard coding system such as UNSPSC. Adopting a standard coding system allows better visibility of spend analysis throughout the corporation, cost control optimization, and ability to explore all the e-commerce capabilities.

What's the difference between an item category and a browsing category?

Item categories are also known as purchasing categories and are used to group items for various reports and programs. Every item must belong to an item category.

Browsing Categories, also known as navigation categories, define the category hierarchy for category browsing or for category grouping. They can be either parent or child to another category, but they cannot contain any items. They are used as navigation categories to help users browse for items.

If you manage a large number of products and services, you can organize them in the catalog to help users navigate to the items they want to buy. The catalog category hierarchy presents a hierarchical view of the catalog to users.

Categories are used to classify items. With catalog category hierarchies you can create a parent category that includes child categories. When users navigate through a parent category, the child categories appear, helping them to quickly find the products they need.

You can develop your own method of categorizing products. You can also use standard coding systems such as the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). Some of the benefits of adopting a standard coding system are:

  • Helps improve visibility of spend analysis throughout the corporation

  • Aids the organizing and optimizing of cost control initiatives

  • Provides a structure for exploring all the e-commerce capabilities for purchasing products and services

The figure below shows the category hierarchy for a catalog. You can define a catalog category hierarchy using two types of categories: browsing categories and item categories. You aren't required to have the same number of levels in all branches of the hierarchy.

Catalog category hierarchy diagram showing browsing category
hierarchies, and related item categories using UNSPSC codes.

Browsing Categories

Browsing categories are also known as navigation categories. Use them to define the catalog category hierarchy for category browsing. The category hierarchy helps users browse for catalog items. Browsing categories can be either a parent or child to another category, but can't contain any items. Browsing categories are optional and you can decide what categories should be enabled for browsing.

You can associate catalogs (such as local, punchout or informational) and request forms to the browsing categories. When a user navigates to a category, the associated content type is displayed. An alternative to setting up browsing categories is to tag punchout, informational, and request forms with keywords, so that users can find them when performing a basic search.

Item Categories

Item categories are also known as purchasing categories. Use them to group items for various reports and programs. An item category is a logical classification of items that have similar characteristics. For a catalog, every item must belong to an item category. You can:

  • Place item categories under browsing categories.

  • Search the catalog and sort by item category name. The item category name is displayed in the search pages.

  • Bulk load by item category code.

Administrators can group punchout, informational catalogs, and request forms by category. Users can browse to retrieve punchout, informational catalogs, and request forms together with local content. Users can also search for all content (local content, punchout, request forms, informational content) regardless of how the content is grouped.

Local content (item master items and agreement lines) is associated with purchasing categories. Request forms, punchout, and informational catalogs can optionally be associated with any level of the category hierarchy (browsing or purchasing category).

What Happens When You Associate Catalog Category Hierarchy With Catalog

When an administrator associates punchout, informational, local, or request form content to a category, the application associates the content with all the browsing and purchasing categories of the same branch. Item master items, and agreement items are indexed with their corresponding purchasing categories.

For example, in the figure below, the Dell USA punchout is associated with the browsing category Computers. When you navigate down the branch from the Information Technology browsing category to the Computer Servers purchasing category, the search results always include the punchout catalog. The categories of the same branch as Computers are:

  • Information Technology

  • Components for Information Technology

  • Computers

  • Computer Servers

The informational catalog How to Request Computer Services is associated with the browsing category Information Technology. As you navigate the Information Technology branch, the Informational Catalog is seen at the following levels:

  • Information Technology

  • Components for Information Technology

  • System Cards

  • Computers

  • Memory Module Cards

  • Computer Servers

Local catalog items are also included in browsing results. Using the example in the figure below, items in blanket purchase agreements with supplier Zones Corporate are associated with the Information Technology content zone. Such items show up as you navigate down the Information Technology branch, based on the content available to you from the content zone.

The procurement catalog is automatically updated after an administrator saves any changes made to the catalog category hierarchy.

This figure shows the example catalog category hierarchy structure discussed in this topic.

Catalog category hierarchy structure.

How can I configure what appears in top categories?

In the Setup and Maintenance work area, use the Manage Catalog Category Hierarchy task in the Self Service Procurement functional area to configure which categories are included in the Requisitions page. Select a categoriesFeatured Category check box to include the category in the Top Categories panel.

How You Assign Returned Requisition Lines to the Previous Buyer

Configure the application to assign returned requisition lines to the previously assigned buyer with the site-level profile option Retain Last Assigned Buyer on Requisition Line.

If enabled, when a requester resubmits a returned line, the line is reassigned to the buyer that returned it. Buyer assignment rules aren't invoked when returned requisition lines are resubmitted, but are invoked for other active lines, such as those with Rejected, Withdrawn, or Incomplete status. Set the Retain Last Assigned Buyer on Requisition Line (POR_RETAIN_LAST_ASSIGNED_BUYER) profile option to Yes to enable this feature. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, use the Manage Administrator Profile Values task in the Self Service Procurement functional area. The default value for the Retain Last Assigned Buyer on Requisition Line profile option is No.

How You Assign All Requisition Lines to the Same Buyer

Configure the application to assign all lines in a submitted requisition to the same buyer with the site-level profile option Use Same Buyer for all Lines in a Requisition.

If enabled, when a requester submits a requisition, the buyer assigned to the first requisition line is used as the buyer for all lines in the requisition. To enable this feature, in the Setup and Maintenance work area, use the Manage Administrator Profile Values task to set the Use Same Buyer for all Lines in a Requisition (POR_ASSIGN_REQ_SAME_BUYER) profile option to Yes. The default value for the Use Same Buyer for all Lines in a Requisition profile option is No. If a buyer can't be derived for the first line of a requisition, then no buyer is assigned to other lines of the requisition. A procurement agent who has access to other agents' documents can process all such lines on the Process Requisitions page User-specified buyers on any lines other than the first are overwritten with the buyer assigned to the first line if this feature is enabled.

How You Configure Structured One-Time Delivery Addresses

When creating or editing a requisition, requesters may want to specify a one-time delivery address, a unique address not attached to any configured location.

If the structured one-time delivery address feature isn't enabled for Procurement, you can still configure the requisitioning BU to allow one-time addresses. In this case, one-time addresses are captured in a single free-form field, but the captured information is difficult to parse by downstream processes.

With the structured one-time delivery address feature enabled for Procurement, when you configure the requisitioning BU to allow one-time addresses, structured one-time addresses are used. In this case, one-time addresses are stored in structured fields.

Structured address data can be accurately used by downstream processes. For example, one-time addresses can be used in tax calculations performed after the requisition is submitted.

How You Enable and Configure Structured One-Time Address

To use this feature you must:

  • In the Offerings work area, enable the Capture One-Time Address in Structured Format feature in the Self Service Procurement functional area. This makes the feature generally available in the Procurement application.

  • Configure specific Business Units to use structured one-time addresses with the Configure Requisitioning Business Function setup task. Find it in the Setup and Maintenance work area, Procurement Foundation functional area.

    Click the task, select the requisitioning BU for which to enable the feature, and click OK. On the Configure Requisitioning Business Function page, in the Requisitioning section, select Allow one-time addresses.

You can optionally set up Enterprise Data Quality (EDQ) using the Manage Data Quality Server Configurations task.

After the feature is enabled for the BU, requesters can enter structured one-time addresses when creating requisition lines or editing previously created requisition lines. Unstructured one-time addresses aren't available when the feature is enabled. Structured addresses are passed downstream to purchase orders, but can't be created or edited in purchase orders.

How You Configure Country-Specific Address Formats

The fields available for the structured one-time address are based on per-country address style definitions. Within an address style, you can specify that some fields are mandatory. You can also specify lists of valid values for specific fields.

For each country, you can optionally enable address cleansing, which uses an external data quality application to validate addresses as they're entered by the user. In addition, users can verify addresses on demand by clicking the Verify Address icon, which appears for addresses in countries for which address cleansing is enabled.

Define geography structures and country-specific address formats with the Manage Geographies and Manage Address Formats tasks.

How Structured One-Time Delivery Addresses Are Used by Downstream Processes

Structured one-time addresses can be used by downstream processes, such as in purchase orders and invoices, or for tax calculations. See Structured One-Time Delivery Address in Purchase Orders: Explained.

What Happens When Capture One-Time Address Is Enabled

When the Capture One-Time Delivery Address in Structured Fields feature is enabled, there may be existing in-process requisitions containing unstructured one-time addresses, along with their resultant purchase orders. These addresses won't be converted automatically to structured addresses.

How You Configure Expense Requisition Fulfillment for Agreement-Based Catalog Items from Internal Sources

As an administrator, you can configure Oracle Fusion Self Service Procurement to fulfill expense requisitions for agreement-based catalog items from internal sources.

Normally, when a user requests a catalog item that's sourced against a blanket purchase agreement, the application purchases the item from the agreement supplier, even if the item is also available through internal material transfer. In certain industries, such as healthcare, the requester's expectation is when they order supplies or equipment the items are sourced first from an internal warehouse. To meet the needs of this type of organization, you can enable the Fulfill Expense Requisitions for Agreement-Based Catalog Items from Internal Sources feature. Then the application fulfills expense requisitions for such items from internal sources, when the items are both available internally and purchasable against a blanket purchase agreement.

In the Offerings work area, enable the Fulfill Expense Requisitions for Agreement-Based Catalog Items from Internal Sources feature in the Procurement offering, Purchasing functional area.

The Internal Material Transfers feature must also be enabled.

After the feature is enabled, when a requester shops for an agreement-based expense item from the catalog:

  • Their requisition for the item is fulfilled through an internal source, even if the item is also purchasable against a blanket purchase agreement.

  • They see the blanket purchase agreement price for the item when searching and shopping. When they add the item to the Cart, the price may change if the internally ordered price for the item is different.