The latest capabilities included in Dynamics AX 2012 R3 are nothing short of the “Engage. Run. and Expand.” theme that Microsoft has promised. Introducing a rich assortment of new end-to-end service frameworks, apps and features, R3 allows organizations not only to manage processes more efficiently than before, but also to develop and distribute custom apps that fit almost any requirements. The net of it is: AX 2012 R3 is aimed at “Delivering Amazing Customer Experiences,” and eProcurement is no exception.
Advancements have been conceptualized to expand the capabilities of AX 2012’s modules, with a focus on transparency in eProcurement. As we all know, businesses find value in insight and visibility, shouldn’t our ERP functionality be the same? The new features added to this area offer superior functionality, enabling AX users to:
- Public Sector External Vendors. In Dynamics AX 2012 R3, vendors can be assigned not only an ‘external vendor’ role but also an ‘external vendor for Public Sector’ role. Vendors with these privileges will be able to see open RFQ’s and public documents from their vendor portal-thus, granting the ability for vendors to bid on an RFQ, even if they were not specifically invited.
- Make documents public. By enabling the Public Sector configuration key, you can publish documents, including RFQs and purchase orders, to the public Vendor portal. Any unregistered vendor can view these documents as a guest, but must register with your company and be assigned as a ‘Public Sector External Vendor’ to be able to bid on your offers.
- Develop vendor scoring criteria. Rating, filtering, comparing, selecting and adding vendors to your RFQs has never been easier. Additionally, you can use AX R3 to evaluate RFQ replies based on preset scoring criteria. Scoring criteria, as seen in our latest eProcurement demo in Part III consists of a ‘Collaboration’, ‘On time performance’, ‘Quality’, ‘Transportation’ and ‘Cost’. These of course can be based on user-defined criteria.
- Create questionnaires. You can create questionnaires for vendors by combining different questionnaires you already have or by collecting queries from new users. Vendors have the opportunity to complete questionnaires upon registering, or as part of their replies/bids from the public vendor portal.
- Find the most advantageous offers. Making possible item/service substitution in bids, new eProcurement capabilities allow vendors to provide a variety of items/services for the same order, which means that you can choose the most advantageous offers. You can also setup the system to notify you every time a vendor makes a change to his bid.
- Easily Manage Requests and Bids. In Dynamics AX R3, you can add or remove RFQs and renumber RFQ lists as needed. Furthermore, you can handle vendor bids, sealing and hiding them until solicitations are closed or bid tabulation begins.
- Make updates and attach additional documents. Another thing you can do is to add documents, modify current RFQs and inform bidders of any changes by communicating updates via the Vendor portal.
- Place requisitions on hold. For better requisition management, AX R3 allows you to place requisitions on hold and provide various reasons for the hold.
- Create discount agreements. You can use specific eProcurement functions to require discounts from vendors and even set up long-term rebate agreements.
- View price details. AX R3 makes available a Price Details form that provides information about the prices of trade agreements, which are especially useful when calculating rebates and potential profit margins for orders.
- Create purchase orders for direct deliveries. With the direct delivery workbench feature, you can develop and handle purchase orders not only for your company, but also for other organizations.
In addition to all these, vendors are able to access the Vendor portal through Windows Live, Google, Yahoo and even Facebook after registering with your organization; view various details, including their scores, notes on their bids and changes to RFQs; and adjust fees according to your changes.
Assessing the Advantages of New and Improved eProcurement Functionality
One of the most critical aspects for an organization is to gain insight not only into customers’ needs, but also into its core operations. Understanding how things work can help leaders streamline processes, run more agile operations, engage customers on their own terms and last, but not least, build lasting relationships with vendors.
The new eProcurement tools included in Dynamics AX 2012 are flexible, agile and scalable enough to help you handle any procurement processes efficiently, while offering your vendors the ultimate service experience.