Approving suppliers in your free Purchase Order Software

Carl in the United Kingdom asked…

Is it possible to give a supplier an approval? Ford example a new supplier would be categorised as ‘new’ then on return of a supplier questionnaire would moved to ‘approved’.  Perhaps this can be done in the category tab of the supplier (master file)?

That is a great question, Carl.  It really depends on what you need to do with the suppliers that are pending approval.  For example, if you just need to identify who they are (e.g. print a list of suppliers in the approval process, or search for them while using the system), then using the Supplier Category feature would work well for that.

You can learn more about this feature in this section of the Online Help…
– PURCHASING > Master Files > Supplier Classifications

If, however, you need more functionality around the supplier approval process, then here are a couple other features to consider instead of (or in addition to) the Supplier Category…

If you don’t want your users to have access to suppliers until they are approved, you might want to “lock” the suppliers, and then unlock them when your staff is allowed to start using them.  You can learn about this feature in this section of the Help…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Master Files > Generic Master File Utilities > Lock/Unlock Codes

Going one step further, you could also create a Master File Catalog of just your approved suppliers, and then lock all users to that catalog, so that it will appear to them that the approved suppliers are the only suppliers in the system, even though there might be additional suppliers that are still in the approval process (i.e. not yet added to the “approved suppliers” catalog, that everyone is locked to).  You can learn more in here…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Master Files > Generic Master File Utilities > Master File Catalogs

Again, these three options can be used individually, or in combination with one another.

And as you can see, each option provides an incrementally higher level of security, but at the cost of additional set up.  That is, the Supplier Category is the easiest option to set up, but you’d be leaving it to the honor system (e.g. category aside, they could still select an unapproved supplier if they wanted to), while the Supplier Catalog would remove unapproved suppliers from the users’ field of view altogether (i.e.no possible way to select a supplier until they are approved), but would require a two-step process for each supplier (e.g. 1) add new suppliers to the Supplier Master, and then 2) add them to the Approved Supplier Catalog once they are approved).

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