Co-Authors: Amine MABROUK, Maria Trinidad MARTINEZ GEA, Krisztian Papai, Quintus Smith.
This blog is part of the SA Repair blogs’ series we have published covering a business use case on the topic “Transform Your Business Processes using SAP Signavio and SAP Build”. The first blog SA Repair: Transform Your Business Processes using SAP Signavio and SAP Build introduced the importance of Process Automation; we talked about how to Analyze a process with SAP Signavio in our second blog SA Repair: Analyze and Explore with SAP Signavio and in our third blog SA Repair: Automate with SAP Build Process Automation we focused on how to Automate some of the manual processes. In this blog SA Repair: Automate with SAP Build Process Automation, we will focus on the creation and implementation of the Purchasing process using SAP Build Process Automation.
Now that SAP Signavio PI has analyzed the SA Repair business processes and found that one area that a bottleneck in the company is the Purchasing process, the next step is to automate the process. For this we will use SAP Build Process Automation. SAP Build Process Automation is used to create an auto-approval for specific employee types that have been defined in SAP SuccessFactors as well as specific products that are defined in S/4 HANA Cloud. By using auto-approval for everyday materials used/needed by employees vs. materials that may be needed by field technicians, we can free up LOB managers and finance managers who will only need to handle exception approvals for determined employee and material types.
SAP Build Process Automation is a citizen developer solution to adapt, improve, and innovate business processes with no-code workflow management and robotic process automation capabilities. With powerful yet intuitive low-code and no-code capabilities, the solution supports you in driving automation by tapping into the expertise of citizen developers.
Automating the Purchasing Process is the first step for SA Repair in their journey. You can see the overall architecture of the proposed solution where SAP Build Process Automation is the first step as this is where we define the business process used by the front-end SAP Build Apps.
As the diagram shows, the parts of the Purchasing process we automate are the creation of:
- The Purchase Requisition
- Purchase Requisition Approval
- Purchase Order
The Purchase Requisition and Purchase Order will be automatically created using the Actions artifact within SAP Build Process Automation. Actions encapsulate APIs as actions in your business scenarios. The SAP API Business Hub can be used where you can utilize the S/4 HANA Cloud Purchase Requisition and Purchase Order API’s as noted in our example. These Actions then connect to SAP BTP Destinations setup to connect to the backend system, S/4 HANA Cloud.
Shown here is the overall business process that has been created using SAP Build Process Automation and Actions. This is broken out in larger detail below.
The business process starts with:
- A Trigger Form that a user can fill out to start the Purchase process.
2. The next step is a Decision that determines what is “auto-approved” vs. what requires manual approval based on a Decision Table.
3. Next there is a Condition that is based on Employee Type and Material and based on the met combination will then select the correct branch for Manager and Finance Manager approval or automatic approval.
4. For manager and finance manager approval, these are similar forms as the initial trigger forms with extra data entry fields for the manager and finance manager.
5. The last step is regardless of manual or auto-approval, to create the Purchase Request and Purchase Order in the backend S/4 HANA Cloud system using SAP Build Process Automation Actions.
Previously it had been demonstrated, how low touch automation can be made by using the Actions within the SAP Build Process automation in order to generate the Purchase Requisition and Purchase Order objects. There are two additional document types what we want to automatically generate to our story line, the Material Document (aka. Goods Issue) and the Supplier Invoice.
We are going to create an Automation within SAP Build Process Automation to show you a different option for automatically generating documents in SAP S/4 HANA Cloud.
Now we are going to use the Screen Recorder feature. By creating a new Application, the Web API would be used in order to record the screen within the SAP S/4 HANA Cloud.
The automated Application capturing will use the Screen Recorder in order create an Application and the Business Process for the execution, which can be later triggered via the API, whether the Purchase Order number would be passed to execute the process.
After finalizing this step, you would have an API based automation, which would create a Material Document in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
By using multiple controls and Activities we can retrieve the Purchase Order details and based on that the Supplier Invoice might be created. The Automation flow then might look like this:
We have used 2 automation entities the first one was creating the Material Document by using the Application recorder feature and in the second Automation was creating a Supplier Invoice by using the Custom Scripting.
This blog is part of a series going over the “SA Repair” use case, please review them all to have a clear full picture:
- SA Repair: Transform Your Business Processes using SAP Signavio and SAP Build
- SA Repair: Analyze and Explore with SAP Signavio
- SA Repair: Automate with SAP Build Process Automation
- SA Repair: Trigger with SAP BTP Graph and Build Apps
For more details on the different topics covered by this use case as well as full demos and step by step exercises on each feature implemented you can check a set of sessions we delivered as part of our Hands-on bootcamp: Transform Business Processes Using SAP Signavio and SAP Build.