Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Purchase Order Tracking

A Case Study in Data Management

Our client explores for, develops and produces oil and natural gas. Headquartered in Houston, they own approximately 4,800,000 gross leasehold acres in major oil and gas provinces in North America, 6,354,000 acres in New Zealand and 1,480,000 acres in Vietnam.

The Problem

The producing company issues millions of dollars in purchase orders to hundreds of vendors each year. Their legacy purchase order system was based on an Excel spreadsheet template that created attrac­tive purchase orders but did not store them in a centralized location. Tracking and approval of pur­chase orders were handled manually on paper, with audit and review performed at the end of the year.

The Solution

Entrance Software helped our client to design a centralized purchase order database (PODB) for their Texas operations department.

Centralized PO tracking

The new purchase order system uses a Microsoft Access front-end. Purchase order information is stored in a back-end SQL database, allowing concurrent access by multiple purchase order administrators.

Workflow enforcement

PODB allows users to edit existing purchase orders by creating purchase order revisions, and each revision is tagged with the name of the creator. Only the most recent revision can be printed and sent to vendors, but every revision is kept “behind the scenes” for audit purposes. Purchase orders that require additional approval or back-office work can be issued but are flagged for later review.

Built-in Auditing

One of the key features of PODB is integration with our client’s contract management system. Every purchase order is coded with the vendor name and the type of service being requested. If an employee tries to create a purchase order for a service that the company does not have a contract for, a report is generated for the system administra­tor. This “exception report” is reviewed once a week to make sure that all issued purchase orders are supported by the necessary internal approvals and vendor contracts.

Data Cleanup

During the integration process, Entrance Software was asked to assist our client in cleaning their contract database. The legacy database had numerous duplicate records, making it difficult for users to know which contract category, department, or contract term to search for when trying to find a specific contract.
Entrance Software used high-end database tools to combine or remove duplicate categories and departments with no loss of information. The cleanup was performed on-site with a full database backup made at each step of the process. The firm approved every change before it was made and verified the change afterwards.

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