November 3, 2022

SAP BANF: Promote user acceptance and avoid wild purchases

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Improve the Compliance with contracts and guidelines in purchasing through electronic procurement! With the right SAP AddOn for e-procurement, you avoid time-consuming data typing and gain control over your procurement processes thanks to full transparency in the ERP system. Thanks to automated approval workflows, you have more time for supplier maintenance. 


Every procurement process begins with a Demand requestoften abbreviated to BANF. And this is where it is decided whether an e-procurement solution makes sense. Because if it seems difficult to use and data is missing from the system, employees - also due to time pressure - like to take shortcuts and order past the system.

The main thing is that the requested materials are delivered, right? Sounds understandable at first, but unfortunately this is to your disadvantage in the long run. Because intransparency leads to problems with queries at the latest when employees are absent. Cost control also suffers.

Another hurdle: the approval process. Non-SAP users are not normally integrated into this workflow. They submit requisitions by paper or e-mail in the Purchasing on. Purchasing employees have to enter the BANF data manually into the system. Due to the different submission channels, buyers do not have a central overview of all requisitions in the company.


Negative effects of wild shopping

Maverick buying is the technical term for so-called "wild shopping", i.e. the procurement of goods/services without the knowledge of the purchasing department. A typical example from practice: A maintenance employee does not have SAP access, but urgently needs a spare part for his machine. As a rule, the following applies: fill out the requisition, forward it to the supervisor, who forwards the BANF to Purchasing.

The non-digital process takes too long for the employee, because the machine urgently needs to continue running. He therefore decides to order the spare part from the supplier on his own. Although the employee simply wants to do a good job, it means increased procurement costs for the company for several reasons:

  1. The purchase price does not correspond to the price from an existing framework agreement.
  2. Neither negotiations nor price comparisons take place.
  3. Without BANF in the system, allocation on delivery becomes difficult.
  4. Increased data entry efforts in purchasing and invoice verification.

Conclusion: A E-procurement solution must involve non-SAP users and be as intuitive as possible to prevent the "wild" shopping described above.


Central receipt of all requisitions

So what does the IT solution need to bring to the table? First of all, you need an add-on that provides a central input mask for all requirement groups. It must also be possible to easily map individual approval workflows. Approvals are also granted more quickly if supervisors have the option of approving requisitions on the go. In other words, independent of time and location. This approach minimizes throughput times and anyone requesting goods/services can see the status of their order in the system itself.

As a result, the employees in the goods receiving department can post correctly and on time, which in turn makes the accounting department happy, since, for example, cash discount advantages can be exploited.


Integrate purchasing platforms outside SAP

Purchasing platforms are websites outside the SAP system. The article data is transferred to the SAP system subsequently and often only inadequately. An add-on can also ensure real-time information exchange here. If the purchasing platform is integrated into the e-procurement solution, all data is uniformly linked and immediately available in SAP or in the add-on.


Conclusion: e-procurement creates automation potential

E-procurement is a fundamental building block for achieving full automation of the Purchase-to-Pay process to enable the process. For this purpose, it is not only necessary to consider all company processes, but also to take into account all persons involved in the process and to map the process in a correspondingly user-friendly manner.


Would you like to find out how e-procurement can give your processes a boost? Then feel free to get in touch: