Outlining Workflows for Sourcing and Procurement

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Get an overview of workflows for sourcing and procurement

Workflows for Sourcing and Procurement


The flexible workflow allows you to define approval processes for documents in Sourcing and Procurement according to your requirements. To configure the flexible workflow for documents in Sourcing and Procurement, you perform several steps that can be customized according to a given business logic using SAP Fiori apps.

Dynamic process routing allows you to enable a flexible way of determining a review change, based on the organizational structure.

Workflows for Purchasing Documents

You can use the flexible workflow to define approval processes for the following documents in Sourcing and Procurement according to your requirements. The second column lists the apps that are used for each document.

Role Configuration Expert - Business Process Configuration (SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT) is required for defining the workflows.

DocumentSAP Fiori App
Requests For Quotations (RFQs)Manage Workflows for RFQs
Supplier QuotationsManage Workflows for Supplier Quotations
Purchase Scheduling AgreementsManage Workflows for Purchase Scheduling Agreements
Purchase RequisitionsManage Workflows for Purchase Requisitions - New
Centrally Managed Purchase RequisitionsManage Workflows for Centrally Managed Purchase Requisitions
Purchase ContractsManage Workflows for Purchase Contracts
Central Purchase ContractsManage Workflows for Central Purchase Contracts
Purchase OrdersManage Workflows for Purchase Orders
Centrally Managed Purchase OrdersManage Workflows for Centrally Managed Purchase Orders
Service Entry Sheets - Lean ServicesManage Workflows for Service Entry Sheets - Lean Services
Supplier InvoicesManage Workflows for Supplier Invoices

Workflow Configuration

There are several optional and mandatory steps for configuring flexible workflows. The following table shows the roles and apps that are required for configuring flexible workflows.

Workflow Configuration

Users who activate or deactivate flexible workflow for purchase requisitionsConfiguration Expert - Business Process Configuration (SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT)Manage Your Solution
Users who make the settings so that predefined roles can be assigned as approversAdministrator (SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR)Import Employees
Business Process Specialist (SAP_BR_BUSINESS_PROCESS_SPEC)Manage Teams and Responsibilities
Cost Accountant - Overhead (SAP_BR_OVERHEAD_ACCOUNTANT)Manage Cost Centers
Project Manager - Commercial Services (SAP_BR_PROJ_MANAGE_COMM)Plan Customer Projects or Plan Internal Projects
Users who define your own rules for recipient determination and your own preconditions for workflowsAdministrator (SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR)Custom Fields and Logic
Users who configure the sending of email notificationsAdministrator (SAP_BR_ADMINISTRATOR)Maintain Email Templates

Example: Approval Workflow in Self-Service Requisitioning

The previous diagram shows an example workflow for purchase requisitions. In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you can use the flexible workflow for approving procurement documents, such as purchase requisitions, purchase orders, or supplier invoices. The flexible workflow enables you to define approval processes according to your requirements.

  • The business user determines the level of automation:
    • Dynamic start conditions
    • Setup of approval rules without programming skills
    • N-step approval
  • The business user defines the responsible team:
    • Separate approval workflows for different organizational units/commodities
    • Dynamic approver determination

My Inbox - All Items

You can use the SAP Fiori app My Inbox to make important decisions using mobile or desktop devices anywhere and anytime. Using this app, you can process your workflow tasks based on the decision options defined in the back-end system.

  • Process your workflow tasks.

  • Perform the standard actions that are available by default, for example, claim, release, or forward a task.

  • Perform mass actions, that is, process several tasks of the same type at the same time.

  • View and add comments to an item using the Comments tab of the Detail view.

  • View custom attributes that provide additional information about the task instance.

  • View, upload, and delete attachments.

  • Create and manage substitution rules to manage the tasks in your absence.

  • Send emails or post tasks on a preconfigured JAM site.

  • View the business cards of the application users.

  • Browse, sort, filter, and group tasks requiring action.

  • Easily process all your tasks with the preconfigured All Items tile.

  • View the support information about a task instance.

  • View the task history for workflow tasks.

  • View the additional information provided in the related objects for workflow tasks.

  • View the completed tasks and suspended tasks from the Outbox tile.

  • Filter the tasks based on substitute users.

  • Filter the tasks using the filter criterion My Tasks and Tasks on Behalf of.

My Outbox

Using My Outbox, you can view completed and suspended tasks. You can also resume a suspended task in My Outbox.

  • Task List

    The task list in My Outbox shows your completed and suspended tasks. By default, 300 tasks are visible in My Outbox.

    • To look for a specific task from the task list, you can do a free-text search.

    • To manually refresh the task list, you can select the refresh icon in the list view.

    • You can sort tasks in the task list based on Created By, Priority, Task Title, or Completed On.

    • To view a subset of your tasks you can filter by Completed, Resume In, and Task Type.

    • You can also group tasks according to Priority of the task, Status or Task Type.

  • Task Details

    The Task Details screen gives you detailed information of a selected task in the task list.

    In the different tabs of the standard task UI of My Outbox, you can view the attachments, description, comments, and related objects for each task.

  • Execute Actions

    • You can perform the Show Log action to view the task log and the related workflow log for each task.

    • You can perform the Resume action on a suspended task.

Maintain Email Templates

Using the Maintain Email Templates app, you can define email templates to streamline your email correspondence.

Templates consist of fixed content (such as subject or disclaimer) and variable parts (such as the form of address). You can:

  • Create your custom template as a copy of predelivered templates:
    • Create language-specific variants
    • Define the subject and body text
  • Adjust custom templates
  • Delete custom templates that are no longer needed

You need the Administrator role to use this app.

Deadline Notification for Workflow Handling

Inform the workflow approver about the deadline for pending approvals:

  • Define a deadline for the completion of a workflow step, for example, release of a blocked invoice within 1 day.
  • Notify the approver(s) about the pending work items by choosing from two actions:
    • Mark a step as overdue.
    • Send an email notification to a specific recipient.
  • As a prerequisite, an email template needs to be maintained:
    • The email can contain more detailed data, such as the invoice number, company code, supplier, or gross amount.
    • Define several deadlines and assign separate, predefined emails.

Determination of Workflow Agents for Purchasing Documents

It is possible to provide step information during agent determination using BAdI:

  • There is a new optional parameter value of current step number.
  • There is less extensive coding needed to determine the purchase requisition approver for each step.

Import Employees

With the Import Employees app, you can create or update existing employee data, employment data, and service cost level data. You can upload employee data in CSV format using this app.

When defining the recipients for a workflow step in Manage Workflows for <Object> apps, you can select several agent determination rules, for example:

  • Manager of Workflow Initiator

  • Manager of Workflow Initiator's Manager

  • Manager of Last Approver

To ensure that these rules work, you must define the relationships of managers and employees. When importing employees into your system, you can also import the relationships of managers and employees. This is not required if you use roles, such as Creator of Purchase Order or Accounting Object Responsible, as recipients in the corresponding workflow app.

Manage Team and Responsibilities - Procurement

Using this app, you can manage teams or team members associated with certain functions. You can define teams along with tasks and functions.

When specifying the recipients for a workflow step in the app Manage Workflows for <Business Object>, you can use teams created using responsibility management. For example, you can use teams with the following team category and functions:

  • Team category: Procurement (PROC)

  • Team Member - Functions:

    • Catalog Mangement

    • Strategic Purchasing

    • Operational Purchasing

    • Workflow Administration

If required, you can create your own team functions and hide the standard functions.

A team member is a business partner associated with an SAP user (a business user) with one of these roles:

  • Employee (BUP003)
  • Service Provider (BBP005)
  • Freelancer (BBP010)

The Status of a business partner should not be:

  • Blocked
  • Marked for Archiving
  • Business Purpose Completed


The following are the available apps for troubleshooting in case of errors or issues. Using these apps, you can identify and analyze errors and issues. You can resume or restart the workflows. You need the Administrator role for the following apps:

  • Workflow Administration
  • Workflows in Status Error
  • Workflows with Issues

Flexible Workflows Tutorials

Learn how to define a new workflow.

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