Learn More about Purchase Requisitions in 4castplus

The following video illustrates the purpose and workflows relating to how purchase requisitions are used in 4castplus

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Most organizations that engage in procurement on construction projects will create one or more documents that represent the lists of materials, equipment, and contractor services required for the project. This document is often referred to as a Bill of Materials, or Bill of Quantities (BOQ) or Material Requisition.

The purchase requisition in 4castplus is essentially that same concept – an organized list of stuff to be procured. As a result, the purchase requisition represents the starting point for all procurement activities.

To use purchase requisitions, users can continue to use their existing documents and simply import them into 4castplus as they go. They can optionally bypass the need for these documents altogether and create requisitions directly in 4castplus. Or do a bit of both.

Either way, it’s from the purchase requisition that all resource items are loaded in to the system, organized and then moved on to Requests for Quote and Purchase Orders.

Once purchase orders are committed, the workflow can then move onto Expediting, receiving and then vendor invoicing. For this video, we’ll be focused on the purchase requisition and how it flows to the RFQ and purchase order. Let me show you how this works.

Purchase requisitions can be imported from file, created right here from scratch, or copied from an existing requisition using the duplicate feature.  Alternatively, you can also create purchase requisitions in 4castplus estimating, using the list of equipment, materials, labor and expenses specified on the project budget. We’ll talk about that later on in this video.

As you can see, there are already a number of purchase requisitions created on this project. Some users prefer to use one big purchase requisition, but others like to have several smaller ones that represent different phases or areas of their project.  I’m first going to filter this list by date range (jan-march 2014), and status of “Ready to procure”. I’ll click on this one 502443-VI-1616A, and when I do that, you can see down below, the detail items show up in two separate detail grids.

From the middle grid, you’ll see that I can add further material, equipment and services to this requisition using Add Items; and I can also split existing items for sub-allocations. We’ll get back to these in a bit.

The lower grid is where I can control the detail properties and contract allocations of all the items in this requisition.  As I scroll across, you can see there are a number of properties that are editable for each detail resource.  These properties can be set here, but they can also be set or edited after they’ve been allocated to a purchase order or RFQ.  Some of these properties can be set as defaults when creating the purchase requisition; after which I can override them down here.

To allocate to a purchase order or request for quote, I simply need to select one or more of these and click on Add to RFQ or add to PO. For this example, I’ll first filter my list by a cost code element. From the cost code column, I’ll hit filter, and select contains, then type in the cost code element “SSM” to filter by. One of the key roles of the purchase requisition, is to ensure cost-code validation of all procurement items. This validation is to ensure all procurement items are assigned to the appropriate areas of the project work breakdown structure and cost breakdown structure. And to ensure appropriate budget availability and tracking.

This brings up a form where I can select which RFQ to allocate these items to. If I haven’t already created a request for quote, I can create a new one here, but since I’ve already created the one I need, I’ll just select it and click Save. And I’m done.

Coming back to my requisition, you can see that these items have now been allocated to this request for quote.  I’ll open up the RFQ tab to show you what that looks like.

From my master list of RFQs, I’ll click on the one I just allocated those resources to. As you can see, this is an Open RFQ that has not been awarded yet – otherwise it would not have appeared in that previous list. So now clicking on it, you’ll see my detail resources show up in the grid down below. I can now add more resources to this RFQ – from the same or other requisitions – or I can go ahead now and select the desired vendors to issue this request for quote to, and subsequently evaluate their submissions. Details on how to do all that will be covered in another video.

I’ll go back to the requisitions area now and add the remainder of the items on this requisition to a purchase order. First I’ll clear my filter to expose the remaining items.  Now I’m going to split one of the items. To split, I simply need to select an item in the middle grid and click Split Item.  I’ll take this heater package material (item #10) which has a quantity of 8 packages, and I’ll split it into two bundles of 4 – each bundle to be allocated to separate purchase orders.  So to do that, I’ll click on Split Item, and as you’ll see in the allocation grid below, this has now been split into two; with the one item having the full 8, and the other having 0 quantity. I’ll modify those to make them an even 4 each. That’s all there is to splitting.

So I’ll simply select all items and de-select the one split item. And click on Add to PO.  Similar to the RFQ, this shows me a list of Open or In-Revising purchase orders. For this example, I’ll create a new purchase order.

I’ll fill in some basic summary information – the rest can be filled out later.

Now that I have my new purchase order, I’ll allocate these items, and I’m done.

Looking back now at my updated Requisition Detail, you can see that all these resources have now been allocated to either an RFQ or a PO. If I need to undo any of those, I can remove the allocations from the purchase order or RFQ themselves from within either of those tabs.

Going to my purchase order Management tab, you can see my new purchase order … with the detail items down below. Again, I can go on to add more resources, fill in the resource properties and add further PO heading information from here. I can also commit this PO for contract distribution.  Once committed, I can then go on to Expediting, Receiving and vendor invoicing.

Going back to the requisitions tab again, I`ll scroll up to create a new requisition.

So I’ll click on New and fill out the summary information.

Now that I have my new requisition, I can now go and add material and equipment items, along with contractor services, to the requisition by clicking Add Items.

So, when I click on Add Items, I first need to enter a valid cost code.

As mentioned earlier, no matter how I populate the resources onto the requisition – all procurement items must be assigned to a valid project cost code to secure cost control certainty for the project.

I can begin typing (81357-F00E-006-) and a list of valid codes will drop down for me to pick. Once selected, I can now add labor, equipment and/or material items to the requisition. I can also select from existing resources in the resource database, but in this case I’m going to create a new material.

<add material>

Field piping: 2″ pipe with fittings and valves

Code:  902830

Class Pipeline and infrastructure

Now I can enter my quantity and unit price.

I can continue adding more materials, equipment and contractor services to this cost code, but I’ll just add this one for this example.

Clicking Add and New would allow me to enter a different cost code.

So I’ll click Add, and that will close this dialog.

For my final example, I’ll show you how to create a purchase requisition from the project budget. I’ve logged in as a different user. This user has a more expansive profile than the procurement-only profile I was using earlier. This user has access to the project management, work breakdown structure, Budgeting, forecasting and change orders amongst other things; in addition to the procurement area.  So I’ll click on the estimating tab

Now a 4castplus construction estimate is made up of a breakdown of labor, equipment and materials resources at quantities and rates defined by the estimators or quantity surveyors. These resources can be added in by using 4castplus estimating right here; or alternatively imported from a take-off software, from Microsoft Excel or from any other construction estimating software you may use. Once the estimate is baselined, it is referred to as the Project Budget and will require change orders to add further resources. Resources added through Change Orders are also available to be added to purchase requisitions – and the change order details are linked to those resources for planning, tracking and reporting purposes. It’s from the Budget that project forecasts can then be created as the project progresses.

Each resource estimated on any workpackage can be added to a purchase requisition by clicking on the Purchasing button.

This brings up a master list of all project resources that have been specified on the estimate. I can select some or all of these resources to add to one or more purchase requisitions. The cost codes for these items were automatically pre-validated in the estimating module so they’re good to go. In this example, I’ll first filter by anything with “transmitters” in the name – I’ll click on “contains” and click filter.  And now I’ll select all of those. Now I’ll clear that filter and then group by workpackage.  Scroll down a bit and select the items in the deoiling workpackage.

I’ll enter a requisition number 502443-VI-4040C and brief explanation for the requisition: “Transmitters and Deoiling Package”

I’d click save if I wanted to come back and work more on it later. But in this case I’ll just submit it since I’m finished with it and I want to send it to procurement. Submitting will remove these selected items from this list and send an email notification of this new requisition, to the procurement lead specified for the project.

Using the resources from the project budget like this is referred to as “Attached Procurement” because it locks procurement to the budget for controls purposes. With 4castplus you can also select “Detached” procurement if, for example, you’re estimates are specified by cost area or discipline rather than by detail resource items.

So now that I’ve created that requisition, I can click into the procurement area to see that it’s been added. And here it is with those detail items ready to be moved onto RFQ or purchase order.

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to contact us at support@4castplus.com. If you’re not currently a 4castplus customer, and want to learn more, please contact us at sales@4castplus.com to arrange a free demonstration.