Client: Universal Audio

Industry: Manufacturer

About the Client

Established in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio has been a pioneer in recording technology from its inception. Bill Putnam Sr., renowned as a modern recording innovator, left a lasting legacy with iconic studio designs still in use today. Universal Audio is credited with inventing the contemporary recording console, multi-band audio equalizer, vocal booth, and pioneering the use of artificial reverberation in commercial recording.

In 1999, Bill's sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., revitalized Universal Audio with two primary objectives: to faithfully replicate classic analog recording equipment, following their father's tradition, and to craft new digital recording tools infused with the essence and character of vintage analog technology.

Business Challenges

The client was confronted with a range of operational hurdles within their existing purchase order workflow, prompting a need for a NetSuite advanced procurement solution to address limitations in hierarchy-based approvals, manual processes for FP&A roles, and a lack of real-time visibility.

  • The default workflow system operates solely on supervisor or purchase approver hierarchies."
  • FP&A roles are required to manually review and edit each order to activate the FP&A approved checkbox.
  • Delegate approver assignments are managed manually.
  • There is a lack of email notifications to notify approvers
  • Real-time status updates for PO approvals are unavailable.
  • Controller, VP Finance, CFO, and CEO roles do not possess the ability to approve purchase orders.

Business Requirements

The client wanted to enhance its purchase order (PO) workflow efficiency through dynamic routing based on amount, supervisor hierarchy, and role-based approval, while ensuring real-time notifications and approvals.

Jade as the NetSuite Implementation partner helped Universal Audio achieve their following key requirements:

  • Implement the NetSuite purchase order workflow for non-inventory items based on the amount, supervisor hierarchy and role-based approval
  • Re-route the approval workflow if user edits approved PO and changes the amount
  • Send emails to next approver/delegate approver for approval
  • Show the list of all approvers on the purchase orders for clarity
  • Send reminders to approvers/delegate approvers if the purchase order is pending for their approval for more than two days
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The Solutions Offered by Jade

Jade, as the NetSuite Implementation Partner, stepped in to address the client's intricate challenges with tailored solutions that revamped their purchase order (PO) workflow. The following highlights how our solution successfully tackled each challenge:

Custom Complex Approval Workflow:

Designed and implemented a NetSuite custom approval workflow for non-inventory items, encompassing three distinct approval phases:

  • FP&A Role: Introduced FP&A role approval.
  • Supervisor Approvals: Automated approvals based on PO total amounts.
  • Role-Based Approval: Streamlined Controller, VP Finance, CFO, and CEO approvals. The workflow is structured with role-based, supervisor hierarchy-based, and role-based segments to ensure precision and efficiency.

Email Notifications and Real-time Status:

  • Enabled email notifications to all relevant approvers or delegate approvers when a PO is pending approval.
  • Users can monitor the real-time status of POs through the 'Approval Details' custom tab.

Automatic Delegate Approver Assignment:

  • Introduced an automated system for delegate approver assignments on POs.

Reminder Notifications:

  • Implemented a system that sends reminder emails to approvers or delegate approvers if a PO remains pending for more than two days.
  • Users can access custom 'PO Pending Approval' reminders on their dashboard.

Treatment of 'UA Gear' Vendor Inventory POs:

  • Re-routed 'UA Gear' vendor inventory POs as non-inventory items based on the PO total amount.

CFO for Purchase Approvals:

  • CFO can approve purchase orders below $300,000 on behalf of the CEO.

Capture and Edit Rejection Reasons:

  • If an approver rejects a purchase order, the system captures the rejection reason and includes it in the PO for reference.
  • The creator of the PO has the ability to edit and resubmit rejected purchase orders.

Dynamic PO Re-routing:

  • Implemented a mechanism to re-route POs if a user edits an approved PO and changes the amount.

Inalterable Approver Access:

  • Ensured that approvers cannot edit the POs, maintaining data integrity

The Business Benefits Delivered

Jade’s NetSuite purchase order solution for Universal Audio not only simplified their complex workflows but also delivered substantial time savings and improved visibility, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient purchase order management system.

Streamlined Purchase Approval Process:

  • The purchase approval process for non-inventory items is now streamlined and simplified, reducing complexity and improving overall efficiency.

Enhanced User Flexibility:

  • Users are empowered with the ability to save purchase orders in draft mode, allowing for more flexibility in the creation and review process.

Multi-Phase Approval Routing:

  • Purchase orders now undergo a comprehensive approval journey, passing through FP&A, Supervisors, Controllers, VP Finance, CFO, and CEO, ensuring thorough oversight.

Automated Email Notifications:

  • Approvers and delegate approvers receive timely email notifications, serving as reminders for pending approvals and enhancing communication.

Effortless Delegation Assignment:

  • Delegation assignments are now automated, streamlining the process and reducing manual effort.

Real-time Status Visibility:

  • Users benefit from real-time visibility into the status of purchase orders, facilitating better decision-making and tracking.

Rejection Reason Capture:

  • The system captures rejection reasons when an approver rejects a purchase order, providing valuable insights for improvements.

Dynamic PO Adjustment:

  • In response to user edits and amount updates, the system dynamically re-routes approved purchase orders, ensuring accuracy and compliance.

Time and Visibility Savings:

  • Previously, the UA team spent considerable time following up with users and manually setting delegate approvers. The new functionality saves approximately 7-8 hours per month and offers a 360-degree view of purchase orders. Users can now autonomously set their delegate approvers, further enhancing efficiency.