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Procurement in large organizations is a complex task requiring multiple authorities and sign-offs. Purchases that could be done in minutes in a small business can take weeks and months in larger operations. While it’s easy to deride such time spans as a waste or as a sign of inefficiency, large organizations, especially those within the government are burdened by regulations that weigh on the process and slow it down. Still, there are areas where efficiencies can be had.
To the above point, Navy scientists and engineers have developed the Material Ordering and Reporting Expediter (MORE) – a procurement tool that uses a Windows-compatible database with either an internet interface or the database server’s own interface to partially automate preparing and obtaining approvals on the numerous types of purchasing documents used by an organization or subunit.
Within this software, automation occurs at various steps in the process. The program automatically fills in part and vendor information based on a prior order (if any) of the same part number. When a Job Order Number (JON) is entered, the program looks it up in a Master Job Order (MJO) file to validate its existence and suitability for this purchase. The program determines the approval chain based on rules specific to each Division. Once the signature cycle is started, the program automatically emails the next signatory in the chain. When a signatory approves the order, an electronic signature is affixed to the purchase document. When the last signatory approves the order, the program automatically emails the within-division buyer, called a processor in the MORE program, that the order is approved for purchase. Only then does the processor print out a hard copy of the purchase document.
The MORE program allows for three classes of users: (1) Requesters: people who need something—a tool, a part, a contract—to complete a task; (2) Processors (within-Division buyers); and (3) Signatories: supervisors and financial personnel with approving authority.
Most organizations have an approval chain specific to the organization or a division. For each order, MORE determines the approval chain based on rules specific to the organization. In addition, MORE can determine the approval chain of a division within an organization. This feature enables the program to automatically email the next signatory in the approval chain of a division once the signature cycle has been started, and to email the processor when approval to purchase is granted.
- MORE program can generate a number of canned reports that provide subtotals and totals by requester, by processor, by project, by JON, or by different levels of organization code
- Provides a computer-based system with a link to the Fed Log program (Fed Log tells the user which supply centers in the Federal Supply System carry which items and gives details as to size, electrical characteristics, etc.)
- Allows the user to purchase a product or service without full and open competition when certain criteria are met including the preparation of a sole source justification/statement
- US patent 7,552,059 available for express license