Solutions » Supply Chain » Procurement Manager

Unified, Streamlined Procurement Decisions

AST’s Procurement Manager unifies and streamlines procurement decisions for Purchase Orders (POs), Long Term Agreements (LTAs) and Scheduling Agreements (SAs). Procurement Manager is ideal for companies with multiple business units and complex programs that require a transparent and efficient supply chain.

Key Features

Adapts to how you do business, today and in the future.
Interfaces directly with all leading ERP Systems, including SAP®, Oracle® and Microsoft Dynamics®.
100% Audit Compliance: With both your internal and DCMA audit requirements.
Easy Collaboration between all members of your procurement process.

Procurement Data Management that Extends Beyond ERPs

ERPs manage transactional data. But if you have a complex supply chain, you need a variety of other documentation to make quick and well informed procurement decisions, maintain compliance, and optimize your supply chain.

Complete Lifecycle Procurement Documentation

Track POs, LTAs, and SAs for materials and services from initial supplier selection, RFP’s and Supplier Bids, through PO supporting documentation and automated approvals.  Whether you’re ordering parts for stock, procuring to build, or subcontracting a build, your buyers, approvers, and auditors will find everything they need in one place.

Embedded Document Templates

Ensure everyone is using your standardized procurement forms, worksheets, and checklists by embedding them directly in your procurement workflows.  Easily manage and update these standardized templates and include required forms such as negotiation plans, and sole source justifications.

Standardized Procurement Data

Many customers and government agencies require specific procurement data from their suppliers.  Ensure a consistent format and base level of detail is included for every purchase with field requirements such as vendor number, package type, commodity type, tooling requirements, and payment terms. Incorporate system required attachments at any step along the process, such as sole source justifications, vendor RFQ submittals, competitive bid documentation, cost price analysis, cost accounting standards, and disclosure statements.

Multiple Purchase Types

Easily manage your complex business even when your divisions have very different focuses: from maintenance of customer equipment, to cutting edge engineering, to building custom products, each can require unique purchasing processes.  While your base signature processes and core required procurement data can be standardized across your entire organization, custom data elements, document templates, and process flows can be incorporated at business unit or location specific levels.

Integrated Procurement Packages

You probably have multiple related purchases with the same vendor.   You’ve developed a relationship with this vendor, established overarching terms and pricing agreements, and have an LTA in place.   Link multiple procurement packages together so parent Scheduling Agreements or related procurements can be easily referenced and tracked together.

Secure Intellectual Property and Sensitive Information

Protect sensitive national security or intellectual property data via user restrictions based on company, plant, business unit, user roles, and nationality.  Implement field and file lockdowns, preventing users from modifying package data once a Purchase Order or Scheduling Agreement has been issued.

Buyer Support

With a system that automatically send requests, reminders, and notifications to the appropriate people, pre-filled data, hot package tracking, and the flexibility to manage unusual purchase types, we make buyers’ lives a whole lot easier.

Automated Signature Process

No more carrying manila envelopes from one desk to the next: You define the business rules which, when you’re ready, automatically route approval requests to the correct managers/personnel based on dollar values, procurement type, industry focus, agreement type, commodity type, designated approval roles, and a variety of other custom business rules.

Approval Reminders

Ensure your procurement packages don’t get delayed with a system that not only automatically sends requests for approval to the appropriate managers and procurement professionals as soon as the data is available; it even reminds them when they haven’t responded within the specified amount of time so buyers don’t have to.

‘Hot Package’ Tracking

Make sure critical purchases don’t get lost in the shuffle.  Buyers can subscribe to notifications for ‘hot’ packages enabling real-time notification and tracking of approvals, rejections, or modifications of critical procurement packages.  Approvers and managers can also subscribe to hot package notices, so the system can keep them up to date, instead of the buyer.

Pre-Filled Data

Stop entering the same data over and over again.  The system can be configured to pre-fill data based on things like a buyer’s user profile, the procurement type, plant or company codes, or specialized tooling requirements.

Delivery Management

Avoid rework  by ensuring all the required data is included before a package is sent for approval.  The system can be configured to require all necessary information and attachments are there before the system will allow it to be sent for approval, and it will tell you what’s missing.  It also tells you when packages are running behind schedule, what items are outstanding, and which manager’s approval is holding up the process.

Manage Unusual Purchase Types

Every buyer has packages that have high visibility and will require additional approvals, or are frankly, a little weird and need a different set of eyes to review it.  Flexible approval templates allow you to set baseline signature requirements, while allowing for the addition of ‘ad hoc’ approvers for unusual packages or situations.  Optional admin designations with permissions to make modifications midstream to react to personnel or process changes real time.

Connect to your ERP

Connect the data in your ERP with your procurement workflows. The system can automatically use key procurement data like copies of POs, purchasing worksheets, vendor information, and contract and payment terms from ERPs like SAP or Oracle.

Decision Support

All the data needed by procurement approvers, organizational leadership, and procurement department management is found quickly and easily in one system.

Metric Reporting

Know at a glance:

* What’s on time, and what’s not?

* Common ‘hot spots’ such as typical process steps where things are getting stuck.

* How many approval requests are getting returned to buyers, by who and to whom?

* Which packages have outstanding documents required?

Slice and dice the data any way you like to quickly provide the information you need to make business critical decisions.

Leadership Dashboards

Instead of getting updates via weekly PowerPoint slides, built in dashboards display real time data with custom charts and graphs. See how many purchases are on-time or behind.  Easily review package statuses by program, commodity type, or division.  Whatever metrics are most important to you can be displayed in aggregate data charts  for ‘at a glance’ views of your procurement processes with data drill down capability to facilitate root cause analysis.


Stoplights help users identify whether procurement commitments are in line with standard procurement timelines.  Every package can incorporate highly visible stoplight charts and icons so you know at a glance whether they are on-time or require escalation from the moment they are created until the instant the PO is issued.

Procurement Department Management

Get the data you need to balance buyer workloads, identify hot spots and process improvements, and reduce package returns and rejections.  With information such as number of active packages owned by each buyer, how many packages are waiting on a given approver or action, and how many approvals are being rejected and/or returned to buyers, procurement managers have the data they need to run their departments smoothly.

Approver Support

Approvers can view all procurement packages awaiting their approval in one place.  They receive automatic notifications when a package has been sent for their approval.  And , all supporting data and documentation is stored along with the package in easy to navigate tabs and report views.

Collaborative Decision Support

Even global teams can collaborate dynamically, or request additional information, and responses and attachments will be stored along with the package for easy reference and review by others in the approval chain.

Compliance and Audit Support

One system captures, manages, and presents procurement information so it is easily accessible, auditable, and traceable, dramatically reducing the time, effort, and potential headache of maintaining compliance and passing audits.

Proactive Compliance Management

Facilitate a culture of accountability with features like built in change history capture, action traceability, approval history, data locking, and built in compliance reviews. If you have dedicated compliance teams they can be inserted into the signature process and review every purchase before it ever goes out for approval. You can also establish compliance spot checks for any package at any point along the way.

Process and Data Standardization

Procurement Manager can require the same information and embedded document templates are used for every purchase, ensuring your data is consistently compliant.  With automatically routed standardized procurement approvals you can be sure that the right people are approving purchases, every time.

Worry Free Audits

No more digging through boxes, file cabinets, and everyone’s email history to gather the necessary data. Whether you have to manage yearly CPSR audits, on-site DCMA auditors, external audits such as those by industry specific organizations, Federal, State, or Local government, or all of the above, make them as painless as possible.

Auditor Specific Access

Your system can be configured with auditor specific views that provide them with all the data they need and nothing they don’t. And, since the system has been set up to require compliant processes, and all the necessary data, the entire audit will be streamlined and less stressful for your company and the auditor.

Whitepaper: Building Better Procurement Processes—Beyond ERPs

No two procurement processes are exactly the same, but the process of understanding and developing system requirements shares many similarities.  A huge percentage of businesses and organizations have implemented an ERP system, often targeted at streamlining their SCM processes. Although ERPs are powerful and essential, they often can’t fully meet the dynamic supply chain and procurement workflows necessary for optimal contract management. One of the most commonly cited challenges of ERP implementation is lack of system flexibility.  As few as 23% of companies implement an ERP with strictly out-of-box functionality, and companies in aerospace, defense, and government are more likely to customize their ERP software. Many organizations have complex supply chains that are notorious for constant change and a continuous improvement focus. While ERPs are excellent for managing transactional data, contractors must track a variety of supplemental data which ERPs don’t account for. These specific requirements that extend beyond ERPs include things like CPSR audits, supplier and customer relationship management, RFP and CDRL management, transparency, and DCMA compliance.   

This whitepaper, presented as part of a training session at NCMA’s Subcontract Management Training Forum, March 17–18, 2016 in Tysons, Virginia, provides an overview of some of the challenges in implementing an ERP as the primary Supply Chain Management (SCM) or Procurement system solution and offers an alternative to ERP customization.