Managing maverick spend is a huge issue for many Organizations. Ensuring that employees are aware of Procurement policies and understand the consequences of excessive spending is key in terms of reducing costs and minimizing approval cycle times.
Providing a streamlined and intuitive requisitioning experience with the ability to subtly guide requesters to compliant Items (such as Items on a contract) is a major step towards helping curb this kind of ad-hoc spending.
What is Weighted Sort?
Weighted sort is a powerful feature that allows Organizations to weight Item and Supplier attributes (such as Items on a Contract, Preferred Supplier, Inventory items) and use these weightings to dynamically control the sort order of the search results. When a Requester initiates a search, a new search options called ‘Relevance’ can be enabled which will use the active weighted sort rule to calculate a weight for each search row and then float the search rows with the highest score to the top of the search.
This is a common algorithm in consumer website searches where the initial sort is usually set to ‘Featured’ or ‘Relevance’ based on internal weightings (such as sponsored suppliers).
Let’s look at how this would be set up in PeopleSoft eProcurement. The first step is to enable the new Relevance sort option in eProcurement Admin settings:
Figure 1: Option to enable the initial sort option on the eProcurement administration settings.
Once, that’s turned on, as well as enabling the APPLY_WEIGHTED_SORT role action for the Requester(s), the system will now look at active Weighted Sort rule to determine the sort order.
Let’s have a look at the new Weighted Sort Rules and how they work. Here is an example of the new Weighted Sort rule logic in PeopleSoft eProcurement:
Figure 2: Editing the weighted sort rule for eProcurement search results
In this example, we can see that there are two attributes associated with the Weighted Sort rule. The first is an Item attribute that says whether the Item is on a contract. The second is a custom attribute (which can be easily configured as part of the delivered Item custom fields) and, in this case, we can say whether this is a ‘Company Preferred’ Item attribute. There are multiple custom Item attributes that can be assigned to the Item and included as part of the weighted sort. In addition, there are multiple delivered Item and Supplier attributes that we allow for selection:
Figure 3: There are multiple selections for identifying attributes of a weighted sort rule.
The prompt shows a list of the delivered and custom Item attributes as well as the available Supplier attributes. Once they have been selected, a weight can be assigned to each of the attributes.
Let’s have a look at the Sort order when searching for a ‘Monitor’:
Figure 4: Displaying Item search results to the user using the weighted sort rule.
For this weighted sort rule, we can see that Items that are both on a Contract and are Company Preferred will float to the top of the search.
We can change the Weighted Sort rule to add some additional attributes:
Figure 5: Adding additional attributes to the weighted sort rule.
In this case, we’ve added two new attributes ‘Women-Owned’ and ‘Veteran’. This example shows that it is not necessary to assign a weight; the fact that we have said the attributes will be visible on the search row will control whether these attributes are displayed but will not have an impact on the overall sort order. This is a good example of how the Weighted Sort rule can be used to, optionally, display attributes as well as include them as part of the sort algorithm.
Figure 6: Additional items are returned in the search results based on the additional attributes in the weighted sort rule.
We can see that the sort order is the same but that we are now seeing the ‘Women-Owned Business’ and ‘Veteran’ on the search rows.
In addition, we can also, optionally, view an overall search row score on the right-hand side of the search row. This score can be turned on in the eProcurement Installation Settings and is useful when tweaking the attribute weights to control the order of the search results. This would typically not be shown to the Requesters but only to the Administrators when setting up the Sort rule initially.
Lastly, as well as displaying these attributes on the search row, we will also display them in other places in Create Requisition including the Item Description page and the Checkout pages:
Figure 7: Additional attributes are displayed as to the criteria used to select the Item from the weighted sort results.
Weighted sort is a valuable tool that can transform the eProcurement experience for businesses. By streamlining the Item/Supplier selection process for Requesters, businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and make more informed procurement decisions.
In addition, the Weighted Sort rule can be used to display additional custom and delivered Item and Supplier attributes on the search rows without the need for customization.
For more information on PeopleSoft Fluid eProcurement, check out these videos: