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Intersite Interneral Customer/Supplier

  • 23 February 2021
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Hello,

I’m looking into setting up the Intersite automation and have a question. You need to set an Internal Customer and Internal Supplier in the sites. I want to use an existing customer/supplier to do this as we already have that set up, it’s just manual. I can only find an option to “Create Internal Customer/Supplier” in the site, I can’t choose an existing one. Is it possible for me to do this?

Thanks,

Mike

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Best answer by ShawnBerk 24 February 2021, 20:48

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You have to make the adjustments to the customer/supplier record to set them up for intersite, not on the site record.  On the Order > Misc Customer Info tab, there is a Internal Customer field where you tie this customer record to the site you want to be the internal demand site.  

 

Setup is similar on the Supplier record for the Supply site.  If the site is both Customer and Supplier as is often the case, then you would need to adjust both to see the information appear on the Site record (which is read only).

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@ShawnBerk thanks for the quick response. How does it work if they are an internal supplier for us, but also have other customers? Can this work that way?

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Site Summary

 

Intersite Customer

This is the customer record that represents the manufacturing site.  

 

Intersite Supplier

This is the supplier record that represents the same manufacturing site.

 

Yes, they can be an internal supplier to you using your customer record when they have orders from you, then they would have all of their other customer orders as well which would be external.

 

Here is a group of orders from this week for our UK operation, most of the orders shown are to intercompany customers as you can tell by the name (some are setup for automated intersite, some are treated as external because they don’t use IFS).  The ones I blacked out are real external customers.  All order types appear together without issue and are handled the same.  You can see a couple of orders for the above referenced intersite customer for US manufacturing.  When dealing with external customers, the customer/supplier account for the supply site have no bearing.

 

 

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Great information thank you! One last question, I’m trying to set up the basic data and I get this error message. Any ideas?

 

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Yes, unless you are using Customer Delivery Schedules to manage your intersite flow, you don’t need that message class, in fact, you only need a few of them to get started.  Just remove it.  If you are using it, then something else isn’t enabled and setup correct.  The fact it says the API doesn’t exist makes me think you don’t even have that module installed.  This is all we run - for instance, we don’t do auto-invoice matching at this point because the finance departments do a netting process between the sites rather than paying individual invoices.  

 

Message Setup

 

You should seed the Sequence Number with a 1 to start for the ORDRSP and DIRDEL, this sequences the messages making them easier to manage when there is a failure.  You will want to look at Incoming Customer Orders and Incoming Customer Order Change Orders once you start firing things site to site.  Also, you will want to initially look at the Connectivity Inbox and Outbox as you’ll be able to see the messages there first before they become orders.  So for PO-CO, you create a Purchase Order in the demand site, Release and Send the PO, then you should see an out message for the demand site and an in message for the supply site.  The messages will then convert to orders you can see in the Incoming Customer Orders overview.  Finally, the Customer Order will create with the information passed over in the message.   TEST, TEST, TEST with this before you turn it on in PROD, make the users get involved to because the flow is different.  There is tons of other things that need setup correctly too for this to work smoothly (Sales Parts, SfPP’s, Part Costs, etc).  Once you have it all working and only have to manage the exceptions, it is a great time saver and efficiency gain.

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@ShawnBerk thanks for the information!! I definitely can’t find it anywhere, so it must not be installed. I’m just getting started on this and was following the Intersite Setup guide from IFS for Apps 10. I’m testing this in DEV to start and will definitely test with the users as well. They probably don’t have all the permissions that they need to even see some of this stuff.

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@ShawnBerk I notice that on both your customer and your supplier you have the same site number. We have Site 1 which is the internal customer to Site 99, and vice versa. When I try to set the internal customer I also get an error that a message that there are existing customer orders for this customer to that site and therefore can’t be registered as the internal customer. I get a similar error on the supplier side regarding purchase parts being connected. I would have thought the customer side that I would use our Site 99 for the internal customer site and Site 1 for the supplier internal site, but as I mentioned yours are the same. So my question is this:

 

If site 1 is the internal customer to site 99 which site do I set on the customer and supplier?

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Yes, you’ll have lots of permissions to update, several new views as well.  Supply Chain Orders Analysis (both the view and the associated RMB) and Supply/Service Objects RMBs from the Customer Order and Purchase Order are the first things I can think of.

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@ShawnBerk yes, I’ll worry about those if I can figure out how to get this working!!!

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@ShawnBerk 

If site 1 is the internal customer to site 99 which site do I set on the customer and supplier?

 

Yes, Site is a higher entity than Customer or Supplier.  The Site can be both Customer and Supplier, I am assuming that Site 1 and Site 99 are two physically different sites, correct?  If you have two sites representing the same physical location, I’m not sure how that would work if they are both inventory sites.

There were some switchover errors we had to clear, that prevented turning it on at first….

I went back through my setup notes from 4 years ago and found this note:

“There can be no Supplier for Purchase Parts that exist from this site to itself as the supplier.  The parts must be deleted before switching on.”

This also means that any orders that are using any of those parts have to be cleared prior to the switch on point.  I remember this bit being very painful to clear out for the very first pair of sites we switched over.  We now know this is a bad setup and avoid it with any new site additions so if they later get switched onto intersite, we don’t run into this issue.

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@ShawnBerk yes these are two physically different sites. I assumed there would be tricky parts to this. I don’t see any issues with removing the purchase parts, not sure how we could clear the open orders as the ongoing orders won’t be able to be closed out all at the same time. Maybe we create a new customer and retire the old one? 

 

As far as the site selection, Site 99 is an internal supplier to Site 1. They are a service company that Site 1 uses as an “outside contractor” so to speak. Site 99 is owned by Site 1 so I’m assuming that on both the customer and the supplier that I would pick Site 99 as the internal site?

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OK, that is helpful for understanding.

Yes, you may very well find that creating a new customer record dedicated to the new intersite process will make things a lot cleaner from an order perspective.  We did have to do that in a couple of instances.

For our US entity, we have three sites that trade via intersite.  An assembly and final operations plant that delivers internally and externally, a service site that delivers to external customers and buys from both the manufacturing and machining sites, and a machine shop that supplies both manufacturing and service internally, but never to external customers.  The key is that each of them must have their own customer record and their own supplier record.  So for your setup, you will need 2 customers and 2 suppliers for the 2 sites to trade with one another.  We have 3 customers and 3 suppliers for our 3 sites for reference.  You can’t have the sites share a supplier or customer record - even if they are owned by the one site, the intersite process won’t work that way.  You can still manage the invoicing ok.  For instance on the service customer record, the default invoicing customer is the manufacturing site since the service site is owned by the manufacturing site.  There is only one set of invoices from the two sites, but still two different customer records.

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@ShawnBerk  Ah, OK that makes sense. You triggered an important piece of information that might prevent me from doing this altogether. All of the customer orders at our service site are built with actual customer that is receiving the service as the customer number in the order header for tracking purposes. Do to the nature of the work, the end customer needs to be able log into a portal so they can see their order history. On that same order, our owning site 1 is set as the invoice customer and then site 1 invoices the actual customer. As far as the customer is concerned they are doing business with site 1 and not our site 99. That might prevent me from doing this.

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@mess1153 

Yes, that is an odd setup that I wouldn’t have anticipated.  That will affect the invoicing side, but you may still be able to do the inventory side.

Does service buy the items from the owning site on a PO?  If yes, you should still be able to do this.

Does service transfer the items as an inventory only transfer on a Transport Task, or other object?  If yes, then this intersite process is unnecessary.

What is the normal supply code on the service customer order?  Is it just Invent Order?

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Yea it is an odd set up, the portal really screws up several things. 

 

So the service site buys and holds all of their own inventory for another supplier (mainly parts). Our site 1 issues a PO to the service company for the job and the PO goes over for $0. The customer order shell is created and then all the work is done on connected work orders to that customer order. The header customer is the end customer and the invoice customer is our site 1. Our site 1 then invoices the end customer for the whole order which may have more than service on it.

 

The supply code can be service order, invent order, non-inventory, or shop order depending on what the job is. If it’s an invent order then the service site will ship and bill the end customer directly.

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Yeah, that is going to limit the usefulness.

You should be able to get the initial PO from Site 1 to CO in Site 99 to work ok, but it isn’t saving you much.  You have to have at least one inventory part to transfer, or it won’t work.  It can’t be a non-inventory part, they don’t work on intersite orders.  Pricing at $0 can be managed.  You will need the full suite of parts in both sites that you want to use.

I don’t think the invoicing customer info will transfer over, so that will either need to be a custom event to add it in after the order creation or done manually.

If the service site does occasionally bill the end customer, do they remove the invoicing customer and just leave it blank so the invoice goes from Site 99 then?  Or is there still a manual invoice involved?

 

Lots of questions with out many answers to offer.  It isn’t clear to me what efficiency you’ll gain overall compared to the work to setup - that depends on your order volume and how short-staffed you are now on the CO creation side - that is your only possible gain that I see, someone doesn’t have to enter the CO.  The rest of the complication seems to remain with either mode of operation.

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If the service site invoices the customer directly they leave the invoice customer blank. 

 

Looks like this might be a dead end for me. I don’t see much time savings based on what I can tell at this point. Thank you so much for all of your responses, it ultimately saved me time spent trying to get it to work!!!