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Internal News - 07 November 2007

Taking stock three months after the launch of Agresso

A message from the BUCS' Agresso team:

Three months after ‘go live’ on Agresso seems a suitable time to take stock of where we are and what should happen next. Many thanks for all your effort in getting to this milestone. We are aware that this first quarter has not been without its frustrations, but they should be becoming less and we will continue to work with you to resolve those that remain.

Some facts:

• Agresso went live on 1 August and has been available continuously since that date.

• The major use has been for purchasing and in that time we have processed over 13,000 Order lines on 8,000 Purchase Orders.

• We have also issued over 1,500 invoices to customers (this excludes tuition fee invoices) and have over 800 active users, considerably more than the 220 we had on Lawson.

Training/User Support:

• Workshops have been run for groups of up to six users on the Purchasing to Pay process and bookings of places continue to be available through Ann Marsland-Shaw x4090. These have proved very worthwhile.

• New workshops on reporting start the first week of November, also for groups of up to six users. Bookings are already heavy. If necessary we will arrange more workshops to meet the demand.

• IT training continues to run the training courses for Reporting for Finance Administrators, Requisitioning, and Sales Orders. Bookings can be made via their web page (see Related Links).

• Workshops have been held with individual departments and can be arranged for other departments. Please contact Ann Marsland-Shaw if you would like this.

• Training manuals are being updated to reflect the need for more detail, and changes in the way we use Agresso.

• If the current combination of workshops and courses are not meeting your requirements please, let us know via Ann what you need. If there is sufficient demand around the University we will arrange a new course or workshop format.

Current Priorities:

• Agresso is still unable to cope with single lines on a requisition/Purchase Order (PO) being split across projects. You will need to purchase items on one project and journal costs or raise several requisition lines, one for each project. Agresso has been asked to address this urgently.

• Commitments raised in one period are not being matched to invoices paid in another period. Agresso is also working on this.

• Presentation of commitments information is not consistent across reports. This is giving users a lack of confidence in the accuracy of information held on Agresso. We are doing everything possible to resolve this, as is Agresso.

• Users are experiencing difficulty goods receiving some POs. This generally because the PO has not been printed; Agresso does not allow an order to be goods received unless you have gone through the Print PO process (you can decide not to print a copy but you must have generated a printable image). Once an order has been Goods Received (GRN) the invoice should be paid – please remember therefore to GRN all orders.

• There is not currently a suitable report for use in respect of the K type accounts (old Lawson K1 accounts). We will shortly be adding a suitable report to the PI desktop and will notify users when this is done.

• Some expenses claims been delayed because the person ID or student number is not being entered. Please remember to include this information.

Recent Changes/ User led Developments:

• Conversion of Requisitions to Purchase Orders now takes place every hour from 8am to 7pm, rather than three times a day.

• Requisitions are not now routed to Principal Investigators for approval before going to Finance/Dept Administrators

• Many of the authorisation workflows have been amended, some as many as five times, in order to accommodate the changing needs of departments.

• The budget monitoring reports have been written and circulated to all departments. There is work continuing to expand and enhance the suite of reports available to departments.

Purchasing:

• Alongside the introduction of Agresso there has been a revision of Purchasing Policy and Procedures. There are therefore some new Purchasing processes embedded within Agresso which did not exist in Lawson, users are being asked to acclimatise to these as well as to a new Finance System. It is however important to differentiate between issues which relate to a change in process (particularly purchasing) and those which are system related.

• For further information on current Purchasing Policy and Procedures please visit the Purchasing Services web pages.

• The Purchasing Services Team is also undertaking a review of the use of Purchasing Cards

• If you have any comments on Purchasing Policy or Process or the use of Purchasing Cards please contact Jo Andrews, Head of Purchasing Services, on x6750.

Future Plans:

• The Finance User Group is being reconstituted under the guidance of Rob Hawkes. This will look at enhancement requests for future reporting and functionality as well as suggestions for improvements to processes and procedures.

• Between now and April 2008 we will be working to improve and extend the reports available, complete the implementation of parts of the system not yet in operation and assess the use of e-trading with our suppliers.

• We are considering the introduction of advanced user courses but wait to assess this in the light of the workshops. Currently the workshops are proving very effective at giving this sort of information in a very targeted environment.

HelpDesk and Feedback:

• Please continue to log calls with the help desk on x3434 or by email to mis-support@bath.ac.uk

• The helpdesk continues to be the most appropriate place to log requests for help and advice. Please would users help the help desk by providing as much information as they can about their query – screen shots wherever possible, information about what you are trying to do and numbers of any Requisition/Purchase Orders with which you are having difficulty. Some of the current open calls are waiting for more information from users; if you have been asked for more information so that we can help you please can you get back to us – even if it is to say that your problem has been solved.

• The early calls to help desk were relatively simple in nature – “I cannot find the web link”; “the address for this customer is wrong”. Current calls are much more complex and taking longer to resolve, often requiring new reports to be written. Some have been referred to Agresso Head Office for resolution.

• Many users are calling the MARS team direct or coming along to our office. Much as we like talking to users this reduces the item we have available to respond to the calls logged with the help desk. Please use the help desk as the first port of call.

• The Finance User Group will shortly be formally constituted and will be another feedback opportunity. The first meeting to define their terms of reference took place on 5 November. I am assured there is no significance to the date.

• We are also surveying your first impressions of Agresso. Please follow this link to the survey, (in Related Links), which will be reported back to the Project Board on 29 November. All responses should therefore be completed by 12 November.

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