Self Service Procurement

Get Involved. Join the Conversation.


    Quick Tip: Buyer Assignment Rules for Non Catalog Requests
    Topic posted January 13, 2019 by AshokBlack Diamond: 60,000+ Points, tagged Create Requisition, FAQ, Requisition Processing, Tip 
    215 Views, 14 Comments
    Quick Tip: Buyer Assignment Rules for Non Catalog Requests
    Can I define buyer assignment rules exclusively for Non Catalog Requests

    Customers / Support

    This tip comes to you courtesy of a customer who had asked this question last week. The customer was concerned that the buyer assignment rules were not functioning in the manner expected. Customer had created a smart form and expected the corresponding buyer assignment rules to apply. However, the rules were not applied to the requisition and the order.

    On further analysis, it was determined that the Buyer Assignment Rules were set to apply to Non Catalog Requests. 


    1. In the Buyer Assignment Rules setup, one of the attributes is entitled 'Non Catalog Request'. Use this attribute to determine whether or not a specific assignment rule should or should not apply to a non catalog request

    2. Non Catalog Request attribute can be Null, Yes or No. Null means the rule will apply to all requisition sources including Non Catalog Requests. Yes means that the rule will ONLY apply to requisitions created from Non Catalog Requests. No means that the rule will not apply specifically to requisitions created from Non Catalog Requests

    Please be aware of this behavior the next time you create these rules.




    • Ramesh Radhakrishnan

      Good Tip!!

    • Rizwan Basha

      Hi Ashok,

      Have setup buyer assignments to default buyer for specific Req BU. Test rule worked fine but it did not default buyer on Requisition page. Is this what it is supposed to do?


      - Created a requisition from Smart form (Note the smart form is setup for a specific supplier, same as mentioned in buyer assignment rule)

      - Review requisition page does not populate the buyer on 'Suggested buyer' field. Attached images






    • Ashok


      The buyer will populate during auto-sourcing. The Suggested Buyer functionality is a different one. The user has to enter a value here. Once the requisition is submitted and the auto-source kicks in the Assigned Buyer (not the suggested buyer as previously stated) will be populated based on the buyer identified on the assignment rules. So this is not an issue. Suggested buyer only populates when the user manually assigns one.

    • Rizwan Basha

      Thanks Ashok, I did that test as well i.e. submitted the Requisition for approval with a different buyer name on suggested buyer name field . When the Req was approved, PO was auto generated. However, the buyer name was same as suggested buyer name and did not update as per buyer assignment rules

    • Ashok

      Are there other buyer assignment rules for the same Procurement BU? Can you confirm?  Also I don't believe the suggested buyer would have displayed any name. I think you mean buyer (as i can see, the PO has the buyer populated but not the value you desire from the rules).

      • Rizwan Basha

        No other buyer assignment rules. 

        Yes, the buyer on PO did not populate as per rules rather had same buyer i.e. suggested buyer on PO

        ok, I'll raise an SR



    • Ashok

      If there are no other rules, go ahead and log an SR. We will review it.

    • Ashok

      In looking at your buyer assignment rule, I notice a Purchasing Category (Commodity) that is set to a value 'DEFAULT'. I am not seeing the same category on your Edit Requisition details. Can you check if the same category is assigned to the requisition? How was this requisition created? 

      When you check whether a buyer assignment rule works, ensure that all the attributes you have defined as a rule are actually also available in the transaction. Let me know if these also are correctly set. I cannot confirm this from your Purchase Order screenshot either because there are no lines. 

      My take is this might be user error. But do confirm if otherwise.

      • Deepika Nathany

        I think -- if you enter a suggested Buyer -- it will always take the suggested buyer.

        If nothing is specified then only it refers to the buyer in the Agreement or the Buyer assignment rules.

        This is my understanding of how I think it works (not sure if I am right in my understanding) 

    • Ashok


      Your observations are absolutely correct.

      1. If a Suggested Buyer is provided, what we do is carry that into an attribute (internal use) entitled Assigned Buyer

      2. This Assigned Buyer is then used to source the agreement or for other downstream transaction creation flows

      3. If a Suggested Buyer is not available, only then do the buyer assignment rules kick in as part of the auto-sourcing process to derive a buyer (Assigned Buyer) to carry through the downstream transaction flows.

      Smart forms are more like NCR , however for buyer assignment to work on these smart forms , do we need to keep NCR flag unchecked. In such situation does these rules impact even catalog request and possibly go be buyer other than one on source agreement Is there a way to control behaviour that buyer on source agreement supersedes assignment logic
    • Ashok

      Smart Forms and Non Catalog Requests are not intended for the same functional purpose in a manner of speaking. A smart form is a description based purchase that the organization has defined for ease of use of its requesters to have a repeat procurement capability. It is a template that can come pre-filled to make the request process easier.

      A non catalog request on the other hand assumes the request is for some items that are not in the Shopping Catalog or not be ordered through a standard smart form for which the buying organization may already have procurement pre-defined with one or more suppliers.

      To your question, yes, that is intended and how it is designed to behave. The buyer assignment rules kick in exclusively as it were for Non Catalog Request type requisitions only, if the NCR checkbox is checked in the Buyer Assignment Rules configuration. In order for buyer assignment rules related to Smart Forms to kick in, you will create another assignment rule and leave the NCR checkbox unchecked.

      If you want to supersede the logic, one consideration could be to personalize the requisition and add a suggested buyer. But that is a manual process.

      • Marcus Comins

        Hi Ashok

        In my mind Smart Forms and non-catalog requests are essentially the same, albeit a smart form is designed to more easily help the user to enter a non catalog request.  It is certainly closer to a NCR than a catalog item, which has clearly gone through a sourcing process and has defined items.

        From what I think you are saying above, if we leave the box with a null value it will indeed apply to smart forms but also to catalog items, therefore there is no way of making a distinction?  If that is correct then I think it is flawed as they are very different types of purchase request and should be distinguishable.

        Can you confirm if I have misunderstodd and the IS a way to distinguish between catalog purchases and smart form requisitions on the buyer assignment rules?





    • Ashok

      Thank you for the response Marcus. It is interesting the observations you draw your conclusion that to you a smart form is closer to an NCR than a catalog item. The similarity between the two really is the fact that they are description-driven and not item driven. That apart, the functional intent of using one over the other are completely distinguishable. At least, that is our submission on the design intent.

      Now to your specific question: At this time, there is not a way to specifically distinguish between catalog purchases and smart forms on buyer assignment rules. Perhaps you can assign the buyer for master items at the item level and use the buyer assignment rules specifically for categories that you use for smart forms?