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Magento 2 B2B Order Approval: a customizable workflow for company purchase orders

- Magento 2, Magento tips & tricks

When it comes to company orders, you as a merchant should consider too many details regarding the matter. From comprehensible workflows to satisfying user experience — all the nuances from both the admin and company user sides. The order approval functionality supported by the purchase order payment has been developed to increase the quality of store services. At the same, order approval rules give clients additional control over each order placement and company credit.

In this post, we are going to take a closer look at the latest Magento 2 B2B enhancement.

Starting with a purchase order

Purchase order, or PO, is a type of quote that allows companies to make authorized purchases and brings extra credibility points to seller-buyer relationships. PO is a form of direct and clear communication between a customer and a merchant that:

  • Gives clients an opportunity to control the service quality (materials, price, quantity, shipping, etc.);
  • Helps store owners manage stock according to the current order and stay protected in case of order cancellation.

Purchase order is also used as a payment method within Magento 2 Commerce/Cloud to improve the checkout experience for orders that have been issued in advance. 

Today the purchase order feature is actively used in B2B sphere. Implementing purchase orders into the Magento 2 platform is the answer to high user demand and another step in improving B2B management and shopping experience for both buyer and seller sides.

Enabling purchase order

Along with the ability to monitor order processing, purchase orders give company admins control over company buyers’ actions. As order approval serves the same purpose, the feature is tightly connected with purchase orders. So PO must be enabled in a store to allow for the order approval functionality to be available for commercial clients. 

To activate purchase orders for the order approval functionality, go to Stores > B2B Features > Order Approval Configuration at your store backend. 

For the purchase order as a payment method configuration follow the official Magento guide.

Once you have enabled the feature at a company level, make sure to do the same with the corresponding setting inside each company profile that you want to allow this type of order. Follow Customers > Companies > Select a company for editing > Edit at the Admin Sidebar to mark a company eligible to make purchase orders. Within the company page at the backend find the Advanced Settings section and then enable purchase orders.

These are the actions required from you as a store admin to provide clients with the ability to customize order workflow via approvals. The rest of the functionality logic shines upon user interaction from the frontend.

Exploring order approvals 

Magento 2 order approval rules enhance the standard workflow and engage clients in order administration. By applying the approval to purchase orders, company admins and all company users with specified permission in their role can control purchases made by the account. 

The greatest benefit of the new Magento 2 Commerce/Cloud feature is that using the approval system companies can execute their inside policy successfully and manage expenses without any additional risks.

In terms of workflow, order approval rules bring new steps to the order processing routine. 

  1. Based on the selected rule conditions, each purchase order undergoes automatic verification before being submitted. 
  2. After a purchase order is reviewed all the company users with the roles of approvers get a corresponding email notification.
  3. Approvers decide whether to approve, decline, validate, or cancel the order if the PO falls under the specified approval rules. Upon approval, they submit the actual order.

Company admins can set approval rules of three types related to Order Total, Shipping Cost, and Number of SKUs. Customization of the rules relates to familiar Magento 2 conditions: more than, more or equals, less than, less or equals. Mixing rules and conditions one can get up to six variations and logic patterns. 

Each order approval rule is created exclusively by commercial buyers from their accounts in the frontend. Thus, you as a merchant can provide unique service and reduce your own involvement in order processing.

Approval rule generation

Order approval rule generation is available upon logging in with a company account for admins or upon logging by users with a particular role and level of permission to manage the rules.

The corresponding tab appears in the account sidebar under the ‘Approval Rules’ title. Company users can create multiple approval rules for a single company, edit, and delete them.

Each approval rule requires specifying the name, role application, rule type, condition settings, and approver role. One can enable or disable the rule anytime as well as give the rule a short description or move on managing the rule without any notes.

The rule manager has to decide which of the existing company roles are applicable for order approval rules. ‘All roles’ or  ‘Specific Roles’ (with the select option) are available for order approval rules within Magento 2.

The ‘Rule Type’ setting determines the approach which the functionality logic will use for a purchase order — based on the number of SKUs in the cart, order value, or shipping cost amount. The number of SKUs condition requires specifying the number, the other two rule types include inserting the service or product cost in a currency supported in your store.

In the ‘Require Approval From’ section, a company user can select company roles that will be responsible for managing each purchase order approval.

And that all needed from your clients to configure the order approval workflow in Magento 2. Just a few clicks and a prepared policy regarding company purchases will allow any client to arrange an automatic routine for purchase order management with minimum involvement required.

Magento 2 order approval rule import/export

Import and export of order approval rules are still a novelty in the market. However, FireBear has made them an upcoming feature of the Magento 2 Improved Import and Export extension to keep providing the best Magento 2 B2B management services to users across the globe. The ability to transfers order approval rules will be another powerful functionality within the module’s kit, so make sure to explore Improved Import and Export by the link below:

Get Improved Import & Export Extension for Magento 2