Definiti helps NXT Building Group automate and simplify their PO Approval Workflow
About NXT Building Group
NXT Building Group, formerly McDonald Jones Homes (MJH) Group, has grown from humble beginnings in 1987 as a home building business in the NSW Hunter region, to being recognised as one of Australia’s most well-known and respected project home, multi-residential and investment property building companies.
The group comprises 13 different brands across NSW, the greater Canberra Region, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, employs over 1,100 staff and engages around 3,000 contractors and tradespeople.
NXT Building Group
Building & Construction
Audit, Risk & Governance
Microsoft Power Apps
Meeting New Compliance Requirements
In April 2021, Asahi Kasei Homes (part of the Japanese Asahi Kasei Group) became the majority shareholder of the group. Whilst for NXT Building Group this meant access to world leading building design and building product technologies, it also meant complying with new regulations and implementing additional internal controls over financial reporting.
One of the areas of focus for the Group’s Internal Audit and Compliance Team was formalising and streamlining the Delegations of Authority (DOA) for raising and approving purchase orders, which had previously been managed via email.
Handling this process manually resulted in a great deal of time being spent identifying the correct level of approval, the relevant thresholds as well as simply retrieving and sending emails. A manual process also leaves the door open to:
Lack of reliable compliance records
Issues with traceability
From documenting the process, to creating a Proof of Concept and deploying the app, the whole experience with definiti has been seamless. They identified a fit-for-purpose, cost-effective solution and worked closely with myself and the IT team to successfully implement it.
Head of Audit, Risk and Governance - NXT Group
Definiti’s PO Request App
After considering several other solutions, NXT Building chose to rely on definiti to develop a Purchase Order Request app that would streamline and automate the PO approval workflow. The two organisations already have a solid relationship and definiti had already established a successful track record having developed an Expense Claim app for NXT Finance team.
Definiti’s PO Request app leverages the existing Microsoft Power Platform and SharePoint licensing (within the broader O365 license), meaning no additional costs for the business and no need to roll out and train staff to use a completely new system.
More importantly, the app uses the data in NXT Building Group’s Active Directory (AD). An Active Directory is a database and set of services that connect users with the network resources they need to get their work done. It contains critical information about the environment and users, this allows them to log in once and be recognised across the network (single sign on).
From the Active Directory, the app picks up Job Titles and Line Managers. The user’s job title is compared against the SharePoint list of Job Titles and approval thresholds for the unfolding of these scenarios:
User is allowed to self-approve and the expense is within their threshold. The request is sent to a central approval authority for validation.
User is not able to self-approve. The user’s line manager’s job title is checked against the DOA. If the expense is within their threshold, the request is sent to the line manager.
Expense exceeds the user’s line manager’s threshold. The line manager’s line manager is checked and the search expanded until the appropriate approver is identified and the request is sent for approval.
When the request is approved, all details are recorded and sent to the Purchase Order Team for processing. Upon processing being completed, a copy of the PO is automatically sent to the user.
Once this is set up and running in the background, “staff members don’t need to work out who to request their approval from, the system determines this automatically and seamlessly sends the request to the appropriate person.” says NXT Group’s Head of Audit, Risk and Governance.
The DOA SharePoint reflects the Job Titles in the Active Directory.
It leverages the existing O365 license.
The Finance team maintains the DOA without requiring assistance from IT. Empower process owners to maintain their own data.
Any changes to the DOA and requests are logged in the version history.