This article will walk a Maximo administrator through the steps necessary to send a purchase order by email to a vendor as an attachment. It is a common requirement by customers to be able to automatically send the PO to vendors through email. Some of the benefits of doing this are:

  • Standardize the way that approved purchase orders are communicated to vendors. A common template can be used for the email subject and body, as well as a common workflow for when the communication is sent.
  • Reduce the time taken by procurement agents in generating reports, saving them locally, finding appropriate contact information, and typing up an email.
  • When Maximo sends the email, a copy of the email that was sent is stored in the Communication Log along with the PO. If you ever need to know when the email was sent and to whom, the documentation of the email is in Maximo attached directly to the PO. No more searching through email to find the communication.

To achieve this, we will deploy an automation script in Maximo that will generate the report and send the email. Before we get to the script, we need to ensure that the following prerequisites are met:

  1. The email address of the vendor should be recorded in the Companies application on the Contacts tab. The script below will use the email address of the Primary Contact (set on the Addresses tab) but can be adjusted to include a larger or more targeted set of email addresses. However, they must be accessible from somewhere in the system by the script.
  2. A Communication Template should be created and activated to be used as the email subject and body of the communication. By default, I’ve named the template POTOVENDOR, but you can name it anything you want and change it in the script.
  3. A BIRT report that represents the PO to be sent to vendors. By default, the script uses the poprint.rptdesign report that comes with Maximo. This can be changed in the script to a custom report but be sure to match up the report parameters if necessary.

The trigger point for the script below is a status change of the PO to APPR. However, this could just as easily be triggered from Maximo workflow, escalations, or other means.

Here is the automation script needed to make this happen:

from com.ibm.tivoli.maximo.report.birt.queue import ReportQueueService
from com.ibm.tivoli.maximo.report.birt.runtime import ReportParameterData
from psdi.mbo import SqlFormat

# Get the current user's information
userInfo = mbo.getUserInfo()
locale = userInfo.getLocale()

# If the PO Vendor does not have a contact with email, then kindly exit
if not mbo.isNull("VENDOR.PRIMARYCONTACT.EMAIL"):
    emailTo = mbo.getString("VENDOR.PRIMARYCONTACT.EMAIL")
    # Append the current user's email address to the chain to ensure delivery
    if userInfo.getEmail() and not userInfo.getEmail() == "":
        emailTo = emailTo + ", " + userInfo.getEmail()
    
    # Create default message subject and body
    # These will be replaced by a communication template if one is found by the code below
    emailSubject = "Purchase Order"
    emailComments = "Please acknowledge receipt of this Purchase Order."
    
    # Change this value to a valid Maximo Communication Template ID
    commTemplateID = "POTOVENDOR"
    
    # Get the communication template
    commTemplateClause = SqlFormat(mbo, "templateid = :1")
    commTemplateClause.setObject(1, "COMMTEMPLATE", "TEMPLATEID", commTemplateID)
    commTemplateSet = mbo.getMboSet("$potovendor", "COMMTEMPLATE", commTemplateClause.format())
    commTemplateMbo = commTemplateSet.getMbo(0)
    if commTemplateMbo:
        # Build the email subject and body from the Communication Template
        sql = SqlFormat(mbo, commTemplateMbo.getString("SUBJECT"))
        sql.setIgnoreUnresolved(True)
        emailSubject = sql.resolveContent()
        sql = SqlFormat(mbo, commTemplateMbo.getString("MESSAGE"))
        sql.setIgnoreUnresolved(True)
        emailComments = sql.resolveContent()
    
    # Build the Report Parameters
    parameterData = ReportParameterData()
    parameterData.addParameter("appname", "PO")
    parameterData.addParameter("paramdelimiter", "")
    parameterData.addParameter("paramstring", "")
    parameterData.addParameter("where", "(po.poid = " + str(mbo.getLong("POID")) + ")")
    
    # Queue the Report to Run
    queueManager = ReportQueueService.getQueueService()
    queueManager.queueReport("poprint.rptdesign", "PO", userInfo.getUserName(), emailTo, emailSubject, emailComments, parameterData, locale.getCountry(), locale.getLanguage(), locale.getVariant(), userInfo.getTimeZone().getID(), userInfo.getLangCode(), long(0), userInfo)
Alex Walter is the Chief Innovation Officer at the A3J Group, a company he formed to address the need for innovative software solutions and integrated consulting services within the EAM industry. Alex brings 17 plus years of experience in business consulting in various industries including Life Sciences, Oil and Gas, Water and Waste Management, Education, Government Facilities, among others. Alex lives in Tampa, FL with his wife, two sons, and dogs. In his free time, he enjoys running half marathons, making space in his garage for new camping and outdoor equipment, traveling to far off places with the Walter Circus, and remaining hopeful that his NY Jets' best days are ahead of them and not behind.

5 Thoughts on “Automatically Email Vendor on approval of Purchase Order”

  • Hi Alex, I am trying to implement this as we have a request for it. Everything appears to work and I see it in the reportrunparam and reportrunqueue tables but nothing ever gets emailed.

    • Ultimately the email will be sent from the REPORTSCHEDULE cron task, even though it will be queued to run immediately. Make sure that Admin Mode is off and that the cron task is able to run (e.g. check the mxe.crontask.donotrun and mxe.crontask.dorun variables). Also, check the report itself and/or the parameters that you are passing to it. Hope that helps.

    • There are some good email-to-fax or text-to-fax services out there. Haven’t tried them myself, but those would likely be your best option.

  • Hi Alex,

    Works perfect for me. Great stuff.
    A question: Is it possible to open an outlook mail for preview?
    Sometime you would need to add or modify the participants list or add special notes
    to the template before it’s being send to the vendor.

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