This tutorial describes two ways how ]po[ can be used to manage groups of companies in various configurations:
- Multiple profit centers within a single company:
A company has multiple departments that are each responsible for their profit & loss. There is only one legal person.
- Multiple divisions of one corporation or group structure:
A company consists of multiple divisions or companies. Each company represents a separate legal person.
- Partner or collaboration network:
A number of independent companies have agreed to collaborate in a specific area.
Single Instance Setup
The ]po[ "single instance solution" emphasises integration and collaboration between the participating sub-organizations. Only a single list of users, customers and providers has to be maintained, and the system's information on profit & loss reflects the overall P&L per project and with each customer.
The solution consists of:
- A single ]po[ server. All users will login to the same server to work.
- The server is configured with restrictive access control. Users will only have access to projects and companies if access has been explicitely granted.
- Several different "Profit Centers" are configured in the "Cost Centers" area, representing the different legal or organizational entities.
- Every project will be extended with the following dynamic fields:
- Production Center: The profit center responsible for profit & loss of the project.
- Sales Center: The profit center responsible for selling the project. The Sales CC will usually receive a cut of the project's profit & loss.
- Restrict the right to create financial documents for project managers and accountants to their own cost center using cost center permissions.
As a result of this setup, you can:
- Determine the profit & loss per project and per customer:
These numbers are directly available from the ]po[ user interface.
- Transfer Services between the participating profit centers:
There are reports available to determine transfer services (an employee of profit center A providing services to a project of profit center B).
- Determine the profit & loss per profit center:
Correct numbers on profit & loss per profit center are available by adding the transfer costs to the profit center's P&L.
- Extract accounting information for all cost centers:
Special report allows you to extract the accounting information per profit center.
- Simple setup: Only a single (centralized) ]po[ server needs to be set up
- Emphasis of sharing and collaboration: Only a single list of projects, customers and provider exist.
As an alternative, you can setup a separate ]po[ instance for each organization participating in the collaboration and define certain data to be synchronized between all particpating ]po[ instances:
- User information:
Every user has exactly one "home ]po[ instance". The user's data is syncronized to the other participating ]po[ servers. The user can move between the different systems using single-sign on (changing servers without giving a password). However, the user's access permissions may differ, depending on the ]po[ instance.
All projects in all instances are syncronized with the other ]po[ instances. This way, all system seem to share the same list of projects. However, a user is automatically transferred to the project's "home ]po[ instance" if he clicks on the project.
As a result of this setup you can:
- Allow a controlled level of collaboration between otherwise separated companies.
- Profit & loss of projects is directly available on each ]po[ instance.
- Accounting reports are directly available on each ]po[ instance.
- This setup is a way to allow for controlled collaboration between otherwise unrelated or untrusted companies.
Specific Issues & Questions
- "Number circuits" for invoice and project numbers:
By default, the single-instance setup will provide a single space for project and invoice numbers (consecutive numbers) suitable for single-company invoicing, while the multi-instance setup will provide separate number circuits for each instance.
However, the single-instance setup can be customized if necessary to use separate number circuits per profit center.
Feedback or Additional Questions?
Please go to the "Open Discussions" forum at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/project-open/ , for additional questions related to this subject. Please use the string "Multi-Company Setup: ..." in the title of your discussion.