Monday, October 3, 2016

Contingent Worker Functionality in Oracle Applications R12

Oracle introduced the concept of Contingent Worker to the Oracle Project Suite with the release of Family Pack in May 2005.  Contingent Labor is defined by Oracle as:

An on-demand workforce, including contract workers, agency staffing, independent contractors and people who work directly for an enterprise on an on-call basis

This new functionality accessed features that had been incorporated into 11.5.10 for Purchasing and Human Resources, allowing the following actions to take place in the Oracle Applications:
  • Define contingent workers in Oracle
  • Assign contingent workers to tasks in Project Management
  • Process labor costs of contingent workers in Project Costing
  • Link and validate timecards against Purchase Orders
  • Process contingent worker expenses in the same manner as employees

This new capability to handle contingent workers was possible due to changes across several Oracle Application modules:
New Purchase Order Line Types were added to allow the following capability:
  • Specify individual named contractor start and end dates
  • Define fixed price or rate based agreements with the contractor
  • Specify price differentials on rate based agreements for items like overtime, weekend, holiday, travel and standby time
  • Automatically generate purchase order receipts from timecards entered and approved through OTL

New HR person type allowed the following capability:
  • Track contingent worker assignment history, similar to any regular employee
    • Periods of service
    • Breaks in assignments
    • Positions
    • Supervisors
    • Track worker and supplier relationships
*  Addition of the Supplier tab in the assignment record allowed the purchase order, purchase order line number, supplier name, supplier site and dates to be associated with the worker history

New OTL layouts for contingent workers supported the following capability:
  • Association of time entry to purchase agreements
  • Automation of timecard approval routings
  • Generation of purchase order receipts from approved timecards
    • Run the concurrent request “Retrieve Time from OTL” with parameters to optionally select individual suppliers and dates

New iExpenses functionality supported the following capability:
  • Entry of expense reports on behalf of contingent workers
  • Automated approval routings
  • Payments to contingent worker suppliers
    • Contingent workers are associated with a supplier in Accounts Payable
    • Import of the iExpense information creates an automatic AP Invoice for the supplier to pay for the incurred expense with the description including the identification of the contingent worker

Within Oracle Projects, there are no differences between regular employees and contingent workers for all the normal functions.  Both are:
  • Assigned to projects and tasks
  • Own tasks and deliverables
  • Enter progress and record issues
  • Any other normal project activity, limited only by the security functions defined
With the update of Oracle Applications and the Release 12 functionality, Oracle has modified some of the 11.5.10 capability and expanded capability.
  • In R12.1.1 Oracle added a new flag to identify a contingency worker clearing project.  When the clearing project is used on a purchase order, the contingency worker can charge to any approved project when using OTL.  This enhances the ability to accommodate workers who are hired to work on multiple projects over the life of their engagement.
  • In R12.1.2 Oracle added several new subcontractor management functions related to control of payments, tracking contract requirements, such as insurance certificates or other items that expire and need renewal over time.

As you can see from the breadth of impact contingent workers have on the applications, setup requirements can be difficult and require a broad range of knowledge to do so successfully.

Contingent Worker related features in Oracle E-Business Suite Applications, shown in a Release 12 screen below, include additional line types in Purchasing for fixed price or rate based workers.

Purchasing Line Types
Plus the addition of a tab to record the worker details, including name, start date and end date.

New Tab (Temporary Labor)
Oracle Human Resources includes new person types for contingent workers and assignment status for active contingent workers, along with links to the supplier and the PO.

Contingent Worker Assignment
One significant change from 11.5.10 to Release 12 that impacts contingent workers is the elimination of pre-approved batches for expense reports.  This means expense reports will need to be entered through iExpense.  The AP Invoice Workbench functionality is NOT enabled for contingent workers due to the expense being paid to the supplier and not the individual.
Oracle E-Business Suite Projects applications treat contingent workers just like regular employees, allowing for scheduling, costing, reporting, and billing.  However, to ease reporting requirements it may be helpful to place contingent workers in a separate organization or assign them to a resource breakdown structure, which can make use of the person type assigned in HR.

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