About Subcontract, PO, and MO Number Formats

When defining the format of subcontract, purchase order, and material order numbers in PM Company Parameters, it is important that you understand the initialization process and how it uses the number formats assigned here.

When you initialize subcontracts, POs, and/or MOs, the system assigns a number based on the # of Project Characters you specify, and combines it with either a sequence number, the vendor number (subcontracts and purchase orders), or the location code (material orders). This includes any delimiters that you may have entered as part of your job or vendor numbers. If you specify the Project/Sequence format, it assigns the next available sequence number to the project number, adding zeros if necessary to bring the subcontract, purchase order, or material order number to the correct character total.


In this example, we will assign a subcontract number based on both the Project/Vendor and Project Sequence formats, using a number format of 10L.

Note: If you are using the 'significant part of job' feature for subcontracts, purchase orders, and/or material orders (flags in PM Company Parameters), the Significant Job Characters you specify for subcontracts, POs, and MOs should be defined so that they work in conjunction with the formats you specify here. See About Using Significant Part of Job.

If you are using the Project/Seq numbering format and you prefer to use a specific range of sequence numbers, you can do so using the Starting Sequence option available for subcontract, material order, and purchase order number formats. This option allows you to specify the number with which to begin sequence assignment (for example, ‘5000’ for subcontracts, ‘6000’ for purchase orders, and ‘7000’ for material orders). It is important to note that the starting sequence is by project, not by company. So numbering for each project will begin with the same starting sequence.

For example, you set the SL Project Characters to ‘6’ and you specify a starting sequence of '5000'. You create two subcontracts for Project 11000 and two for Project 22000. The system applies the starting sequence as follows:

Another point to consider when defining the formats for Subcontract and PO/MO numbers in PM, are the various code structures set up when your system was installed:

  • Project Codes/Job Codes

  • SL Subcontract Numbers

  • AP Vendor Numbers

  • PO Purchase Order Numbers

  • IN Material Order Numbers

The way these codes are structured may have a bearing on how you set up the formats for subcontract and PO/MO numbers in PM Company Parameters. Since the system automatically converts PM Subcontract, Purchase Order, and Material Order numbers to the format defined in each of the related modules (SL, PO, IN, respectively), it is suggested that you define your PM Company Parameter formats as they are defined in their destination modules.

Note: When selecting the characters from the project, the system counts left to right. When selecting characters from the vendor number, the system has been set up to count right to left, since typically, vendor numbers are right justified.

In addition, because many project codes begin with the same numbers, it is suggested that when defining your formats, you specify a sufficient number of characters of the project to ensure individuality during initialization. Otherwise, you may inadvertently cause the system to add multiple detail lines as items on the same subcontract, purchase order, or material order that you meant to be set up as separate subcontracts, purchase orders, and material orders.