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I'm assuming by "approved lines", you mean the same thing as "approved requisitions" and not the line items literally.
In my experience, my customers, in general, had/have individual buyers to place the (order) requisitions and as well as take responsibility of "processing" them. So, the individual buyers get notified, by default, for approved requisitions.
However, for some special criteria, for approved requisitions, we use the second model mentioned by you. In these cases, the one who submitted the requisition will be different from the buyer to which the approved requisition would be routed. The buyer will get only the requisitions to be processed by him.
Hope I understood your question and hope this information helps.
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We work with the queue, because is more flexible and we don't believe in commodity code steering in downstream.
Above certain threshold (money, risk, complexity repetition) we try to use always contracts so no buyer is involved directly involved in the call off.
So sometimes we first start a decent tender an contract process, and ask the requester to redo his call off, but then from the contract.
Below these thresholds the aim is to process the PR as quickly as possible. It's more administrative task then real purchasing.
Btw: the non catalog node (ad hoc item) is at the front of our PR approval flow
For Non Catalog PR above a dollar amount threshold, we require the requester to select their assigned buyer. In certain commodities where we have centralized buying (IT, EH&S) we automatically assign the buyer to the PR. The buyer gets painted into the PR approval flow first and last after any required business (finance) approvals. This gives the buyer a chance to adjust the PR before business approval and make any sourcing, supplier or price adjustments to save time at the end of the approval process. If the buyer is going to be out of the office for a period of time, the buyer delegates his approval to an alternate buyer. This saves PR's from being delayed.
In Ariba terminology, we call it as Approval Rules which governs the flow of approval process for requisitions. In my project, we do route requisitions based on commodity codes to a specific group, for instance computer software, for any request related to software, all requests are routed through a license manager for that particular company code (based on geographical regions, we have different approvers and hence we have setup different groups / roles for each region i.e. specific to a company code). There is an approval rule defined in our configuration which will just identify if any of the line item is related specifically to Computer Software commodity code and if it is then add license group in the approval flow. We can add multiple validations and approval rules in the system to identify the groups or individuals to which a particular PR should be routed through and also their sequence (sequence like, we have configured our configuration in a way that if actual requester and preparer are different and amount of PR is less than $500 then add actual requester as a watcher otherwise as a first approver in the approval flow).
Please let me know if you need any further information.