Put simply, workflows are a documented process of how a task runs through your business from one person or action to the next.
This could be how a Purchase Order is raised or how an order is processed. Workflows are one of the most widely used and visible tools for ensuring traceability and accountability,
commonly through email notifications. A Purchase Order is raised, it requires approval by a Manager, it is emailed to said Manager who can they approve or reject. These steps all form your workflow and within Sage X3
a number of these can be automated, saving considerable admin time and improving visibility. Click for enlarged image:
So, how do workflows function in Sage X3? Workflows can be events triggered by specific actions or conditions with the actions and responses stored digitally with a full audit trail, thereby speeding up the process of moving from one stage to the next. Typically, this might be used in a scenario where some form of sign-off is needed before further actions can be taken, classic examples being in Purchasing and Sales environments
. Without a workflow in place, these scenarios might need to be handled as manual, time consuming exercises, often involving reviews of physical documents, storage of manual signatures or email approvals. By automating this process, hours are saved every time a signature is required in a workflow.
In Sage X3 an action or input can trigger an email to be sent to one or more recipients based on a set of conditions being met. With a workflow (as opposed to a simple notification), you can then determine what the recipients' options should be in response, e.g. approve, reject or review.
The first step is to define the operations requiring a workflow and there are various examples that companies typically quote:
- Purchase requisition and/ or order signatures
- Sales quote and/ or order signatures
- Amount and quantity variances between purchase orders, receipts and invoices
- Stock status alerts, such as stock booked in requiring a quality review
- Payment approvals
- Journal approvals
You can then build in workflow rules so emails are sent to recipients based on order amount requiring approval, sequentially or in parallel, or even based on stock statuses where the next step could be a quality check. X3 can also help where you need to be notified about field and value changes, such as customer credit limit changes or stock values falling below certain levels - in fact, you can configure Sage X3 to launch a notification for virtually anything.
Going on holiday? Your signature duties can be delegated to someone else while you're away.
There's also flexibility in terms of what happens next - what do you want the recipient to be able to do in response to the email? The call to action might be approving or rejecting straight from the email, or taking the recipient directly to the relevant screen in X3 so that they can review the activity before making a decision. If you're being asked to review a purchase invoice that differs from the original order then it makes more sense to be able to log in and look at the details before releasing the invoice (or not) for payment.
Of course, the response may itself trigger further workflows and there's also an acknowledgment facility so that the document originator is advised when their order, for instance, has been signed. Not only does X3 automate and streamline your workflows but every stage is documented and can be reviewed, equipping you with full visibility of your data and full control
over every stage of your business processes.
Watch an entire workflow in action, straight from a live Sage X3 solution, in our upcoming webinar. Sign up here.