How to use AART® (Advanced Approval Routing Technology)
to create value in complex business processes for User acceptance
Are you responsible to improve processes within your organization? Processes that help control maverick spend, reduce costs, improve cash flow, reduce cycle time, improve financial controls, etc.?
If the answer is yes, then you need to learn about AART® (Advanced Approval Routing Technology), and how AART® creates value to the employee, and organization, so that the process is accepted and used.
Most employees consider ‘forced’ business processes impediments which offer little or no value in their effort to getting their job done. Suddenly, what may have been years performing their job in a certain way, they now need to spend time and energy on things that they don’t see as providing value to what they need to accomplish, and don’t fully understand how these new processes will provide value to their organization overall. Just ask any Salesrep how they felt about the implementation of their corporate CRM application, and the workarounds they created!
In most cases, unless you can find a way to make an employee’s job easier and more efficient, while at the same time deliver better control and create value to the employee and the organization, you will experience roadblocks that will either halt your process improvements, or result in different outcomes from what you’ve intended.
However, there is technology available that can have a dramatic and beneficial impact on this challenge, and we refer to this as AART®, Advanced Approval Routing Technology.
The concept of approvals and routings are core to business processes, and are sometimes part of the enterprise applications used in companies. However, the problem is that not all employees have access to the enterprise application, and most of these applications are extremely costly in terms of license fees as well as require substantial training. In addition, the routing technology in these applications is typically limited and inflexible, since this type of functionality is not one of the primary objectives of these applications.
To effectively tackle this challenge you need a flexible, rules-based approval routing management system. It must be configurable enough to adapt to special requirements and conditions, and it’s essential that that it be entirely browser, or smart-app based so that the users can be anywhere in the world and still participate in the process. It must be integrated with corporate email and document management applications, and have the ability to work with existing enterprise business systems. It can be an on-premise solution, or operate entirely in the cloud, but it needs to be secure, and easy to administer and use. You need AART®; Advanced Approval Routing Technology.
Let’s look at some examples of complex business processes which can benefit from AART®:
PO Requisitions: Almost every employee in your company needs to requisition products and/or services in order to do their job. Unfortunately, in most cases they can’t simply go to a corner cabinet and grab what they need. However, any delay, or perceived delay in obtaining what they need to do their job is seen as something to work around, bypass, or spoof. Requisitions are often complicated, and require asking for detailed information that the employee may not have: Contract numbers, supplier selection and validation, product or service description, and justifications. Then, it gets passed into a black hole of an approval process. Where does it go? Are they in the same plant, or somewhere else? How is the cost allocated? Is some key person in the process on vacation or sick leave? How does the requisitioner get any visibility into the process? By utilizing an approval routing solution, cycle time from requisition to procurement is significantly reduced, tracking of requisitions through the PO creation process becomes visible, pricing control is improved, data within the requisition becomes more accurate for accounting and purchasing analytics, and value is created to the requisitioner and his entire organization. And with value comes acceptance.
Sales Quotes: A sales quote that must be created by several people, groups, or even divisions within an organization needs to be a collaborative process. Each ‘entity’ must be able to add their respective data to the quote and sign off on the quote as it proceeds through the process prior to sending the quote to the Customer (ie; product management may need to approve developing a new product, purchasing may need to obtain quotes on material to develop the product, accounting may need to approve credit levels, sales management may need to approve pricing/discounts, and the list goes on). By utilizing an approval routing solution, as in the Purchasing example above, cycle time between quote and sales order is significantly reduced, tracking of the quote through the sales order creation process becomes visible, pricing control is improved, and value is created to the salesperson initiating the quote as well as the entire organization!
Financial Controls: Financial control processes include activities such as the approving of Customer Credit Limits, approving Capital Expense requests, approving Supplier invoices, etc. Each of these types of processes requires review, possible revision, and approval from multiple ‘entities’ within an organization. We have seen many companies still using paper forms and email for initiating and routing of Capital Requests, causing huge frustration to the initiator of the request when it gets ‘lost’ on someone’s desk and never seems to make it to final approval. By utilizing an approval routing solution, the request can be tracked and expedited if necessary, the initiator of the request can follow-up with the person who may be holding up the request to answer any questions required to keep the request flowing through the process, the request can be sent back to the originator of the request for more information, and value is created to the initiator and the entire organization because the request finally makes its way through the process in an efficient manner.
The bottom line is this, value creates acceptance, and acceptance means that people will follow the processes which have been implemented for improvement in the individual employee’s daily activities as well as the organization as a whole.