7 Steps to a Perfect Process Procurement managers know that the QAD procure-to-pay process is a critical part of managing your organizations spend. It is sometimes a challenging process because of the complex approval routings and workflows, and the involvement of myriad parties across departments. However, a methodical procurement process can automate these complex approval routings and…
iApprove® is a Web and Data-Driven ‘Rules-based’ Approval Routing and Workflow solution developed with the ISS Group iFramework® and AART® technologies.
What are Process Forms?
iApprove provides functionality to build web-based ‘Process Forms’ such as Customer Claims, CapEx requests, Check requests; Purchase Requisitions’, Machine Deviation requirements; virtually any form-request that would require an approval, for the purpose of routing the form via the Cloud and Mobile Devices to one or more people within your organization based on a set of ‘user-defined‘ rules using any or all of the data attributes in the form.
How does it work? The Magic is in the Layers
‘Data-Driven’ workflow and approval routing is a layered technological approach to creating a hierarchical list of people and/or groups that are part of a particular Process.
‘Data-Driven’ workflow and approval routing technology allow for Multiple Workflow Layers (unlimited), where each layer consists of the people and/or groups as well as the conditions (rules) under which those people/groups will be added to the hierarchy.
Push and pull data integration from enterprise systems, the rules may include one or more data attributes associated with the Process to determine if a rule is ‘applicable’ and if the people and/or groups in that layer should be added to the hierarchy for that specific request.
Workflow instructions are provided to the Process Members who receive the form, review the form, and an action, or task ensues upon approving, or not approving the form such as updating ERP data, creation of an eMail or Text (SMS) message alert, creation of an ERP transaction such as a Purchase or Sales Order, Change Orders…virtually ANY process transaction required.
ISS Group solutions are tightly integrated with all versions of QAD ERP, either on-premise or Cloud, beginning with v.7 released in the early 90’s through the very latest version of Enterprise Applications.
With iApprove Companies Achieve Saving Through Four Key Factors
Route information, apply business rules, integrate..
Access forms, audit/track progress, review and approve.
Expedites the Approval Process
Automatic email and SMS notifications sent to approvers based on customizable rules.
Elimination of Paper Forms
Capture each stage of the approval cycle, including comments and attachments
Key Product Features
Achieve Full Compliance
Does your organization have the need to streamline and improve control over specific ERP processes?
iApprove® Dynamic Routing/Workflow Engine provides the ability to route ANY request made within your organization, which requires approval from people other than the individual making the request.Here are just a few examples of the processes our clients have enhanced with our Business Process Routing/Workflow technology.
Examples of Forms-Requests iApprove will Route and Facilitate:
- Approval of PO Requisitions
- Approval of Sales Quotes
- Approval of Supplier Catalogs
- Approval of Material Pricing (RFQ’s, Catalogs)
- Approval of CapEx Requests
- Approval of IT Change Orders
- Approval of HR Requests (i.e.; vacation)
- Approval of Expense/Travel Requests
- Approval of Master File Data changes (credit limits)
- Approval of New Product Design Requests
- Approval of Project Budgets
- Machine Deviation
- Calculating Sales Commissions
- Financial Control Activities (approval of supplier invoices, issuing Customer credit)
Web-based solution – Access Anytime/Anywhere with only an Internet Browser
iApprove allows the user to access the system utilizing many different browsers. This provides the user with the ability to access iApprove from virtually anywhere/anyplace with internet access.
Integrates with most leading ERP solutions, but includes ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Real-Time Integration with QAD Enterprise Applications
iApprove reads the QAD Customer Master table, the Item Master table, (any required table) in real time, eliminating the need for redundant data entry, which in turn reduces human error and improves accuracy and productivity. Master file data is maintained in one place, QAD EA.
Works with hybrid ERP Environments
iApprove not only works with QAD EA, but with most leading ERP systems. Many organizations employ multiple/disparate ERP solutions; iApprove can be integrated with any ERP solution the organization has deployed, or can run in a ‘stand-alone’ environment.
User-Defined Approval Routing Rules based on any Data within Request, Unlimited Number of Rules
There is NO limit to the number of approval routing rules which can be created, or the number of conditions (and’s & or’s) in a given approval routing rule. The iApprove™ approval routing engine provides for rules to be created using any and all of the data within the request.
Configurable Rules (Point and Click – no programming required)
iApprove™ uses a rules based approval routing engine that allows the end-user organization to easily configure…creating the most challenging, or simple approval routing rules without any programming necessary. The administrators can setup a rule by simply adding criteria to the rules-based engine based on their business processes for simultaneous as well as sequential approvals; group approvals; for approval re-routing based on changes made to a request; for retracting of a request by the originator, and re-submission of a request for multiple approval attempts, and more.
Dynamic Approval Routing based on Rules upon Request Submission
iApproves’ approval based routing system uses the request from the user to determine who should approve/authorize the submitted request. This type of routing is always dynamic; delivering on multiple layers/levels within your organization in a linear or non-linear sequence, and never requires the need for static approvers.
Simultaneous/Sequential and Group Approvals, Out of Office Designation
iApprove rules can be setup for users to approve requests in different ways, at the same time, at different levels and/or in a group based on how a rule is setup. This makes the system extremely flexible to fit numerous types of business processes. iApprove also allows a user to set an ‘out-of-office’ (OOF) function to allow ‘assigned’ users the ability to approve the OOF approver’s request. Since a user may not be available all the time this setting streamlines the process of approvals and reduces turnaround time. If the OOF function is turned on by a user; this user, and the ‘assigned’ user that now has to approve the request, will be notified.
Approval Re-Routing Upon Request Change
This feature in iApprove will notify the correct approver based on the ‘criteria change’ in the new request.
Line Item or Entire Request Approval
Since iApprove has the ability to approve by line items, a user submitting a request does not have to recreate their whole submission if just one item is rejected. This again helps streamline the process of submitting and approving requests and saves the users significant time.
Supervisory Escalation Approvals
iApprove can be administered to have user supervisors approve a request instead of using the approval rules-based engine. This Hierarchy can be easily setup in the administrative section within iApprove.
eMail Notifications to Required Approvers
iApprove sends out email notifications automatically to the required approvers based on the approval routing rules that were created. This functionality expedites the entire approval process.
Ability to Retract Request prior to final Approval
The ability to retract a request in iApprove will help eliminate incorrect, inaccurate, or dated information in your ERP system. Only the originator of the request has the ability to retract their submitted request. iApprove keeps tracks of all retracted request for audit purposes.
History of all Request Approval Attempts
iApprove will track all approval attempts per request for audit purposes
Approval Simulation prior to Request Submission
An iApprove user has the ability to ‘virtually’ see all the approvers per their request before submitting the request into the system.
eMail Notification to Request Originator upon final Approval or Rejection
iApprove will notify the originator if their request will be approved or rejected. This function helps the user know when their request was approved / rejected, and what items within the request were approved / rejected.
Time/Date Stamp of User Approvals/Rejections
iApprove has the ability to time stamp all approvals or rejects based on each request. These requests may have multiple approvers based on the rules created. The time stamp functionality will allow a user see when each approver has completed their task and how long it has taken to approve or reject a request from beginning to end.
Ability to Add/Remove Approvers and Force Approval
iApprove administrator has the ability to add the functionality of add / remove approver and force approval to a user’s settings. All Approvers that were on the approval list will be notified that the request has been ‘force-approved’.
Request Queue for Approvers, Hold Requests, Batch Approval
The iApprove queue will organize all requests that need to be approved by a single user on one screen. If the user has the correct security rights they have the ability to hold certain requests, or approve multiple requests at the same time (Batch Approvals).
Because iApprove is a completely web-based application it can be accessed by any smartphone or tablet device. By providing mobile access, approvals can be reviewed and approved by the required people who may be out of the office which can reduce the approval time from days to hours.
Streamline and Improve Control Over any ERP Process
Approval Routing and Workflow Efficiency
Supplier Relationship Improvement
When you have sound and efficient supplier relationships, you get the supplies and services that you need quickly and at the lowest cost.
Key factors for improving Supplier Relationships include:
- Pay invoices in a timely manner. Many suppliers will offer discounts if you can provide faster payment. By having better pricing and faster turnaround, you can also start to speed up the quote-to-cash process. Some of the savings that you acquire from suppliers can also be passed to your clients. This will allow you to turn more quotes into cash, having a direct impact on your bottom line.
- Create channels for consistent communication. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, and it’s a good point to keep this in mind when dealing with suppliers. Communication will create transparency on both sides of the channel and prevent hiccups or missteps, like incorrect inventory count or missing purchase orders. Having the right tools in place that allow both internal and external teams to quickly communicate and share documents and other information will help facilitate a more transparent, even-sided conversation.
- Dish out blame evenly. Pointing fingers during a dispute is instinctual, but it’s important to distribute blame on all sides. An easy way to ruin a relationship with a supplier is to place all the blame on their processes when things go awry. When communication isn’t clear and dilemmas occur, it’s important to look at the situation from both sides of the transaction critically. Opening the floor to a conversation around the issue and realizing that both sides are likely at fault shows respect, translating to a better relationship and smoother future processes.
- Create transparency through technology. Trust is critical for a constructive buyer-supplier relationship, and the best way to build trust is to establish transparency. By using a fully integrated procure-to-pay system, procurement is able to access real-time information that they would typically have to request from their supplier. This also saves time, as procurement no longer has to try to contact a supplier by phone or email. By simply logging into a platform, they can get what they need right then and there. Technology also simplifies basic tasks like ordering more supplies and renewing contracts. Digitizing key processes like these eliminates the chance of error and creates a satisfactory transaction system for both parties.
ISS Group offers an integrated set of solutions called Supplier Relationship Improvement (SRI). Our on-premise or cloud based solutions digitize your business processes providing your organization with the right tools for global process standardization, practicing consistent communication, responsibility and patience and reduction in the process cycle time allowing buy-side organizations to create more effective relationships with their suppliers and well-run operations.
Learn More About Approval Routing and Workflow with iApprove
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