The core of a purchase order workflow is filling out a form and getting it signed by your customer. Yet, in most cases, it’s unnecessarily painful. Someone fills out a PDF or Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. If internal approval is needed, that usually means print and sign. Then it’s e-mailed or faxed to the customer who goes through the same print, sign and fax back.
With frevvo, it’s easy and automated.
Create the PO electronically, enter your customer’s email address and Send the Order.
The customer will get an email with a link to the PO. Click it on any device and up comes the PO.
Review it, sign right then there and send it back.
frevvo will send a copy of the signed PDF to you as well as the customer by email.
That’s literally all there is to it. Check out this video – it’s just 70 seconds long. Want to try it for yourself? Workflows require an authenticated user but it’s easy – click here to sign up for a free cloud account and we’ll help you set this up in no time.
How easy is it to create signature forms? Simply drag and drop the Signature control into your form. You can also create digitally signed sections. When the user clicks to digitally signed, the same box pops up and he/she can sign using a touch screen or mouse.
Google for Work is an awesome suite of apps that brings together essential services for your business. It’s amazingly cost effective, cloud-based and you can access it anywhere, anytime. Add frevvo web forms and workflows to the mix and there’s so much you can do. Check out the short 5 min video below to learn more.
It’s that time of year yet again. We got the usual packet of paper forms from Guilford Public Schools with a bunch of stuff to fill out. Emergency Contact, Permission forms etc. etc. I have to write my kid’s name, parent name, date, signature again and again. The Emergency Contact form even has a box that says “check if there are changes” but even if there aren’t any, you have to write it all out again. One of our friends has 4 kids in the school system. It’s silly and aggravating and a waste of time.
One of the most incongruous is the Permission form for Google Apps for Education. Here we are promoting these cool, digital apps for our kids to use yet we have to resort to paper for the permission signature, trust that the kids will hand them in, and store them somewhere. So, I decided to see how quickly I could make the whole thing electronic.
Here’s the form itself or click the image. It took about 30 min to create – mostly in copying/pasting and formatting the text. (I used a different one from the web rather than our Guilford schools form since ours is physical paper and I couldn’t even copy/paste.)
You can open it on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
There are links to the appropriate Federal laws in case you want to read more.
Sign electronically and Submit.
As a parent, it’s nice to get a copy by email for my records.
Why file paper? After all you’re using Google Apps. When you submit, the PDF will be uploaded to Google Drive, where it’s safely stored, backed up, and accessible anytime.
It was trivial to do with frevvo and the whole thing is incredibly affordable – definitely costs far less than the price of paper, ink, filing and mailing. You don’t have to worry about kids not bringing the forms in or storing it somewhere. With frevvo, you can also combine multiple permission forms into a sequence so duplicate information (student name, parent name etc.) only has to be filled in once. More on that another time.
Google Forms is a great free option for the simplest forms. But, business forms very quickly go beyond the basics and frevvo is a powerful and affordable option. So, why should you pay for forms? Here are a few real-world reasons. Click this link if you prefer to watch a 5m video.
Confirmation email: You’ve put up an event registration form and you’re collecting responses in a Google Spreadsheet. Obviously, you want to send a confirmation email. With Google forms, get ready to write code. With frevvo, it’s a few clicks in a wizard.
Signatures: It’s one of the most common things you might do. From Emergency Contact forms for students to Purchase Requisitions to Employee On-boarding to Patient Information, everyone needs to collect a signature. With frevvo, sign using your finger on a touchscreen device or a mouse on the desktop. No need for wasteful printing and scanning. Try an example now.
PDF Generation: Sometimes you just have to generate a specific PDF. Maybe a Government W-4 or I-9 for HR or a Permission form that needs to be filed away. Another thing that frevvo just does without a fuss. Try an example now.
Workflow: Forms rarely live by themselves. Most business forms have an associated workflow where person 1 fills out the forms and others comment, review, and sign them. frevvo comes with built-in routing, notifications, task lists, audit trails and more. Watch this 3m video to learn more.
Responsive, mobile forms: Need to support smart phones and tablets? Of course, you do. With frevvo, there’s nothing to do. Our forms and workflows just work automatically and naturally on all devices. Watch this 4 min video, check out these blog articles or try any of the examples in this article.
Attachments: Expense reports, purchase orders, student applications you name it – users need to attach supporting documents all the time. Just drag in an Upload control and it just works with frevvo. On a mobile device, users can just take a photo with the camera and attach it. Another thing you simply can’t do with Google Forms. Try an example now.
Save documents to Google Drive: Ok, your form or workflow is now generating some documents – a PDF or two, some attachments. What to do with them? Email, print and file them away? frevvo integrates with Google Drive so you can simply save your documents online so they’re easy to find, backed up and secure. Try an example here.
Dynamic pick lists from a Google Spreadsheet: Do you have dynamic forms? For example, the user picks a value from a pick list and the form needs to do something – maybe populate a few other fields from some back end. With frevvo, you can pull this dynamic information from a Google Spreadsheet no less. Try an example here. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. frevvo forms are incredibly dynamic and sophisticated – database, REST services, XML/XSD it’s all built-in.
Multiple languages: Unprecedented demographic shifts in the U.S. are creating a communications gap between organizations and their customers. frevvo can help you combat these language barriers. Provide access in multiple languages (frevvo works in all languages worldwide) so they can provide important information easily and accurately. When complete, the system can generate PDF confirmations in multiple languages. Try an example here: Spanish version and English version.
Calculations: frevvo forms can perform sophisticated calculations including using cloud services. Try this example that does automatic mileage calculations using the Google Distance Matrix API. Subtotals and totals, tax calculations etc. – it’s a normal requirement for business forms and trivial to do with frevvo.
Bonus Reason – LOOKS: Let’s face it. Good looks matter. The nicer your forms look and the better the user experience, the more likely it is that users will complete your forms and do so accurately. frevvo looks fantastic everywhere, strives for a people-first user experience, is easy to brand and customize and provides a world-class user experience.
There’s a lot more like an intuitive drag & drop Form Builder, Conditional Sections, Spaces (built-in portals), Geo-Location, sophisticated XML/XSD-based integration, powerful API for embedding, Database connectivity, LDAP support and on and on and on …
Customers with lengthy forms often use frevvo flows to break the form into easier to use multi-page screen flows. A screen flow (as opposed to a workflow) is where multiple steps of the flow in series are performed by the same person (no workflow navigation).
Prior to “Fast Finish” a form user had to step thru every page in the flow, even those pages with no required fields. The new “Finish” button skips optional form pages. “Finish” advances the flow N pages forward until you hits either a page with a required field or invalid data (say a phone number missing a digit), or until it hits a workflow transition where the form must navigate to the next person (ex: An expense report flow where the employee sends the forms to his/her manager for approval), or it completes all steps and submits the flow.
Here are several examples… Imagine a new employee starts their first day at your company and needs to complete a stack of new hire forms — basic info, W-4, 401k, direct deposit, etc.. You can see an example of this workflow in the frevvo New Employee On Boarding tutorial. Imagine the employee completes the form package thru the Confirmation step and then decides to navigate back to make a change to the Employee Info step. Without a fast finish button the screen flow will make the user review each step between Employee Info — W-4, Additional Info and Confirmation in order to submit the forms to the manager for approval. But by adding Fast Finish the employee can now click on the Finish button and (as long as all required fields are complete and valid in all other flow steps) immediately submit the forms to the manager for approval.
Fast Finish is also very useful when you’re filling a lengthy multi-page form with Save/Load enabled.. Save/Load lets the form user save a partially completed form and later (hours, days) retrieve it from their task list to complete and submit it. Fast Finish enables the user to open the saved form and click the Finish button to immediately navigate to the point in the screen flow where they left off (assuming that step still has required fields). This saves the user from having to click Continue N times to get back to the screen where they left off.
Or imagine a lengthy 30 page insurance application where many of the pages are irrelevant unless/until you select specific coverages to quote. For example the insurance package asks you if you want to insure your car, home, boat, etc… on the first page. And when you choose boat only pages 9-12 are necessary to fill. The rest of the pages in the package can/should be skipped. Fast finish enables the user to update the boat coverage pages and then fast finish right to the end.
Or imagine you completed an insurance application previously for your car, home and boat. And next year you want to edit the form to update your coverages but only want to increase your property insurance on page 6 of 30. With the fast finish button you can update that one page 6 and then click to skip all the way to the end of the form and submit it back to the insurance company!
You can include sophisticated layouts, signatures, PDF, calculations etc.
Create your Google spreadsheet.
Run the Google Spreadsheets wizard to connect the form/flow to the spreadsheet.
Check out this short 5-question quiz. It has 3 pages, has several types of questions – free text, multiple choice with one/more correct answers, an image, and a video-based question. The quiz cannot be submitted unless all answers are completed. When you Finish the quiz, your answers are saved to this Google Spreadsheet and the spreadsheet is displayed. Try it out for yourself by clicking the image or this link. Try it on your mobile device.
There are many powerful things you can do with frevvo + Google Apps. Click the Google Apps category above for more articles and examples or contact us to learn how you can automate your approval workflows and integrate with Google Apps to manage your documents and reports.