Month: April 2016

Roadmap: Part 3 – Productivity Report

In earlier articles in this series, we took a peek at the Active Processes Report and the Submissions Reports in the upcoming Business Insights package. Today, we’ll take a look at the Productivity Report.

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Workflow Durations (avg/max)

The goals are to analyze workflows, understand throughput and productivity of the team involved, and to find and eliminate bottlenecks.

This report initially displays a breakdown of the average and maximum durations of each workflow type for the previous 30 days in the Summary tab. This chart only shows workflows that completed within the time period (last 30 days) and does not include incomplete workflows. The user may change the time period (30, 60, 90, 120 days, 1 year) in order to examine different data sets. The chart is also organized initially left to right with flows with greatest average durations to the left and descending to the right. The chart can be ordered by max duration descending as well using the “order by” radio button.

The Details Tab displays the data in a tabular format. As described in Part 1, this table (and all tables in reports) have a Search field that acts as a filter. Anything typed in the Search field is checked against all the data in each row and only rows that have some data that matches are displayed.

Productivity for a specific workflow

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Time Stats
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Time Breakdown

Click any of the chart bar(s) for a particular workflow type to drill down into the statistics for that individual workflow.

You can view the information in two ways. Time Stats shows you the processing time average average and max for the various participants involved in that workflow. The chart makes it easy to see which participant (role or person) takes the most time.

Time Breakdown shows a histogram to identify bottlenecks. The processing times for participants involved in the flow type are “bucketed” into categories (< 1 day, 1-3 days, 3-5 days, 5-10 days, ≥ 10 days) and then the counts of workflow instances for each of those buckets is displayed. It’s easy to visualize bottlenecks and get an idea of which users are under/over utilized, etc. For example, the HR Manager in the above graph is almost always taking at least 5 days and in many cases more than 10 days to approve. That could be a bottleneck that needs to be eliminated.

As before, the Details tab displays the raw information in a tabular format and you can examine individual submissions.

Upcoming frevvo releases will continue to add functionality focused on improving the task list (related to reports but operational in nature), saving your own custom filters as a new report, creating your own report in the designer, using form data (current reports only work over operational data) to filter your reports and more. We’ll publish updates on this blog regularly.

 

Safety Technologies Inc. uses frevvo instead of InfoPath for approvals

Safety Technology Holdings, Inc. (STH) is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of critical safety related test and measurement systems.

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STH was using a mix of InfoPath forms, custom-built applications or e-mailing paper/PDF documents around for approvals. They decided to standardize on a single product to automate their approval workflows starting with HR and I.T. and then branching out to other departments.

“We are truly happy with frevvo Live Forms. Our primary considerations were adoptability, simplicity and integration.

frevvo forms look good and they’re very user friendly. They also integrate with our existing business systems. Our users have to enter less data, make fewer errors and don’t have to chase down approvals by email.

Live Forms is the best web-based forms & workflow solution on the market today to address our needs.”

– Michael Ruggirello, MIS/IT Systems Administrator

frevvo Live Forms works with their existing Microsoft infrastructure and ERP system. The forms and workflows are extremely dynamic, eliminate typos and errors and dramatically improve efficiency. Live Forms provides end users with a fantastic user experience on all devices yet is powerful enough to meet their unique business needs.

Read the Case Study and learn more by visiting our website. Explore some of the examples, read customer success stories and contact us for more details.

[Video] Accounting & Financial Process Automation

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In a previous article we talked about how senior finance executives at companies are optimistic about the U.S. economy (56%) and about their own company’s performance (69%). But, they’re concerned about inefficiencies and willing to invest in technology to improve performance.

The fact is that even routine, day-to-day processes such as vendor invoices, purchase orders, and expense reports take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Our infographics and other blog articles discuss how frevvo’s affordable, cloud-based workflow products for financial process automation can improve efficiencies in these areas. We’ve also created a short (2 min) video below to show you the benefits of using frevvo for financial process automation.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to and see how customers are already using frevvo’s public and private cloud solutions to transform their financial processes.

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 5. Saving documents to Google Drive

google_drive_logo_3963Does your organization uses Google Apps? You can combine frevvo + Google Apps to create some really cool and useful solutions. In previous articles in this series, we saw how you can save (write) submissions to a Google Sheet, use the Google Distance Matrix API to automatically calculate mileage and reimbursement amounts, create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet (read) and update a Google Sheet.

Today, we’ll look at how you can save documents to Google Drive and, essentially, use Google Drive as an affordable system for managing documents. Again, it’s a common scenario. When a Permission Form is signed, or a Leave Approval workflow completes, or a Purchase Order is received, you want to save the documents somewhere. Many companies still save them in email folders as attachments or manually drop them into a shared network drive. With frevvo, you can automatically upload them to Google Drive.

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Upload to Google Drive

As before, you have to first get an access token. This is a one-time step. Login to your Google account and then visit: https://app.frevvo.com/google/consent. Follow the prompts and copy the access token and save it. Detailed documentation is here.

We’ve created a sample form and a shared Google Drive folder for demo purposes. Ironically, it’s a paper permission form that a parent must sign so students can use less paper and do things electronically 🙂

Click on the link above or on the image, fill in a student name, sign the form and enter an email address (don’t worry, it’s only used for this demo to email you the signed PDF. We won’t save it, it won’t appear on the PDF and it won’t be saved to Google Drive). When you submit, the form gets uploaded to Google Drive and saved in a folder with the student’s name so you can easily find it later. You’ll also get an email.

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Save to Google Drive wizard

How can you connect your own form or workflow to Google Drive. It’s easy:

  1. In Google Drive, create a parent folder that will hold all the submissions for this form.
  2. In the Form Designer, simply click on the Doc Actions (what happens to my data) wizard and select the “Save to Google Documents” option.
  3. In the wizard that appears, enter your credentials (see above for how to get an access token).
  4. Select the parent folder you created earlier in Step 1.
  5. For Submission folder, you may enter a fixed value (not recommended) or use a template. In this case, we have chosen the StudentsName control. For example, if you enter John Adams in the Student Name control, the submission documents will be stored in a subfolder called JohnAdams.

That’s it. Try it out for yourself using our sample form and see how the form PDF is saved to Google Drive. If your form had attachments (e.g. receipts for an Expense Report) they would also be saved into the subfolder.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

Like what you see? Check out Part 6 where we put it all together to create a leave approval workflow that connects with a Google Sheet, routes between multiple users for signatures, updates the Google Sheet and saves PDF documents to Google Drive.

 

 

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 4. Updating a Google Sheet

Does your organization uses Google Apps? You can combine frevvo + Google Apps to create some really cool and useful solutions. In Part 1 of this series, we saw how you can save (write) submissions to a Google Sheet. In Part 2, we saw how you can use the Google Distance Matrix API to automatically calculate mileage and reimbursement amounts. Part 3 showed you how to create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet (read).

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Google Sheet: Employee Location and Extension

Today, we’ll take a look at how you can update existing values in a sheet. It’s another common scenario that can be used for a variety of tasks (e.g. limiting the number of submissions for a particular form or creating a sequentially increasing counter). We’ll use this sample Google Sheet to discuss. It has a row for each employee: Employee Id, Location and Extension.

First, it’s important to note that Google Sheets is not a transactional system like a database and results can be unpredictable if multiple users update the same Sheet at the same time.

As before, you have to first get an access token. This is a one-time step. Login to your Google account and then visit: https://app.frevvo.com/google/consent. Follow the prompts and copy the access token and save it. Detailed documentation is here.

We’ve created a simple example form. Select the employee, a location and a new extension number. Click the Update Google Sheet button, wait a few seconds and see that the sheet was successfully updated. We did this using this rule:

if (UpdateGoogleSheet.clicked) {
var eid = EId.value; // Unique key in the Google Sheet row
var headers = ‘{“user”:”<google id>”,”password”:”<access token>”}’;
var updatequery = ‘/google/spreadsheets/update/key/<spreadsheetkey>?wsname=Locations&query=employeeid=”‘ + eid + ‘”‘;
var updateparams = ‘&updates=location=’ + Location.value + ‘,extension=’ + Extension.value;

eval(‘x=’ + http.put(updatequery + updateparams, null, headers, false));
}

  1. It’s triggered by clicking on the Update Google Sheet button.
  2. We setup headers and an update query using your access token and spreadsheet key (the long ID in the URL of the Google Sheet).
  3. Add updateparams: we’re updating location and extension with new values.
  4. Run the update – perform an http.put() and eval the results.

Try it yourself using the sample form.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

Like what you see? Check out Part 5 which shows you how you can save documents generated by your frevvo form to Google Drive.

 

[Infographic] Higher Ed Process Automation

infographic_wireframe_frevvo_jan2016_3In previous posts, we’ve described how some of our College & University customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff.

University students are accustomed to doing everything on their phone. The clientele is often millenials. They’re comfortable with technology and live on their mobile devices. Many Universities are already using frevvo (Syracuse, La Cité College, Harvard, NYU, University of California, and others) for Student Registration, Internship Applications, and internal HR/Finance workflows. Students love using mobile devices and not having to stand in line.

In many cases, once they deployed frevvo, they realized that a lot of precious IT time was being spent to do simple things like event registration, food services surveys etc. The fact that a business user can create a simple form with frevvo and crucially, can collect and download the submissions themselves to MS Excel, makes this a killer app for many customers.

Everyday approvals take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Students and staff are waiting longer than necessary and spending more time/money than necessary to tackle these routine tasks. There’s also a much higher rate of inaccuracy in the manual process.

Check out this new infographic on the value/benefits of automating your day-to-day workflows.

It’s 2016! There’s simply no excuse for outdated, manual systems that cause delays, result in unhappy students and staff and wasted time and money.

With affordable, cloud-based workflow products for Higher Education process automation, there’s no need to deal with printing PDFs for signatures, correcting Excel-based time sheets, or tracking down approvals in email.

Learn more by visiting our website. Explore some of the examples, read customer success stories and contact us for more details.

 

 

Roadmap: Part 2 – Submissions Reports

In Part 1 of this series of articles, we took a peek at one of the reports (Active Processes) in the upcoming Business Insights package. In this article, we’ll look at submission-related reports. The goals are for customers to easily analyze workflows that have completed recently and figure out which ones ended with an error and what the error was.

Recent Submissions Report

rs_summary_1
Recently completed workflows

This report displays information about all recently completed workflows (or forms). You can get a quick picture of completed activity and overall system usage.

The Summary Tab displays data for 7 days and all forms/workflows by default but you can change the time period and select a particular form or workflow to update the chart.

The Details Tab displays the data in a tabular format. As described in Part 1, this table (and all tables in reports) have a Search field that acts as a filter. Anything typed in the Search field is checked against all the data in each row and only rows that have some data that matches are displayed.

rs_summary_2
Completed forms/workflows for a particular day

You can also click on any of the bars in the chart to drill down into submission activity for that day.

The report will display a pie chart and table with submissions for that date broken down by form/workflow type. The pie chart shows the data broken down by percentage for the top 9 + an Other category. The table to the right represents the same data, but shows the actual counts including a break down for the Other category. As with all tables, you can narrow the results simply by typing in the Search field.

Submission Failures Report

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Workflows with errors during submission.

The Submission Failures report displays information about workflow instances that had an error occur during submission. There are many possible causes of errors: workflow/form design bugs, misconfigurations, temporary runtime failures etc. This report can be used to determine if there have been recent errors and to investigate the exact causes.

The report initially shows all error data for 7 days and all forms/workflows but you can change the time period and select a particular form or workflow to update the chart.

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Details with exact error description

Clicking the Details button drills down into the error data. It displays a chart of errors by day in the Summary tab but you can also view a table with the details about each failed submission.

Each item contains the exact error description so administrators/designers can determine what is causing the error and take corrective action.

We’ll discuss the Productivity Report in the next article where you can analyze your workflows and find bottlenecks, see who’s taking the most time to complete things etc.

Upcoming frevvo releases will add functionality including the ability to save your own customized report, reporting over form data (current reports only work over operational data) and more. We’ll publish updates on this blog regularly.