Workflows: Approve vs Deny vs Reject

PurchaseApprovalWhile working with customers, I’ve recently noticed that a lot of approval steps in a workflow have three possible outcomes. Consider a Purchase Requisition workflow where an Employee wants to buy something and it goes to his/her Manager for approval. If approved, the next step is Purchasing.

What actions could the Manager take?

  1. He could Approve in which case the workflow moves forward to Purchasing.
  2. He could Reject back to the employee asking for more information in which case it moves backward to the Employee.
  3. Or, he could Deny the request completely (Reject to discard) in which case the workflow should move forward, skip the Purchasing step and terminate.

With frevvo, the Approve case is trivial. It’s the default behavior. Reject back to the Employee is also straightforward. It’s built-in to frevvo and can be configured for any step.

Deny (Reject to discard) is also easy but not so obvious. We’re considering adding this as a built-in feature but you can do this today by taking a few steps.

Step 1. Create an approval section with a Radio button

RequestStatus

The radio has two options: Approve or Deny. Deny is the second (last) option and the Comment property is checked. If the Manager clicks Deny, a text box will show up below the radio asking for details. Note the Name (set to RequestStatus) and Options (values are Approve and Deny) properties of the Radio control. You can also set the control to invisible and create a rule to show/hide it in the appropriate flow step (Manager in this case). For example:

if (form.load) {
var an = _data.getParameter(‘flow.activity.name’);
RequestStatus.visible = (an !== “Employee”);
RequestStatus.enabled = (an === “Manager”);
}

Step 2. Set Preconditions

PreconditionIn the Flow Designer, select the Purchasing step. Set the precondition as shown in the image to:

RequestStatus.value === “Approve”

This will evaluate to true only if the Manager selected Approve in the Radio we created earlier. If it’s false (Manager selected Deny), the Purchasing step will be skipped and the workflow will terminate.

Step 3. Setup Reject

SetupRejectIn the Flow Designer, select the Manager step and then click the Setup Approval/Rejection link in the Properties panel.

In the wizard that shows up, you can check Reject from here, Reject to here, change the label of the Reject button itself and customize the subject/body of the notification email.

Repeat this step for any other step from which you wish to Reject.

That’s it. Now, the Manager can:

  1. Select Approve in the Radio and continue the workflow. It will move to Purchasing.
  2. Select Deny in the Radio, provide a reason and continue the workflow. It will skip Purchasing and terminate.
  3. Click the Reject button and send the workflow backwards to the Employee for more information.

[Video] K-12 Process Automation

Several K-12 school customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff. The fact is, schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent & staff communications, travel reimbursements and many other processes are paper-based and require, emailing, printing and scanning.

These everyday approvals take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Students, staff and parents 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. Our infographics and other blog articles discuss how frevvo’s affordable, cloud-based workflow products for K-12 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 in your school district.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to and see how Colleges & Universities are already using frevvo’s public and private cloud solutions to digitize their day-to-day approval workflows.

[Video] Higher Ed Process Automation

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.

These 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. Our infographics and other blog articles discuss how frevvo’s affordable, cloud-based workflow products for Higher Ed 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 in your College/University.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to and see how Colleges & Universities are already using frevvo’s public and private cloud solutions to digitize their day-to-day approval workflows.

[Infographic] K-12 Process Automation

infographic_wireframe_frevvo_jan2016_3In previous posts, we’ve described how some of our K-12 school customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff. EUSD (Escondido Union School District) has been so successful at this – they’ve automated 8 approval workflows including Absence Records, Mileage Reimbursement, and Budget Transfers in the first three months – that they were even able to decommission SharePoint/InfoPath thanks to frevvo.

The fact is, schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent & staff communications, travel reimbursements and many other processes are paper-based and require, emailing, printing and scanning.

Yet, for many schools, going paperless means 1:1 education, e-textbooks and expensive $500 gadgets for each student. It’s a fantastic goal undoubtedly but there’s also plenty of much lower-hanging fruit that’s ripe for automation and saving paper, time and money.

Check out this new infographic on the value/benefits of automating day-to-day K-12 workflows.

Every parent is familiar with consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form and they’re sent home on paper or printed out at home.

Internal approval workflows like travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD) are also commonplace. Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form. The paper-based process is simply inefficient.

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.

frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. With affordable, cloud-based workflow products for K-12 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.

[Video] HR Process Automation

One of the business problems customers most frequently solve with frevvo is HR process automation. Routine things like Employee On-boarding, Leave Approvals etc.

These everyday activities take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Employees and managers 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. Our infographics and other blog articles discuss how frevvo’s affordable, cloud-based workflow products for HR 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 HR 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 digitize their HR approval workflows.

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 6. Leave Approval Workflow

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), update a Google Sheet and save your documents to Google Drive.

Today, we’ll put it all together and create a Leave Approval workflow. It has several steps.

1. Employee Requests Leave

employee-request

Leave Request form

First, the employee logs in to the system (either directly to frevvo or integrated with Active Directory or other LDAP or SAML) and requests leave by filling out a form. This form reads Annual and Sick days from this Google Sheet for the currently logged in employee, shows them in the pick list labels and sets up the pick list options so that the employee can only select a valid # of days. The employee then signs the request digitally. This locks the section from being further edited. Finally, the employee sends the request to his/her manager for approval.

2. Manager Approval

manager-approval

Manager Approval (Smartphone)

The workflow then routes the request to that employee’s manager for approval. Since frevvo knows who the employee is, it can route to the specific person that needs to approve. The manager will get a notification email with a link to the leave request. He/she can then access the leave approval via the built-in task list and approve the request. If there are questions/concerns, the manager can reject it back to the employee for more information.

3. HR Department Processing

Finally, the workflow routes to the HR department for processing. Once HR has completed processing, the HR manager can click Finish and the workflow completes.

4. Update Google Sheets & Save to Google Drive

Once the workflow completes, the Google Sheet is automatically updated to reflect the changes in available days. The system will automatically subtract the number of approved days from the number that were originally available so that the data in the Sheet is always up-to-date.

google-drive

PDF uploaded to Google Drive

The PDF Leave Approval document is also uploaded to Google Drive. The workflow is configured so that frevvo’s Google Connector will create a subfolder with the employee’s first and last names and the leave start date and upload the PDF of the approval to that subfolder so that it’s very easy to find at a later date.

5. Notify the Employee

Finally, the employee who originally requested the leave is also notified via email that the leave was approved and the PDF document is attached to the email. This way, the employee can save the documents for his/her records.

Does your organization use Google Apps? Are you interested in digitizing your day-to-day approval workflows and forms integrated with Google Apps? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

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.

safety-banner-1

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.