Process automation: from ERP to workflow

Having personalized flows on its ERP management tool is the request of more and more companies. And for good reason, the benefits on its activity are multiple.


Your business is unique. You need custom feeds tailored to your business. The workflow allows you to automate your processes to increase productivity and improve internal collaboration as well as customer satisfaction. We recorded a podcast on the subject with Christophe, Sage X3 Product Manager at Flow Line. Check out his transcript below.


What is Workflow?

The workflow can be defined as a set of tasks to carry out an operational process.


These tasks can be defined in sequence or in parallel. That is to say, one after the other or simultaneously.


The workflow makes it possible to synchronize these tasks with each other by sending notifications to the different people responsible for these tasks.


There is, at the base of any workflow, a triggering event that will trigger the process with the 1st step. Then at the end of the execution of this step, a notification is sent to perform the next step.


Then this notification is sent to a user or a group of users with the actions to be carried out. But it can be directly the execution of a task automatically.

What is a trigger event?

When we speak of a triggering event, we speak for example of the creation or modification of data, it can also be the printing of a document or an event indicating an anomaly an error generated on a batch processing or a interface for example.


The result of the workflow can be just the sending of an alert or the definition of a structured process within an organization with actors, manual and/or automatic tasks which are to be carried out at each stage.

The workflow and the signature circuit

The workflow can be used for the purpose of validating data with a signature circuit. This is also one of the main use cases of the workflow.


A circuit is defined by indicating officials who will successively, each in turn, indicate their agreement or their refusal which results in a status traced and stored in the system.


This circuit of signatories is defined according to rules and criteria. The managers or approvers are determined according to these rules built from the triggering event but which can also be determined dynamically according to the evolution of the statuses at each stage.


Of course, in order not to block the system, when the recipients are not there, we set up delegations also subject to rules or for a given period.


Workflow and messaging

Workflow is often associated with messaging. The notification can, in fact, be transmitted by email. The recipient receives a structured message describing the context, the content to be validated, the actions to be carried out.


But now, we already receive a lot of emails. The best thing is to have a task schedule with the alerts and actions to be taken.


Simply note that the workflow makes it possible to set up a dynamic link between the requester and the approver since the requester receives real-time notifications on the follow-up of his requests.


The workflow: what interest for companies?

The first major interest is that the workflow makes it possible to delegate responsibilities and powers. But lets ensure the well-known adage. The delegation of power does not exclude control!


And that is why we define rules, to put limitations or simply validations.


A classic example is the entry of purchase orders: as long as the amount does not exceed a certain threshold, the order can be transmitted to the supplier but beyond that or when it is out of budget, validation by a manager is necessary.


Another point to note, the workflow allows you to create momentum. Information is pushed in real time as soon as an event occurs.


This automatically triggers a defined and structured process to respond to this event.


Also an important point is traceability. The workflow makes it possible to trace the events, the actors and all the actions that have been implemented.


So we could say in conclusion that the workflow is a tool for modeling the processes of an organization.


It should not cause blockages or slow down the system either. So you have to be careful to use it wisely and not want to put it everywhere.


Workflow in Sage X3

Sage X3 has a very powerful and complete workflow engine with a library of pre-configured rules based on best practices and of course we have the possibility to configure our own rules.


The Sage X3 workflow allows real ize all that has been said previously. Namely, it allows to generate simple notifications but allows to define complex validation circuits that can be triggered on any event.


It could be :


  • Modification or creation of data
  • A process: for example a purchase request creation process or the creation of a customer
  • A system event: an interface flow, the launch of a print or the sending of an e-mail
  • Or even an event triggered by a user

The Sage X3 workflow relies on and communicates with all the messaging systems on the market.


But above all, it has a workflow monitor, that is to say, a supervision screen that allows each user to manage and process their workflow tasks.


In conclusion, workflows are useful for improving the traceability of your data, delegating tasks and modeling your processes. To find out more, do not hesitate to contact us. You will be put in touch with an expert on the subject who will answer all your questions.

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