Have you had this situation in office, when you sent a document for approval, and waited weeks to get it approved?
It’s a fact that a manager cannot go through each and every approval request in the department he is responsible for. Instead, each organization has its own workflow hierarchy to deal with approval requests initiated each day. The traditional paper-based system delays approval processes, and increases cost overheads, on the other hand process automation offers fast, easy, and cost effective approvals. Corporate organizations around the globe use automated approval systems at every step of any business process, to enforce accountability, speed up approval procedures, and to reduce manual errors.
When automated approval systems are used, approval requests from the end user will be automatically forwarded to next level of managerial hierarchy. If one person does not approve the request, no further approval levels are initiated. For example, employee of a department creates, and sends a purchase request to his manager, upon approval the manager sends an advice to create Purchase Order to the Procurement Department where the Purchase Request gets converted to a Purchase Order (PO) or rejected.
Automated approval systems are available in all modern Enterprise Resource Planning software systems, though they are called with different names (Eg: Electronic Approval System, Digital Signature, Automatic Approval etc). Most of them only replace traditional paper-based approval system while a few add more value to automated approval processes in an organization.
Why it’s important for your organization to automate workflow approval hierarchy?
Manual approval procedures cause a lot of wasted time, while with process automation, organizations can save time, and focus on their growth. Without printing out, knocking on the boss’s door, and screaming at your assistant, you can track every stage of approval requests with a simple click of a button. Approval process automation benefits an organization mainly in 4 ways.
1) Better interdepartmental communication : An organization’s hierarchy and its approval hierarchy may not be the same, in addition to this ‘silo mentality’ blocks communication between various departments. Automated approval system allows one to send approval requests to the next workflow level without even knowing him in person.
2) Enforcing accountability : With automated approval system, an organization can enforce accountability for all approval requests from their creation, comments, edition, approval, and rejection.
3) Eliminating manual errors : Automated approval systems eliminate manual errors such as misplacement of documents, forgetting the approval deadlines, and delay in taking next step.
4) Establishing a clear workflow hierarchy : Automated approval system ensures each process have its own specific approval hierarchy, which are according to the nature of processes, and delegation of authorities.
Electronic Approval System (EAS) of ePROMIS ERP Software Vs. Other Automated Workflow Approval Systems
Like other business applications from industry leader ePROMIS Solutions Inc., Electronic Approval System has a number of features that are not offered by most of the applications including Tier 1 ERP software available in the market. A few of them are noted down,
1) Flexible approval levels : ePROMIS EAS allows organizations to add unlimited approval levels to each processes. A manager in approval loop can even delegate some authorities to his assistant to lighten his workload.
2) Skip approval : If one manager of the approval loop is not available, his secretary or a delegate can skip the approval for requests to avoid delay.
3) Manager’s approval : The top level management can overrule approval procedures with this option. This extraordinary option to speed up approval processes can be used for highly critical requests.
4) Checklist : A checklist is connected to each request screen to help the initiator to confirm all the required documents are attached before sending it for approval.
5) To-do-list, E-mail notification : The system alerts users on the approval requests waiting for their action, the time they log into the system. Approval requests can be sent as emails, where the user can access the approval screen following a link to take required action.
6) Priority & approval deadline: While creating approval processes, the initiator can set their priority, and the approval deadlines.
7) Push function : Upon approval of a request, the system ‘push’ the initiator to take next action by alerting him via E-mail and To-do-list.
8) Approval status check : The system allows the initiator to check the status of his request. He can request for immediate action if any approval layer delays the process.
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