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Process Automation through Workflow

ShareDocs Enterpriser is an advanced document management solution enabled with a workflow requisition management module where approvals of all kinds can be managed. Documents could be attached to a workflow or generated from an existing template and then sent for approval. There is no restriction on the level of hierarchy and approvers have the right to attach more supporting documents or download copies of the documents attached.

1. Define and automate processes

ShareDocs Enterpriser lets the key stakeholders define processes for approvals on documents and activities. The DMS administrator can define the information or data entry that needs to be captured against each workflow and the steps that must be undertaken to close a workflow. Thus, the administrator also defines the process flow, the different levels of approvals and the various ways a document may move forward or backward. Users get to comment on and action on a requisition.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations who wish to enforce standard processes to complete requests and score high on compliance.

2. Graphical Flowcharts

To design the process flow, ShareDocs Enterpriser offers graphical flowcharts where administrator can simply drag, drop and connect elements. There is no restriction on the number of steps or design paths.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations that have a complex approval flow with multiple steps and multiple deviations.

Workflow flowchart

3. User rights on workflows

Just as the administrator defines the process flow and the steps, the DMS administrator also defines which set of users would be part of the workflow and what would be their user privileges. Accordingly, users may get the right to attach documents, download them, link documents, reject documents and send notifications to next set of users.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations that require workflows for a diverse set of users and teams.

4.  Annotation on workflow documents

Similar to user rights related to upload and download, ShareDocs Enterpriser also allows workflow users to annotate a document, if the administrator provides necessary rights. Some users may be given the right to add and edit annotations while some others may be deprived of view access to annotations. This helps in maintaining the sanctity of documents while also safeguarding confidential information.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations that deal with high confidential documents that have to go through an approval process before release.

5.  Provision for multiple approval hierarchies in a workflow

ShareDocs Enterpriser cuts down the redundancy of creating multiple workflows when the same process is applicable to various departments, locations or units in the organisations. Instead, it allows the administrator to create multiple scenarios in the system while allowing different set of users to be mapped to various stages of the same workflow. Thus, the process flow remains the same while the approvers change depending upon the initiator of the request.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations in the manufacturing sector that wish to standardize the approval process while creating separate approval hierarchy on the basis of departments, locations and manufacturing units.

6. Rule-based workflows

ShareDocs Enterpriser allows stakeholders to set rules on workflow to change process flow or add additional approvals on the basis of the values fed against a requisition. For instance, in case of Accounts Payable workflows, the DMS administrator can set rules to route for additional approval if the invoice value is a certain amount. On similar lines, the solution can also be configured to change the values against a requisition on the basis of the process flow, if changed. For example, when a vendor invoice moves from the final approver to the finance team for payment, the status of the invoice automatically changes basis the decision taken.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Accounts Payable teams that have to process vendor invoices in bulk on a daily basis.

7.  Linking documents to requisitions

While ShareDocs Enterpriser allows users to attach as many mandatory and supporting documents to a requisition, it also allows users to link already existing documents to a requisition to avoid duplication. For instance, a purchase order may be uploaded in the DMS for storage and retrieval. In order to get an invoice approved, the PO may be a supporting document. Instead of uploading the PO to the requisition, a user may simply link the already uploaded document to the requisition for the approver to refer to.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Business teams that have to process multiple requests on the basis of frequently-used supporting documents. 

8.  Linking previous approvals to requisitions

Just as ShareDocs Enterpriser allows users to link an already uploaded document to the requisition for the approver to refer to, it also allows users to link a previously approved requisition to save time. The previous approval document contains the previously attached documents, the approval history and the date and time stamps when individual contributors signed off on the requisition.

For instance, when a vendor has already been approved for a project and has now re-applied for a new one, the approver can simply refer to the previous approval and the documents attached to fasten the decision making process.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Business teams that have to process multiple requests. 

9.  Bulk closure of workflows

When the number of transactions is high, AP teams have to process a lot of requisitions on a daily basis. They may make the payment through the banking tool but updating the DMS workflow with transaction details for each requisition can become quite a task. To avoid this, ShareDocs Enterpriser allows users to opt for bulk closure of requisitions, wherein users may download a CSV from the DMS, insert transaction and other details and import the CSV back into the solution. The solution then auto-closes the workflows on the basis of the information provided.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: AP teams where vendor payment requests are exponentially high.

10.  STFP Integration for Import of Workflow Data

ShareDocs Enterpriser is also capable of SFTP integration to pull data related to a requisition from SAP. While the accounting activities happen on SAP, the requisition approval happens on the workflow platform. In order to standardize the entries booked in SAP and the records entered in the DMS, ShareDocs Enterpriser imports the data pushed from SAP program into the SFTP folder. The entire process is automated and is run by a task scheduler that fetches data and makes it available to the requestor when initiating the approval process.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations that use SAP for their accounting and payment processes.


11.  Template-based workflows

ShareDocs Enterpriser also allows legal teams to create drafts of agreements within the application and get them approved from higher ups. The draft contract/template can be configured in the solution with the variable fields plotted inside the template.

When users insert correct information against each field, the system auto-populates the information/data entry in the template. Users and approvers can further edit the template to make necessary changes. All along, users can also download the document generated to view how it would look once printed. Once it goes through all the iterations, the final user can accept all changes to confirm and create the final document – which can be later printed on the company letterhead. If printing is a strict no-no, the company logo and other design elements can also be configured in the template.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Legal departments and advisors who require to create contracts and agreement drafts on a regular basis.

12.  External approval

In order to get a sign-off from external parties like vendors, contractors and customers, ShareDocs Enterpriser allows the requisitions to be shared with such parties for their review. The requester or internal stakeholder keys in the external stakeholders email ID the system shoots an email to them. The email contains a link to the requisition and a one-time password to access the solution. The solution keeps the link active until the date and time that the requestor has set up.

External stakeholders get to view the draft as well as make changes to the draft online. They can also add general comments on the requisition and send it to the requestor.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Consulting firms and legal departments dealing with contracting parties for contracts and agreements.


13. Digital Signature

ShareDocs Enterpriser also allows users to apply digital signatures to the workflow to formally sign on a document. It is open to third-party integration to help with stakeholder integrate with their existing digital signature providers.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Consulting firms and legal departments dealing with contracting parties for contracts and agreements.

14. System generated document

When the workflow has ended, closed by the last user, the DMS creates a document that includes the information captured against the requisition, the approval history which includes the names of the users and the date and time stamps. This brings in a lot of accountability in the process. The system generated document can also be used for audit purposes.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations where system-generated documents are frequently required for the external and internal audits.

14. Workflow notifications

As soon as a workflow has been initiated, a notification goes to the next user to action on the workflow. ShareDocs Enterpriser also allows administrator to configure notification for the previous user as well as all previous users. For instance, when requisition has been approved by the final approver, a notification can be sent to all previous users intimating them about the approval. Apart from this, the DMS also sends daily, weekly and monthly notifications on all the pending requisitions. This also helps to gage the time taken to action on requisitions.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations that require users to be notified at each step of the workflow.

15.  Mobile App for Faster Approvals

ShareDocs Enterpriser is also available in the mobile version for approvers to approve/reject requisitions on the go. Stakeholders can access the workflow module on the app and take immediate action without having to access the web.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Organisations where the number of active workflows is high and stakeholders need to revert on requests on the go.

16.  Consolidated reports

The DMS provides consolidated to key stakeholders of an organisation on a daily, weekly, monthly basis over email. The email contains a CSV that includes details of all the requisitions that were initiated, rejected, and closed on the day or the week or during the month.

WHOM DOES IT HELP: Primary stakeholders like CXOs and Finance Controllers to get an overview of the approval process in action.

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