This is the third post in the Workflow series, showing you easy ways you can use workflows to enhance and automate IPM to suit your own business processes.

This week, I’m going to show you a workflow we came up with that can make the process of approving purchase orders simpler. In your organisation, you may have employees who are only authorised to approve purchase orders up to a certain amount, but anything over that must be approved by an employee with a higher approval limit, such as the project manager.

In order to make this distinction simpler, we created the PO approval workflow. The workflow monitors each purchase order and kicks in when the status of a purchase order is changed. It will immediately recognise if the person changing the status can approve purchase orders of that amount. If not, it will keep the purchase order status as pending, and send an email to the project manager (or appropriate employee) informing them there is a purchase order in the system that requires their approval. If necessary, the approval can be escalated further up the chain until a team member with the appropriate level of approval can approve the PO. It’s entirely up to you.

This way, employees can update the status of the purchase order without worrying about their approval amount, or having to create an email themselves when a purchase order requires higher approval. The workflow will ensure no purchase order gets approved unless the person has the correct security level, and cuts out unnecessary emailing back and forth to get purchase orders approved.