One struggle facing any business is how to maximize efficiency in transactions involving multiple employees. After all, most businesses aren’t one person shops. Often times, approvals are needed at various levels in the organization in order for a transaction to take place.
In the manufacturing context, purchaser Paul may need supervisor Sally’s approval for the purchasing of parts exceeding a certain dollar amount. The problem is that the Sally may be busy on the shop floor, in a meeting, or on vacation in Cabo. The customer isn’t going to be happy if they don’t receive their order on time because Sally was on the beach enjoying a piña colada and an expensive part didn’t get ordered because she didn’t approve it.
How can manufacturers prevent this problem? By ensuring that their ERP software includes an effective ERP notification and approval system. At Visibility, our ERP notification and approval system is called “Workflow.”
In our hypothetical, the Workflow notification and approval system would have provided a procedure to ensure the part at issue was approved and ordered and the job was completed on time for delivery to the customer. Here’s how it works in practice:
- Purchaser Paul submits the request for approval to purchase the expensive part.
- Supervisor Sally receives the request in her email as well as in her ERP system portal.
- Sally could have approved the purchase from her phone or computer on the beach, thereby allowing Paul to purchase the part and the manufacturing process to continue.
- If Sally didn’t respond within a set period of time (perhaps 8 hours or whatever time limit the business decides), then the approval request would have been forwarded to supervisor Stan for approval.
A robust ERP notification and approval system enables manufacturers to have a system in place to ensure that requests are reviewed, approved, or denied in a timely manner. This doesn’t just apply to purchasing. An ERP notification and approval system like Workflow can be used for various stages in the manufacturing process. For example, if a part sits in receiving for 5 days without any action, this could trigger a Workflow notification. The ultimate goals of Workflow are to maximize efficiency, reduce costs, maintain schedules, meet deadlines, and keep customers happy.
When life happens and employees are sick, busy, or out on vacation, a notification and approval system provides all employees with the comfort that the job will get done by providing backup approver options in the event that the initial approver is unable to or fails to respond to the request. Multiple approvers can be added if necessary. An ERP notification and approval system lets the requester make his or her request without wasting time chasing down the approver in the office or on the shop floor or having to wait on an email that may never come.
If you’re looking at ERP systems, be sure to ask if the system you are looking at is integrated with notification and approval capabilities like Workflow. Think Visibility’s Workflow notification and approval system will enhance your business? Click here to learn more.