All steps of a document lifecycle make up the document's route. Any route can be automated by means of a business process. In a process, you can designate a person responsible for each stage, establish deadlines and track the progress.
For example, the Billing documents workspace is handy for storing such apps as invoices, credit and debit memos, canceled transactions, etc. Each app of this workspace has its own document route.
Steps of creating a route
1. Create a document and bind it with a process
Go to a workspace and click the +Add button. In the window that opens select Create. Fill in the required fields and check the boxes of Create an associated business process and Run after creating a new app item.
The process modeling page will open. Drag items from the right pane, place them on the diagram and connect them by the arrow connectors to create the entire route.
2. Creating the route's diagram
Start creating your route by adding participants. Each employee who performs a certain role in the process is represented by a swimlane.
Let's say that the invoice approval route has three participants: the initiator, the CFO, and the accountant. This means that you will need three swimlanes.
Since we do not know beforehand who exactly will be sending invoices for approval, the initiator's swimlane must represent any employee of the company. Swimlanes of this type are called dynamic and are colored green.
The CFO and accountant are very specific roles and each is assigned to a separate swimlane. Such swimlanes are called static. In the settings of a static swimlane, you can select the executor from the org chart.
Now use graphic elements to describe all the steps of processing an invoice. Add activities for approval, ending approval, configure notifications and tasks. Give names to connectors that join the activities.
Now let's take a closer look at each activity in the route.
When an employee adds a new invoice to ELMA365, a window with fields opens. These fields are meant for such important information as the invoice's purpose, payment date and amount. When the employe fills out all the fields, the business process starts and the invoice is sent along the route.
The abovementioned window with fields in configured on the Form tab of the start event.
To add a new field to the form, click +Add in the top left corner. Specify the field's name and the type of data that users will have to enter. For example, for the «Invoice number» field select the «Number» data type, for the «Total amount» field select «Money», and for «Date of sending invoice» select «Date/Time», and so on.
You can mark some of the fields as required.
On the General tab, specify the document that should be sent for approval. In our example, this document is the invoice. It is already included in the drop-down list because the Invoice is associated with the Invoices app.
If you want to set an approval due date, go to the Deadline tab and specify how many days, hours or minutes an employee has to complete this task.
On the Connectors tab, mark one of the connectors as the default one.
In order for the process to take the Approve transition, you need to define the conditions in which ELMA365 will consider the document as approved. Double-click on the connector to open its settings. Go to the Conditions tab and enter the approval percentage as equal to 100.
Notification: the invoice has been approved
Notifications are placed on the diagram to inform employees about important events in the process.
In the notification settings you need to specify its name on the diagram and the text of the message that will be sent to users. Then go to the Recipients tab and specify who will receive this message. Be default, it is sent to the person who belongs to the swimlane that stores the notification activity. If you want to inform someone else, click Add and add those people, too.
End approval is used with the Approval activity in document routing. It allows you to see the final decision on the document right away without having to wait for the entire process to be completed.
Specify the document, for which it is required to end the approval and set the Decision option to Approved.
Task: Pay invoice, attach payment document
A task is automatically assigned to the person who belongs to the swimlane where the task activity is located. When this person opens the task page, he or she sees all the information necessary to complete the work or make a decision.
When the accountant receives the task to pay the invoice, he or she should be able to see all the data that the initiator specified when starting the process: the total amount to be paid, the invoice issue date and so on. Also, a field for attaching the payment document file is needed.
All of this can be set up on the Form tab.
3. Publish the process
ELMA365 will be able to automatically assign tasks only after the process is published. When publishing, the system will check if the diagram is composed correctly. In case of any errors, you will see warnings at the bottom of the page. Non-critical errors do not stop the process from being published.
4. Run the route
To run the document route, leave the process designer and add a new invoice. To do that, click the +Invoice button in the top right corner of the app. The start window will open. Fill out the form and click Save.
The approval route will then start automatically, and ELMA365 will assign the CFO with the task to approve the invoice.
Once the process has ended, you will see the document's page in the Invoices app, containing all the data introduced during the routing process. Each time you run this process again, a new invoice will be added to the Invoices app.
In the next article, you can read about monitoring a document throughout the process by using its statuses.