Electronic Workflows

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Electronic Workflows


note Note:

This feature is only available in the Docsvault Enterprise & Ultimate Edition.



Electronic Workflow is a complete management of a sequence of steps that a digital document will pass through in any business process. For example: invoice processing and approval, leave requests, policy updates, purchase authorization etc. Docsvault's flexible Workflow module provides the functionality to digitize and automate such processes in a document management software.


Electronic Workflow in Docsvault will allow you to replicate your document centric business processes inside your digital repository to make them more streamlined, more accurate and less time consuming. You can now forget about delays and errors typically associated with circulating paper manually. It ensures that the right work is completed the right way, at the right time, by the right person and gives you full insight and traceability of your business processes.  


Docsvault Workflow allows you to:

-  Create a series of simple or complex workflow cycles on a graphical canvas without any coding

-  Automate and speed up repeatable processes for account payable, job applications processing, order processing, etc.  
- Save time and money by electronically moving documents around the workplace for review and approvals

-  Track workflow items as they move through the system

-  Automate notifications for prompt action and supervision


Workflows can be designed in the Docsvault Server Manager dialog by members of the administrators group.


Elements of a Workflow


Workflow consist of a series of pre-defined steps, which describe where in a document's life cycle or process the document currently is. Workflow transitions, describes the actions a user can perform and its corresponding effects on the workflow and associated documents.


Steps: A Step may be defined as a stage in a document’s life-cycle or business process. Example: review, approve, pay, etc.  


Transitions: Transitions are user actions that move a document to the next step in the workflow. Example: reviewed, approved, rejected, paid, etc.



How does it work?


Once documents are captured and stored in Docsvault, predefined Workflows can be assigned to these documents either manually or automatically using other system triggers. Administrators can configure the system to automatically assign Workflows when new documents are created in a particular folder or when a specific profile is assigned to a document. Typically a workflow will follow the steps below:


1.Users or groups listed as 'Initiators' will right click on a document and manually initialize allowed Workflows depending on the document's profile. Workflow can also be assigned automatically by the system based on triggers defined during the workflow creation.


2.Participants (users or groups) of the first step are notified about a new workflow task. All workflow tasks for a user are neatly listed under the "My Workflow Tasks" in the Docsvault Client interface. Users can view or checkout associated documents (or reference documents attached to the step) to perform their task and once their assigned task is completed, they can select an appropriate transition (user action)  to move the workflow to the next predefined step. They can also attach supporting documents with their comments for the selected transition. Administrators can define automatic actions to be performed by the system during transitions and various email notifications can be defined for internal or external non Docsvault users.


3.As the workflow moves from one step to another depending on the transition selected, participants of the next step are notified about their new task. Finally, one or more transitions can be defined to complete the workflow and perform any final automatic actions on the workflow documents (example: moving a document to an approved folder).  


At any point in the workflow, participants and workflow managers/watchers can view a comprehensive history of the workflow instance.


note Note:  
Every time a workflow is initiated a unique workflow instance is created and managed by Docsvault. Docsvault can manage multiple workflow instances simultaneously for thousands of files but a document can only be under one workflow at a time. 


The flowchart below is an example of how a workflow process can be built to route invoices for approvals and payment.


In the example below: Electronic approval of purchase invoices

An invoice approval workflow is initiated and routed to the department for verification of receipts of goods in the step CHECK, after which it is moved by the transition 'goods received' to the step REVIEW.  Here the authorized personnel will review the invoice and depending on the amount, will route the invoice for approval. If the invoice is  < $10K, it is routed to Accounts Manager for approval and in-case of the invoice > $10K, it will jointly require an approval by Accounts Director and CFO.  The authorized personnel and the selected users will be able to view the tasks in their workflow node and simultaneously receive timely emails and alerts that will prompt them to sign off on document to meet the payment deadlines. On invoice approval, it will be routed to the next step in sequence i.e  PAYMENT RELEASE. Once the payment is released, the workflow will be considered as complete.  
At each steps, the authorized personnel has the option to approve, reject or raise a query if necessary. If a query is raised, the invoice goes back to the sender and in case of rejection, it is handle by 'error' department that will either handle the exception or cancel the invoice which will end the workflow.


The entire time duration from workflow initiation to completion can vary depending on the business process being managed. The entire time the workflow is in progress Managers and Watchers can be designated to watch over the workflow.