Defining PSIsafe Workflow
Workflow is used throughout the PSIsafe product family as a term to describe the flow of work between people in an organization. The precise flow of content can be defined and monitored. In document management terms, workflow is used in the context of monitoring the creation, distribution, and approval of documents.
Why Your Business Needs a Document Workflow Solution
Virtually every business has documents that flow through some kind of work process. Expense reports, purchase orders, and travel requests are some common examples. As the document passes from one person or department to the next, someone acts on the information and files it or passes the document on for review or further action. The process of accurately tracking the document’s progress from its originator to its final destination is known as document workflow management.
How Can Automating Document Workflow Help Your Business?
Many of the processes involved in document workflow are repetitive and time-consuming. However, they are essential to your business and require that accurate records be kept. Consider something as simple as a purchase requisition. In this case, a form is usually filled out with information about an item that is needed, along with its estimated cost. The form is taken to accounting and, assuming that some standard criteria are met, a purchase order is generated and returned. The purchase order is approved for the item to be acquired up to a specified cost.
The workflow for the aforementioned document began with the person who generated the requisition, progressed to the purchasing authority in accounting, and ended back at its source. While the document’s journey sounds simple, such paperwork is easily mishandled or lost when it is just one in a stack of many. An electronic workflow system prevents mishaps by tracking the document’s progress through to completion. This becomes increasingly true when the document requires signatures from multiple individuals who may be sidelined for a host of reasons.
A manufacturing firm handles packing slips, purchase orders, invoices, item receipts, bill of materials, engineering change orders, and others.
- Service Business
A service business, such as a heating and cooling firm, have call records, work orders, parts inventory, item receipts, and other documents.
- Professional Services
A professional services firm, such as an accounting and bookkeeping service, might maintain tax records, invoices, payments, and any number of transaction-supporting documents.
What type of workflow system do you need?
As you can imagine, the efficient flow of documents through any organization is essential to remaining competitive. Misrouted, misplaced, or lost documents can cause a number of problems that impact productivity and cash flow.
The document management and workflow solutions previously found on custom mainframe-based systems for large corporations are now available on PC platforms and are cost-effective for almost any small-to medium-sized business. The efficiencies they provide are enormous and typically provide a return on investment in less than 12 months.
An effective workflow system has the following characteristics:
- A central repository where documents are stored and indexed.
- A security system that allows only the appropriate personnel to view cabinets, folders, and documents.
- A flexible workflow methodology with rules that mirror manual processes, and can adjust the flow of information dynamically based on logical criteria. For example, “If a P.O. is more than $100, route to Joe for approval.”
- The ability for knowledge workers to have anywhere, anytime access to the documents they need to get the job done.
- Integration with popular office applications; for example, it might have the ability to view supporting documents for a transaction from within your accounting system.
- Folders and documents go through workflow – public or private.
- Can workflow numerous documents – called bundling – manual routing only.
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PSIsafe Document Workflow
Document workflow allows the sending of a document(s) to another user either by a manual routing method or a rule-based method. Documents can be sent either to an individual or a group of individuals. Rules allow for predefined workflow paths and can be based on specific criteria for the route the document takes.
Manual routing is simple point-to-point routing of a document that is not constrained by specific criteria. A new feature incorporated into Workflow is Last Used Route Selection. Remembering the last selection, when working with long user or rules lists, reduces the frustration of scrolling or searching for the correct Rule/User. No special action required. PSIsafe remembers the last item selected and automatically highlights that item the next time the user routes a document or folder.
Document Workflow area and Routing Documents
For more information on the User Experience (Workflow section of the PSIsafe Desktop client) that uses the Route feature of Workflow, see:
For more information on using the Document Bundles feature or understanding how to bundle documents in PSIsafe, see:
Tip: Create Placeholders in Workflow Rules
When building workflow rules there are occasions where certain information is not known at the time to
complete a Rule step. Place holders allow the rule to be worked on, even though a particular step is not
complete. For example when setting up a rule within a rule, if the 2nd rule is not configured, the
administrator can still configure the initial rule and leave the ‘send to” blank until the 2nd rule is configured.
Once the 2nd rule is configured, the Administrator will need to edit the initial rule to complete the
placeholder. Steps containing a placeholder are displayed as invalid in the summary display to remind the
Administrator the rule is not complete.
Folder Preview and Attachment Settings Applied in Workflow
Workflow uses the PSIsafe Desktop client settings when using the Preview and Attachments features. The following settings will also apply to workflow:
Go to Options> General>Enable Preview
Go to Options> Documents-General>Expand Attachments
Workflow Toolbar Document Actions
For more information on the workflow toolbar, User Experience (Workflow section of the PSIsafe Desktop client) that uses the Route feature of Workflow, see:
Recall Workflow Item
Recall can be performed as a user within the PSIsafe Desktop client or as an Administrator in PSIsafe Management. For more information, see:
Trace Workflow Item
For more information on using the Trace feature, see:
Tip: Use End Rules Effectively
The ‘End Rule’ can be inserted as a selection within any step that is defined as User or Variable. Using an
End Rule is ideal for allowing users to remove an item from Workflow at a decision point.
Example- A Workflow rule can be created for departmental approvals. The rule routes items to the
appropriate department. In some cases, no approval is required. This condition is easily accommodated
by adding an “End Rule” called ‘File to Cabinet’ and linking to that rule to the ‘Approval not required’
Setup: Create the End Rule called ‘File to Cabinet’.
Create a Departmental approval rule that includes an ‘Approval not required’ selection.
For the ‘Approval not required’ selection, set the Select destination option to ‘Rule’ and the Send to
selection to the ‘File to Cabinet’ rule.
Note on performing edits in Workflow
When performing Edits under Workflow Management the user will be warned that the process they are
about to perform will be applied to All Listed Items. This warning is to prevent inadvertently apply a
process to more than the intended item(s).
Browse to Workflow> Management> Edit
If “All Listed Items” is selected on the "Step 1" screen, the user must confirm this selection after clicking the “Save” button.