Apart from e-mail system, the workflow system is another popular e-service that companies love to use today. It provides the same instant and convenient options as the e-mail system, but also more practical options such as routing paths that help review, approve, remind, and save for backup.


As enterprises expand, the once small working area is growing into multiple offices located in different places. You as a manager have become even busier taking care of outside business as well as inside processing routines. It's not enough that you rely merely on your mobile and e-mail system to keep things going smoothly. A great number of documents need to be reviewed when you're out of the office, and it would be a great loss if you delay your approval.

If a good workflow system is introduced, you won't be required to stay in the office all the time. When the documents comes to you, the system can reach you instantly by e-mail, SMS or Messenger. Then you can come into Workflow model, like the following images:

You can see the system UI is as friendly as an e-mail system. All the documents to be reviewed are listed here.


You are also informed of who sent the document and where the document is on the review list. If the workflow is not reviewed for a long time, the person who's taking care of it will be reminded in red text: "This workflow is past due, please review it as soon as possible."

How to Approve a Workflow
Click the title of a workflow to enter into the reviewing page. Managers can see the content of workflow in addition to approval date, suggestions and comments of previous reviewers.


Seeing all the comments by previous reviewers, you have several options for the document.

1、 Select "Agree and forward to the next reviewer", which means I agree to the document.
2、 Select "Disapproved and return the documents to sender which means I do not agree and reject the document. For example, if the document has been approved by 3 of 5 reviewers but rejected by the fourth reviewer, the documents will not go to the previous one but to the originator. The originator should see if it needs to be updated and sent again.
3、 Select "Add another reviewer first (When done, send back to me)", which is useful for busy managers who sometimes resort to other professional people (can be more than one) for suggestions. Remember to check "When done, send back to me", which means I will take your suggestions and then decide whether or not to approve it.

On the other hand, managers sometimes come across such situation: a person sends a workflow only to me but it also needs to be reviewed by a higher manager. It's complicated to reject it and ask him to send again, so I will select "Add another reviewer first" and add a higher manager into the reviewer list. Remember not to check "When done, send back to me", which means I approved and forward it to higher managers, and there is no need to send it back to me.

You can enter your comments or just select preset text here to save time.


If course, you can select "Attach document" or "Attach signed document" to add attachments for reviewers. The number of attachments is not limited.

Finally, click OK to sign the document. It takes such a second for the documents to run to the next reviewer that you don't need to remind him. It's so convenient and easy to forward and approve a workflow.

How to Start a Workflow
It's known that the workflow system is easy to managers, but will the regular staff have problems starting a workflow? The answer is No; it's as easy to you as to the managers. Let's see how the staff sends a workflow.

First, select Add and you will see all the e-forms available with clear descriptions that help you be clear on which one you'll select.


It's time to fill out the e-form.

You can customize the workflow path and decide whether or not to attach a document.

Fill every field on the e-form.(Every form contains different styles of fields; customers can change the styles before uploading them.)


Next is the document path you need to design. You can select a "straight" or "parallel path". Straight path means: "The request will be passed on to the reviewers in the sequence you set", and Parallel path means, "All the reviewers you set can handle at the same time and no approval sequences are required." Select "Add Reviewer", a window appears and you can select a reviewer here.


For example, select reviewers from the left pane and move them to the right. Here I select three people. The top one is the first reviewer, and the second is next, and so forth.

If the first person is the highest manager and needs to be moved to the bottom for final approval, just select the name and click thebutton twice.

If you select the wrong person, do the same thing by selecting the name and click thebutton twice to remove him.

Next, select Send E-mail, Send SMS or Send Messenger to tell managers who will review the form.


Finally, select Handled-by Dept. What is Handled-by Dept.? Take the Absence Slip for example, it should be processed by the Human Resources Department, and the Funds Application Form should be processed by the Financial Department. If not used by your company, just ignore this field.

You can click Save to Draft Folder anytime before completing the form, or click Send Now to send it out. The system will help to notify all the managers to review.

Check My Records Anytime
Using the e-workflow will reduce the approval time to a great extent, and you can find out your signed files on the web by clicking Signing Records.

The default viewing period is one month, and you can click Calendarto change the period of time.」
 

Define a Folder to Manage My Documents
For Field Folder, Notified Folder, and Subscribed Folders, you can define the folder as per your usual practices to neatly organize your files.


Check Processing Status
Here is another thoughtful option: managers can check all the processing documents and get a idea which files are going smoothly and which are stuck somewhere. You can select Reminder Notice to speed the processing.


Flexibly Defined Form
Can we make our own forms?

Please rest assured that NewSoft OA Workflow system uses standard HTML styles, and you can complete your editing easily by using a general HTML editing tool like Microsoft FrontPage, or Macromedia Dreamweaver).

If you still have no idea on how to do it, you can download more than 20 form templates supplied by NewSoft OA for your use.
 


Most companies looking for workflow systems are inclined to use a fixed system. They believe fixed ones will always be without problems. From our experience of introducing it to hundreds of companies, it's clear that most enterprises of any size need a flexible workflow system. We often see companies introduce a very rigid system and then get stuck by changed circumstances. For example, a new staff or manager begins his first-day work but MIS requires several days to log them on.

However, some enterprises have thousands of staff and they need a complete and fixed workflow system to simplify the processing as well as the extra capability of judgments to decide whether to go or to stop here; they want, for example, a workflow to include the following capabilities: it is sent in a single path to 5 reviewers at the beginning but if it turns in a parallel path to 7 reviewers at the third reviewer; it will continue to go to 4 out of 7 reviewers approve it but be sent back to the second if less than 3 reviewers approve it; if the ratio of reviewers who approved the documents is up to 75% within four hours, it will go to the next automatically. If you've got more requirements than we've mentioned above, you may be shocked at the price the system is offered at.

As far as we are concerned, it's impossible to forbid staff to sending e-mail to higher managers, or control the sending hierarchy of the workflow or e-mail system. If it could, staff would still reach managers by way of telephone or face-to-face. So we should manage personnel by creating enterprise rules and cultures and regular training rather than asking one or two MIS members to utilize a fixed workflow and get all things done.

Workflow before e-times was processed depending on the sender's knowledge of the enterprises culture, and it should not be changed because it's human and flexible that staff are likely to use it and improve their efficiency.

A good workflow system is expected to well meet the company's requirements, and not expected to have more than 1000 functions, 80% of which won't be used, and not expected to take us many days of struggle to log on. A flexible workflow system is believed to be the best and most efficient system for an enterprises in the face of severe competition. It takes less than one hour for staff to get the knowledge and start to use it. It will absolutely save two-thirds or more of the time and human costs previously spent.

  1. The workflow system manages both sent and to-be-reviewed documents.
  2. The tree view display is convenient for you to search and manage.
  3. You can attach either documents or signed files here, so that managers can reach what they required when reading the workflow.
  4. You can set reviewing sequence in an easy and efficient way to let workflow go flexibly.
  5. Notify Dept. field reminds concerned department to process when documents runs to the end.
  6. Withdraw function helps you to take incorrect workflows back when you notice mistakes in it.
  7. Default text are convenient for managers to give a quick reply.
  8. It helps managers to correlate suggestions and comments before making decisions.
  9. Managers can forward the documents that are out of their businesses to the one responsible for it.
  10. It reminds reviewers by e-mail anytime when a documents arrives, is rejected, or withdrawn.
  11. A built-in SMS function can reach concerned people anytime.
  12. You can customize your folder styles for easy document management.
  13. If a documents is rejected, it can be filed and copied for future use. You can update it and send it again without creating a new one from scratch.
  14. Draft folder is convenient for you to save.
  15. A variety of forms are provided for different requirements.
  16. The messenger has an exclusive programming code that reminds reviewers as soon as documents come, avoids missing copies, and improves efficiency.
  17. Ask a particular person to check all the processing documents, which makes all the signing activities transparent and convenient.