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The Power of Workflows & Approval Maps in Acumatica Cloud ERP

Streamline Your Operations: The Power of Workflows and Approval Maps in Acumatica

A businessman leveraging a modern cloud ERP that offers business automation





Automation is one of the trendiest buzzwords in the current business world. The benefits of automation have long been understood and can probably be repeated ad nauseum by decision-makers in your organization. Reduced errors, lower labor costs, shorter lead times, increased productivity, greater profit margins, etc. What’s not to love? While everyone seems to enjoy the benefits of automation, few have been fortunate enough to see it materialize in their own organization. Automation adoption, therefore, remains much lower than automation approval. 



If everyone thinks so highly of the impact of automation, why such low adoption? Some businesses may not think that automation is for them. The phrase often seems too robotic or that it would only benefit the operations departments. The truth is that automation is much more than robots and advanced machinery. It includes approval mapping, notifications, templates, system integration, workflows, etc. This article will highlight how you can improve your internal processes and streamline communication through automation.






Select a Modern Cloud ERP





For other businesses, the answer simply comes down to not having the right technology. Automation is more of a dream than a goal when working out of outdated or unintegrated systems. The first step to automation is company-wide integration into a modern ERP that can perform most of your business processes. Unless most or all of your business processes are happening in the same database, or your systems are seamlessly integrated, automation will likely remain a dream. 



If you’ve been wondering whether your company can achieve process automation, the answer is yes. Remember, automation is more than just robots in warehouses. With Acumatica ERP, automation is achievable for every part of your business. From sales and marketing to finance and HR, Acumatica can deliver on all the benefits of automation that are missed when relying on disparate systems. We have seen firsthand the transformational effects of the automation capabilities within Acumatica. Click here for more Acumatica content.






Leverage Predefined Workflows





Workflows are the backbone of automation in Acumatica. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, workflows are a series of events needed to complete an often repeated task. While that sounds simple enough, workflows are often poorly defined and even more poorly followed without the right tools to enforce them, leading to decreased productivity and profitability. Below is an example of a predefined CRM workflow in Acumatica. As you can see by how interconnected each division of a company is, a breakdown in communication at any step would have a negative ripple effect for many other employees, not to mention the customer. 



 Predefined CRM workflow in Acumatica Cloud ERP infographics



Once a workflow is defined to perfectly complement your unique business requirements, Acumatica will enforce them. Not only will this make each person’s job easier since they will have fewer steps to remember and less data to input, but results will be faster since information gets into the hands of decision-makers faster and more accurately. 








Our team at AcuPower has the experience and the knowledge to craft workflows to empower your business carefully. By allowing us to set up these workflows to ensure that the right series of actions take place for any and every event, your organization can spend far less time worrying about process control and more time growing your business.






Streamline Checks and Balances with Approval Mapping





While we are experts in crafting tailored workflows for your business, Acumatica makes it easy for you to further configure your processes with approval and assignment mapping, which help speed communication between upper and lower-level employees. With defined approval maps your quotes, requisitions, and other documents can be automatically transitioned immediately from sales reps and buyers to management for review and approval. 



Assignment and approval maps screen in Acumatica Cloud ERP


An Example of Some of the Assignment and Approval Maps Available to Acumatica Users





Approval maps are an especially effective way of expediting approval, whether related to a sale or quote, a larger-than-usual purchase, or employee-specific details like expenses and time cards. See the image above for some predefined examples.




We can see the benefits of approval mapping even more clearly by looking closely at one of those examples



Suppose your company decides to implement a standard procedure of reviewing any sales order with a discount of over 30% or a total quantity of $10,000. Without any coding, an administrator can define both the conditions we just described and who in the organization should review each case. Whenever a sales order is created that meets those conditions, the order will be placed immediately in a status of pending approval until the reviewer approves the order. 




In the meantime, there is no risk of the warehouse mistakenly shipping ahead or an accidental invoice. As soon as the order is reviewed and approved by the appropriate user, it will be released for processing. Best of all, all these steps occur within a single database. The result? No need for double data entry or pesky email chains. As soon as one step is completed, any other affected employee can know about it.




For further automation, you can use Acumatica’s business events in conjunction with approval maps for faster results. Business events allow you to set up notifications (via email, text, or mobile push notifications) based on key events, such as an order being created that needs to be reviewed. 



Using a business event with the approval map described before could mean that the person assigned to review the order would receive an email notification as soon as the order is placed. The reviewer could then immediately go to the order, review it in as much detail as necessary, and approve it. A secondary business event could even be configured to notify the salesperson or customer once approved- all without a single manual email or phone call.










Task Distribution with Assignment Mapping






Assignment maps work similarly to approval maps but typically in the opposite direction. They tend to be popular for companies looking to improve their customer management, especially through lead and opportunity tracking and case management. Common assignment maps include automatically assigning new support cases, leads, or opportunities to the right support or sales representatives.



As leads come into the system, they can be automatically assigned to the appropriate person in your organization based on lead category (wholesale, retail, installation). If it was a sales lead, you can have a map with rules to assign it to a particular salesperson based on region. If it was a service lead, you could have a map with rules to assign to a service representative. Even non-revenue-generating leads, such as employment inquiries, could be assigned to an HR manager. 



Once a lead has been converted to an opportunity, it can be reassigned depending on as many factors as your organization needs. Like approval maps, assignment maps can be used with business events to ensure that employees are notified as soon as new cases or opportunities are assigned to them. The result will be less time manually communicating between departments and more time following leads and winning business. 











Acumatica makes automation possible in every area of your business, whether internal or customer-facing. Although this blog focused on automating back-end processes, there is even more Acumatica can automate in your operations. 



Check out this video to see how Acumatica improves the shipping process.





Alongside these automation tools are robust reporting tools like dashboards that detail key performance indicators like opportunity win rate. As Acumatica helps make each person successful in your newly automated processes, you’ll be able to see exactly how each employee is performing. With the time you’ll save through automation, you can focus on working with underperforming employees to increase their win rate. 




The compounding benefits of centralizing your business operations with Acumatica are endless. If you’re ready to see how our team of experts can help transform your business with a modern ERP, contact us today for a custom, no-obligation demo. 




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