Asset Intelligence and Management

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EZO CMMS Blogs How To Set Up Automation To Efficiently Manage Purchase Order Workflows

[How-to] Set up Automation to Efficiently Manage Purchase Order Workflows

Set up Automation to Efficiently Manage Purchase Order Workflows_

In CMMS, automation has become an industry requirement, including directing work to the right teams and triggering preventive and predictive maintenance.

The business use case of automation 

The business case for automation is evident; automation is a must-have feature for CMMS systems to be competitive among higher-end mid-market and enterprise customers. This enables organizations to more effectively compete for and win more advanced deals. 

Benefits of automation in CMMS

Automation is a broad and deep-value feature for CMMS solutions, including EZO CMMS. Let’s explore some benefits of automation within the CMMS industry. 

  • Boost efficiency: Streamlines the progress of workflows as they are custom-tailored according to each organization’s specific needs. 
  • Enhanced control: Offers superior management for all maintenance operations, reducing the chance of human errors.
  • Proactive maintenance: Automates alerts and scheduling, preventing issues before they occur, and increasing asset life.
  • Optimize resources: Allocates tasks and schedules maintenance efficiently, overall reducing downtime and operational costs.
  • Labor management: Assigns the right tasks to appropriate teams efficiently, boosting productivity.

How automation in EZO CMMS works

When work requests are approved or work orders are created, the system automatically routes or assigns the work to the right team. This includes supervisors, technicians, vendors, approvers, and reviewers, with assigned tasks based on factors like title, work type, total cost of work order, department of the requestor, first item group, etc. 

The system automatically sets the default start and due dates accurately, based on factors like priority, work type, department of the requestor, location of the requestor, first item group, etc. 

How to set up automation to efficiently manage business workflows

In EZO CMMS, the automation and workflows can be set up for work orders and purchase orders. 

Let’s walk you through the step-by-step process to set up automation to efficiently manage business workflows for purchase orders. 

Setting up automation to efficiently manage business workflows for purchase orders 

The support document has been divided into three main sections, as detailed below: 

  1. Setting up automation
  2. Running automation
  3. Actions on automations

1. Setting up automation

In the first step, we will discuss how to set up multi-tier automation.

Enable custom workflows

To get started with Multi-Tier automation, go to Company Settings and AddOns → Automation and Enable the setting:

Enable automations

Set up members’ permissions

The roles are already set up in the app for you and will work for all system roles. If you want to make particular changes to a custom role, please see below:
Requester: If you wish to permit a role to be a requester, simply turn on the ability to view, update, and delete their own Purchase Requests. This is already turned on by default when you start a custom role with any baseline. If you don’t want anyone in particular to request, you can turn off the permission.

requestor permission

Approver:  By default any person added as an approver in the Multi-Tier flow will be able to approve or deny the purchase request. This is because to add a person in the flow you need special permission which is given to admins by default. If you wish to change or specify these permissions in a custom role. You can turn this ability off by using the permissions below:

manager permission 2

Backup Approver: If an Approver is out sick, on vacation, or no longer in the system, the backup approvers can still approve.

purchase order settings

Passive backup approvers: These are all admins and the account owner. In addition, any custom role with the ‘Approver’ permissions can also be a passive approver. Since these are passive approvers, they won’t receive an email notification. However, they will be able to view a count in the notification bell in the app.

Create workflows in EZO CMMS

In EZO CMMS, you can create workflows for purchase orders and work orders. In this support blog, we will discuss workflows for purchase orders in detail. 

Create workflows for purchase orders

To start creating a workflow for purchase orders on EZO CMMS, go to the Main Navigation menu → More → Automations → Create Automation. A pop-up will appear asking you to fill in the following details:

create automation

Next, you will be redirected to the Workflow Details page to enter the details and conditions for your process. 

create workflow 1

You can choose to have your Purchase Order approved by a certain approver, team, or role. It can have a specific location condition, vendor, or amount as shown above. Here we will set 2 conditions for our workflow:

create workflow 2

The two conditions we have set include” Total amount is less than $100” and “Delivery Location Equals Corporate HQ”. This means any workflow fulfilling both these criteria will be approved by a specific Approver. 

The AND/OR criteria can be changed by simply clicking on the toggle between the conditions. Similarly, you also have the option to edit the Filters Criteria by moving the brackets as shown below:

create workflow 3
create workflow 4

After adding the relevant criteria, select the Approver. You can either select a name, role, or manager from the dropdown.

create workflow 5

If you select the approver as ‘Manager’ then you will be able to choose different manager levels. 

create workflow 7

Alternatively, if you want the workflow to be entirely supervised by the managers, you can select the Manager hierarchy.

create workflow 8

To cater to different scenarios, you can also choose the option to Auto-Approve or Auto-Deny a workflow. The completed workflow looks like this:

create workflow 9.1

Once you have completed all the details, click on Save. Then go to the Workflow Listings page. Here you can shift the order of workflows up or down according to their position in the workflow chain.

create workflow 10

The small to medium value order is associated with two conditions “Total Amount Greater or Equal $100” and “Delivery location Equals Los Angeles Head Office” and has one approver, Harvey Affleck/Role: Manager.

create workflow 14

The high-value purchase request has two conditions “Total Amount Larger Than $100” and “Delivery Location Equals Head Office” and three approvers: Administrator, Manager, and Staff User. 

create workflow 15

2. Running workflows

In this step, we will look at how a Purchase Order goes through the whole multi-tier approval process that we set up above:

Making a purchase request

Sarah Allison (Requester) makes a Purchase Order Request with the details as shown below:

Purchase request 1

This Purchase Order has the delivery location listed as Corporate HQ (Austin Complex) and the total amount is less than $100:

Purchase request 2

This Purchase Request falls in the ‘Small Order to Corporate HQ (Austin Complex)’ category and its Approver is set as Sarah Allison (Manager).  

Purchase request approval

The requestor’s request has been submitted and is visible in the Listings Page for the Manager.

purchase order approval pending

The status shows Approval Pending (1 of 1) which means the request has a single approver. 

The Approver will open the Purchase Request and choose whether to accept or deny the request.

Purchase request 1

Once the Approver clicks on the “Approve Request” button, a new pop-up will appear, prompting them to enter the details of the vendor for the Purchase Order before the approval. The Approver has to add the vendor’s name in the field and then click on “Approve Purchase Request” as shown here: 

approve purchase request 2

3. Actions on workflows: Editing and Deactivating

In this section, we will understand what happens when we edit settings in a running workflow including a Purchase Request. 

Sarah Allison has requested a new Purchase Order valued at under $100, to be delivered to the Corporate HQ (Austin Complex). 

new purchase request less than 100

Deactivating a workflow

Suppose the small purchase request has to be deactivated. Upon deactivating, a warning message will be displayed listing all the associated requests.

editing purchase request workflow

The workflow cannot be deactivated with the Purchase Request still running, it will be deactivated once the associated request has been completed. 

Editing a workflow

The Account Owner edits the approver’s list to ‘Names’ instead of ‘Roles’.

editing a workflow

These changes will be reflected in the history of the workflow. Go to the Events tab and view the changes.

editing a workflow 1

As shown above, the workflow (#2) has been updated. Any Purchase Requests running in workflow #2 will be completed according to its sequence of approvals. Meanwhile, any new Purchase Requests will follow the new workflow. 

Note: If there is no Purchase Request pending in the workflow, it will be updated directly without creating a new version. 

However, if there are any pending approvals within the workflow, a new version of the workflow will be created.

To learn how to set up automation and workflows for work orders, click here.

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