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DEAR's workflow automation feature allows setting up events and actions that trigger automatically once certain conditions are achieved. This feature is currently available for sales and purchase processes in DEAR. This is an area of ongoing development.


It is also possible to use the Tasks module to set up (non-automated) workflows, sending notifications to staff members when conditions are met or an event completes, for Supplier, Customer, Credit Note, Assembly or Disassembly operations. 


Prerequisites


Table of Contents


Setting Up a New Workflow

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The typical workflow consists of parameters and conditions, events and actions. Parameters and conditions must be met before an event and a subsequent action are triggered. Workflows in DEAR are set up in Settings → Automation → Workflow.


NOTE: DEAR will only allow you to set up a workflow if you have full access to the Automation module. For more information on user management in DEAR, see Managing Users and Roles.


Add a Workflow Parameter and Condition

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The first step in the workflow configuration is to add a parameter and condition to the workflow.

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, click Add New Workflow.
  3. On the New Workflow page, enter a name for the workflow, then select the workflow type (Purchase or Sale). 
  4. Click Configure Condition. If Configure Condition is left blank, the active workflow will be triggered in all cases. 
  5. On the Set up conditions window, click +Condition.
  6. Select the parameter name and condition from the appropriate lists. Each parameter has a given set of applicable conditions. For more information, see Table 1a (Sale) and Table 1b (Purchase).
  7. Enter the value of the parameter.

NOTE: If the parameter condition is set to Empty, you will not be able to enter a value for the parameter.

  1. To join the parameter with another parameter, select the appropriate join condition (either And or No) from the list, then add the other parameter following Steps 5-7.
  2. Once all parameters are set up, click OK to exit the Set up conditions window.
  3. Back on the New Workflow page, to activate the workflow, toggle the Workflow button to Active.
  4. Click Save. With the condition set up, you can now add an event to the workflow. For more information, see the next section, Add an Event and Event Action.


The list of Sale parameters and the applicable conditions under each parameter is shown in Table 1a.

Parameter
Condition
Customer Name

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Invoice Total

Equals, Greater Than, Less Than, Greater Than or Equal To, Less Than or Equal to, Not Equal To

Customer Billing Address

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Sales Representative

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Quote Total
Equals, Greater Than, Less Than, Greater Than or Equal To, Less Than or Equal to, Not Equal To
Customer Shipping Address

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Sale process Attribute Set (values taken from Settings→General Settings→Sale Process Customisation)For Attributes and Attribute sets, the condition depends on the Attribute type.
 For example, for an attribute with Type=Checkbox, the condition will be "Is" and the value will be an actual checkbox that you can then check or not.
Customer Attribute Set (values taken from Sale→Customer→[selected supplier])For Attributes and Attribute sets, the condition depends on the Attribute type.
For example, for an attribute with Type=Checkbox, the condition will be "Is" and the value will be an actual checkbox that you can then check or not.

Table 1a. Sale Parameters and Conditions



The list of Purchase parameters and the applicable conditions under each parameter is shown in Table 1b.

Parameter
Condition
Supplier Name*

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Purchase Invoice Total*

Equals, Greater Than, Less Than, Greater Than or Equal To, Less Than or Equal to, Not Equal To

Purchase Order Total*
Equals, Greater Than, Less Than, Greater Than or Equal To, Less Than or Equal to, Not Equal To
Supplier Shipping Address*

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Supplier Billing Address*

Equals, Contains, Not Contains, Empty, Not Empty

Supplier Attribute Set (values taken from Purchase→Supplier→[selected supplier])For Attributes and Attribute sets, the condition depends on the Attribute type. For example, for an attribute with Type=Checkbox, the condition will be "Is" and the value will be an actual checkbox that you can then check or not.

Table 1b. Parameters and Conditions


NOTE: See Additional Attributes for more information about applying attribute sets to sale process, purchase process, customers and suppliers. 


Add an Event and Event Action

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After adding a parameter and condition, you can add an event and a corresponding action to the workflow. 

  1. On the Workflow page, click +Event.
  2. From the list, select an event to be processed by the workflow.
  3. Select an action to be triggered by the event. To add another action to the event, click +Action. You can add multiple actions to an event. The list of events and the applicable actions under each event is shown in Table 2a (Sale) and Table 2b(Purchase). In addition, some event actions may require additional configuration. Not all actions are available for all events. See the subheadings for more detail about each event action:
  4. Next to the action text, it is possible to optionally Configure a condition. If this is left blank, the action will apply in all cases of the triggering event. 
  5. Click Save. To add another event and another set of event actions, repeat Steps 1-4. You can add as many events and event actions to the workflow as you want.


Event
Available Actions
Sale Quote Authorise
  • Notify
  • Confirm
  • Authorise Order
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Order Authorise
  • Notify
  • Create Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Pick
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Invoice Authorise
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create and Authorise Pick
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Payment Received
  • Notify
  • Wait
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Pick Authorised
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Pack
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Packed Authorised
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Shipment
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Shipment Authorised
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Invoice
  • Mark as Sale Closed
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Fulfilment Created (Pick, Pack or Ship created but not authorised)
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create Invoice
  • Create and Authorise Invoice
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Sale Credit Note Authorised
  • Notify
  • Wait Refund
  • Wait
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow

Table 2a. Sale Events and Event Actions



Event
Available Actions
Purchase Order Authorise
  • Notify
  • Confirm
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Purchase Invoice Authorise
  • Notify
  • Wait Payment
  • Wait
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Stock Received Authorise
  • Notify
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow
Purchase Credit Note Authorised
  • Notify
  • Wait Refund
  • Wait
  • Create Task
  • Task Workflow

Table 2b. Purchase Events and Event Actions

Notify

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The Notify action sends a notification to selected recipients without requiring a response. Notifications can be sent  via email to a single recipient, to a mailing list, or via internal notification (to users of your DEAR organisation, e.g, Sales Representative). Mailing Lists must already exist before they can be selected for notifications. 


The Sales Rep and Customer are included by default on email mailing lists for sales. The Supplier is included by default for Purchases.


You will be given the option to edit the email template or internal notification text. Click Supported Placeholders to enter placeholder fields into the template. For emails, you can add images directly into the body of the email by using the image icon and entering an image address.


If you have selected a document for the email, you must toggle Add Document as Attachment on the email template editing pop-up. A PDF version of the document will be attached and sent to all recipients. 


Save to return to the workflow. 


Confirm

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The Confirm action is available for events that require a confirmation to continue, such as confirming a sale quote before a sale order can be authorised, or a supplier confirming a purchase order. Confirmation requests can be sent  via email to a single recipient, to a mailing list, or via internal notification (to users of your DEAR organisation, e.g, Sales Representative). Mailing Lists must already exist before they can be selected for notifications. 


Confirm actions automatically add a response action to the workflow - for example, when a Confirm action is added to a Sale Quote Authorise event, a Sale Quote Received event is automatically added. 


Configure the waiting period and select the retry count for sending reminders. If there is no response, select whether the system Skips (does nothing), Undo or Void the document. 


In case of rejection, the system can be set to Undo or Void the document, or perform the Notify action. 


You will be given the option to edit the email template or internal notification text. Click Supported Placeholders to enter placeholder fields into the template. For emails, you can add images directly into the body of the email by using the image icon and entering an image address.


If you have selected a document for the email, you must toggle Add Document as Attachment on the email template editing pop-up. A PDF version of the document will be attached and sent to all recipients. 


Wait

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The Wait action performs a notify action after a selected period of time has elapsed and if the subaction condition is met. Configure the waiting period and select the retry count for sending reminders. Next, configure one or more subaction conditions, which can be:

  • Not fulfilled
  • Not paid 
  • Quote not authorised
  • Always


Wait Payment

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The Wait Payment action performs a notify action after a selected period of time has elapsed and if a payment condition is met. Payment conditions can be configured for Full or Partial payments. Configure the waiting period and select the retry count for sending reminders. 


Wait Refund

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The Wait Refund action performs a notify action after a selected period of time has elapsed and if a refund condition is met. Refund conditions can be configured for Full or Partial payments. Configure the waiting period and select the retry count for sending reminders.


Create/Create and Authorise

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Some event actions allow creation or creation and authorisation of other operations.


For example, available actions for the event Sale Order Authorise are Create and Authorise Sale Invoice and Create and Authorise Pick. Authorisation of a sale order will automatically trigger creation and authorisation of invoice and pick for the order, which can in turn trigger other actions. 


No other configuration is required. 


Mark as Sale Closed

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The Mark as Sale Closed action closes the sale, no further configuration is required. 


Create Task

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The Create Task action creates a task for one of your organisation's users once an event has been triggered. Click New Task to open the task configuration window. 


On the task configuration window, you can select which user to assign the task to, the time period and add a description. The user will receive an email notification about the task. Due date can be specified in number of days or in hours or mintues. If all three are given, the system will calculate the due date based on the parameter and given number of days and hours and minutes 


Task Workflow

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Task Workflows can assign tasks or steps that may be required to successfully complete an operation to different roles in your organisation. Roles could be Sales Reps, Accounting Department, Warehouse Staff, Marketing, and Management. This action allows you a workflow event to trigger a previously created task workflow. 


See Tasks Module: Using Notifications & Tasks to Create Workflows for more information on setting up these task workflows. 


Activating/Deactivating a Workflow

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To activate a workflow, switch the toggle button to Active on the Workflow page.


To deactivate a workflow, switch the toggle button to Inactive on the Workflow page.


Editing an Existing Workflow

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You can edit active workflows, but your changes will not affect previously executed actions.


Edit a workflow:

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, in the list of workflows, look for the workflow to be edited, then click its name.
  3. You may add and edit conditions, events and event actions following the procedures in Setting Up a New Workflow. To delete an existing parameter and condition or an event and event action, see Delete Parameters, Conditions, Events, and Event Actions.
  4. After making your changes to the workflow, click Save.


Delete Parameters, Conditions, Events, and Event Actions

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When editing a workflow, you can delete parameters, conditions, events, and event actions.

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, in the list of workflows, look for the workflow to be edited, then click its name.
  3. To delete a parameter and condition from the workflow, click the workflow's existing condition, then on the Set up conditions window, look for the parameter to be deleted, then click the Delete icon to its right.
    To delete an event, click the Delete icon to its right. This deletes all actions under the event.
    To delete an action, click the Delete icon to its right.
  4. On the confirmation message, click Yes, delete it!.


Deleting an Existing Workflow

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You can delete an existing workflow in case you do not need it anymore.


Delete a workflow:

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, click the Delete icon to the left of the workflow to be deleted.
  3. On the confirmation message, click Yes, delete it! to delete the workflow.


Sample Workflows

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Example Sales Workflow

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This workflow automatically takes any sale from quote estimating to sale closing. 


NOTE: If no conditions are applied to a workflow, the workflow will apply to all sales. 



First, create the workflow:

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, click Add New Workflow.
  3. Select Type: Sale and enter a name for the workflow. Set workflow to Active. Save the workflow to continue.
  4. As we want this want this workflow to apply to all sales, no conditions are configured.


Next, add the event that will trigger the workflow. In our case, this will be a quote authorisation. 

  1. Click Add Event, then select Sale Quote Authorise from the list of events. We want to send the quote to the customer for approval. If a rejection is received, the quote will be voided. If the quote is approved, the sale order is authorised. Selecting the Confirm action automatically adds the Sale Quote Approval Received event to the workflow, and we can add the action Authorise Order.
  2. Next, we want the sale order authorisation to trigger the creation and authorisation of the sale invoice and pick. At this stage, the sales rep should be notified. Click Add Event and select Sale Order Authorise from the list of events.
  3. Our next event, Sale Invoice Authorise, will be automatically triggered by the previous event. We need to send a copy of the invoice to the customer and to the accounting department. The Sales Rep and Customer for a sale are automatically included on mailing lists if the Notify action is used (sales only). 
  4. We also add a Wait Payment action that checks if the payment has been made in full, and sends a weekly reminder to the customer if there are still outstanding payments.
  5. Our next event, Sale Pick Authorise, will be automatically triggered by the sale order authorise event. In our warehouse, pick and pack happen together, so this event should automatically trigger Sale Pack Authorisation. The Warehouse staff is notified and sent the Pick List and Packing Slip.
  6. Our next event will be Sale Shipment Authorise. Upon authorisation, we want to mark the sale as closed and send the customer an email notification that the package has been dispatched. One week later, we send a follow up email to the customer to check in.


This ends the example workflow. 


Example Purchase Workflow

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This workflow automates the notifications for a purchases above a certain value. We want to make sure purchase orders above a certain value are approved by the Procurement department before ordering.


NOTE: If no conditions are applied to a workflow, the workflow will apply to all purchases. 


NOTE: Currently, not all of the actions available for sales workflow are available for purchase workflow. This area is under active development and more features/actions are to be added.


First, create the workflow:

  1. In the DEAR menu, click Settings → Automation → Workflow.
  2. On the Workflow List page, click Add New Workflow.
  3. Select Type: Purchase and enter a name for the workflow. Set workflow to Active. Save the workflow to continue.
  4. We want the workflow to apply to orders over $3000. Click Configure conditions to open a pop-up window.
  5. We set our parameter to Purchase Order Total >= $3000, and click OK to continue.


Next, add the event that will trigger the workflow. In our case, this will be a purchase order authorisation. 

  1. Click Add Event, then select Purchase Order Authorise from the list of events. We want to send the PO to the Procurement department for approval. If no response is received, the workflow takes action Skip and goes directly to the next event. If the PO is rejected, the department user will be notified of the rejected PO. Selecting the Confirm action automatically adds the Purchase Order Approve event to the workflow. 
  2. If the PO is approved, we add a Notify action sending an email with attached PO to the supplier.
  3. Next, we add the event Purchase Invoice Authorise. When we receive the supplier's invoice and authorise it in DEAR, the workflow sends a notification to the Finance department.


This ends the example workflow. 



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