Quick Look – The New Dynamics AX Workflow Tool

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[fusion_builder_container background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none” last=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all”][fusion_youtube id=”PCzoI4NXqVU?list=PLOgOmXCGOFC7alBIaF0iKCp9l56d3-Kmb” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=”” /][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”20px” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none” last=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all”][fusion_title size=”2″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]Quick Look – The New Dynamics AX Workflow Tool[/fusion_title][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” class=”” id=””]

Hi, this is Mark Vent with a “Quick Look – at The New Dynamics AX”.  The subject for today is “Workflows.”

About Sikich

I work for a company called Sikich, a professional services firm that has been in business for over 30 years, and has over 700 employees, located in 11 regional offices around the country.  Sikich is known as a good place to work, it is also a great regional accounting firm, but perhaps most important for companies that are looking at enterprise software; we are a Microsoft Partner and we are in the top 1% of all technology solution providers in the world, a certified member of the president’s club and in the inner circle with Microsoft.

Challenges That Can Be Solved with a Good Workflow Tool

Some of the challenges that companies face that can be solved with a good workflow tool include:

  • Control – There are certain types of records in an ERP system that can be created by users based upon their permissions and their role but sometimes there’s a little additional control that the company wants to create upon those records and how they’re created and what process to have to go through.
  • Consistency – Can we apply that type of control consistently from one entry to another so that people know what to expect when they’re working within the enterprise system.
  • Approval Limits – And finally there can be various paths for records to follow based upon some limits. Perhaps that’s a spending limit up to five hundred dollars. The user can submit the record without any review over $500 and – $5000 perhaps is reviewed by their manager, over $5,000 it goes to the controller… things like that.

The New Dynamics AX Workflow Tool Demo

To see how the workflow tool solves some of these challenges, let’s jump into the new Dynamics AX.  There are a couple of prerequisites in ax to enabling a workflow. Since we’re going to be looking at a purchase order workflow process today, I would have to go to my procurement sourcing menu and select my procurement sourcing parameters, and make sure that I had “Change Management” checked.  That will allow me to enable workflow into control changes, to purchase orders through that.

The next thing I want to do is go to my procurement sourcing workflow option, under the setup menu, and this is where I define the workflows that apply to purchases, purchase requisitions.  Let’s select this last one here called the “Purchase Order Workflow” and open it within the workflow tool.  This is going to prompt me for my credentials to log into the workflow editor in the cloud.  After I have provided those credentials, it will open up this workflow window to give me a graphic representation of the workflow that I’m looking at. You’ll notice that in this case, t’s a very simple workflow with one conditional approval step and then end, which means that basically it’s going to be submitted for approval.  It will go through one conditional approval process and then it will complete and return to the originator of the workflow to allow them continue with their process.

The settings on the workflow are way beyond the scope of this presentation today, I just want to point out a couple of things.  Notice that when you’re looking at the workflow as a whole.  You have some activation and some notification settings you could do is I begin to drill into other parts of the workflow.  I have some automatic actions that can be defined, in other words, I can have some automatic approval happen based upon some kind of criteria, and as I drill in one more level to the actual conditions on this step, I can define the assignment and escalation.  If I want this to be escalated to other users, if the original approver didn’t get to it, and I can also define the conditions upon which this kind of approval has to happen.

In this case I want to focus on just the one assignment. Notice that my assignment has a lot of flexibility built into it.  If I had a company hierarchy to find, that define subordinates and managers; accept this will allow me to enforce that at the workflow. So that regardless of who the user was that submitted a purchase order for approval, it would go to that person’s manager. Reading that from the company hierarchy, for the purpose of our demo, I’ve defined a specific user and that user is India. So when I submit my purchase order for approval it’s going to be routed to ink for her review.

That’s just a quick overview of the graphical workflow editor. I’m going to cancel out of this form to come back to my list of workflows that are defined.  We can see that there is this purchase order workflow we just looked at. It is active, and it is our default, so the next step in our process is to actually create a purchase order and walk through this approval process to see how it works.  To do so, I’m going to return to my home page and I will click on my workspace for purchase order preparation.  I’m going to create a new purchase order. I’ll walk through the header set up quickly so we can get to the point of entering some line detail and submitting our purchase order. Now that I have the purchase order header defined and I’m into the line detail, a couple of things will be apparent.  First of all, the status of the purchase order, in the top right, now says “Draft”.  That is something new. You didn’t see that until “workflow” is applied to this particular process. The next thing you’ll notice, is that I don’t have the ability to run a confirmation and to send a copy of the purchase order to my vendor, because I now have a workflow involved. So now it has added a workflow button up here at the top.

Let’s quickly add some line detail.  Now that I have some line detail in place, I’m going to have to submit this to workflow because I can’t confirm the order and send it to the vendor.  So I’m going to go to work flow and I’m going to click on submit, and I can add a comment here, and finish my submit process. You’ll notice that now the status of the purchase order is in review, which means, that again I can’t confirm it yet because it’s in the review process and is waiting for the approver defined by that workflow to review and accept, or reject the appeal to go to that next step.

Now you’re going to see what the approver is going to see from this process.  I’m going to log in as another user and I’m going to start a new session.  I’m going to log in as India. Now I’m into a new session. Logged in as the user India, as it says up here in the top right hand corner.  You can see that India has a different dashboard, she has access to only certain parts of AX. One of the things that you will see when she opens up, is under her list of work items assigned, is now a “P.O approval submit.” When she clicks on that link, it will take her to the workflow step, reviewing the purchase order and either accepting or rejecting.

She could drill further. She’d like to review the line details of this purchase order, and the total amount on it.  If she’s happy with what she sees here, and she goes to the workflow icon, she has the ability to approve, reject, or you could request a change. She could delegate this to another user.  In this case she’s going to answer, “Approve.”  You could make a comment, and then finish her approve step, and that goes away when she goes back to her home page.  She no longer has that message from the workflow that she has to respond to.

Now let’s log out as India, and will log back in again to read your purchase order. Now I’m back to my screen as the original user that submitted this purchase order. You’ll notice that it still shows as “in

Review.” Let me hit a refresh on this page, to see people update.  Sure enough India has accepted, or approved my purchase order, and it now updates within AX to show that it’s approved.  You’ll also notice that now I have a confirmation process available to me.  I can confirm this purchase order, and using print management, can send this to my vendor so it could be accepted in process.

Summary

To summarize, the workflow utility inside of the new Dynamics AX gives companies the ability to define a process that is consistent and repeatable and enforces that process, with the system preventing users from actually confirming or submitting a process to be completed until after that review has happened.  And finally, it gives you the ability to define conditional flows, based upon the value of the record, based upon the unit or the manager of that group, and complete flexibility to define that process.

If you have any questions about Sikich or about the workflow process, feel free to email me.  Thank you and have a great day!

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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