Using ERP to untangle workflows.


14th October, 2019

How to use ERP workflows to spin up operational profitability

It is possible to automate and untangle workflows with ERP software, and doing so can add exponential value to your business. Here’s how.

A company’s operational profitability is a direct reflection of how well it can control its revenue and expenses.

It makes sense, then, that when a company wants to improve its operational profitability, it looks to where it can reduce operational costs and improve efficiency while remaining competitive delivering its products or services to customers.

Even though most companies know this, many still find it challenging to reach their maximum potential. One of the things holding them back? Workflow.

Most companies know workflow automation is well worth the return on investment, yet so many still rely on manual work – paper or spreadsheet-based – doing mundane tasks that drain business resources every day.

Streamline, then automate workflows

Irrespective of your company size, streamlining and automating workflows will reduce the number of manual tasks. This leaves room for employees to take on more valuable tasks in the business. And that means the company reduces hours spent on empty manual labour – directly impacting operational profitability.

Before you automate, it’s essential to streamline your processes and establish the right workflows. Most companies have processes, yes, but they’re often difficult to monitor, inefficient or outdated. Improving workflow efficiencies at all levels would help teams complete more work in less time, and standardise how work is performed.

Then it’s time to integrate your workflows by establishing connection points between departments. Start by aligning priorities to ensure the system works between departments and team members as one unit. Once you have that running smoothly, you’ll quickly see where automation will deliver maximum returns, with day-to-day system operations triggering workflow tasks.

Establishing the right workflow means everyone knows which cog to turn – what’s expected of them and their responsibilities.

For management, it means access to a high-level, real-time view of what’s going on in the business, rather than having to request updates. Even approvals can be automated, so nothing is missed, and managers can make decisions when required without disrupting the workflow.

Improving workflows and approvals to drive operational profitability is one of the core reasons why a company would invest in an ERP solution like MYOB Advanced. It delivers a single technology platform for your entire operation and automates across the board to optimise performance and improve efficiency – reducing manual labour requirements and errors.

READ: 14 ERP system benefits to consider in the selection process

The role of ERP


Using MYOB enterprise software, you can define the set of processes, people and other resources needed to accomplish operational goals, and the interactions among them. The workflow engine will let you set actions and approval requests, as well as purchase and sales-order approvals.

Integrated workflows span the full suite of business management applications – financials, project accounting, inventory management and CRM – as well as specialised industry solutions, from construction and manufacturing to commerce, field services and distribution. It allows employees to create and automate workflows, sync files, get notifications and collect data.


System approvals improve business processes when they are automated. They quickly increase day-to-day productivity by ensuring critical transactions, documents and records are automatically seen and approved by the appropriate managers or roles – without holding up progress.

With MYOB’s ERP, approvals and authorisation maps ensure the right people are alerted when they’re needed in the process.

  • System alerts: define rules to trigger alerts across the system to notify users of critical information, like when customers go over their credit limit, or sales are below a certain margin.
  • Approval management: configure the approvals process to suit your business needs – a multi-level approach, or based on events or expectations.
  • Approvals on the run: web and mobile interfaces mean approval processes continue uninterrupted, even when a user is out of the office.
  • Flexible notification options: include email, pop-up notices and text messages.
  • Fraud prevention: ensure your business complies with the internationally accepted compliance standard Sarbanes Oxley, as well as other jurisdictional requirements. Maintain compliance with approval rules that make fraud difficult, and alerts that highlight potential problem areas.
  • Initiate new business processes: such as purchasing a fixed asset triggers the creation of a fixed asset entry in the Fixed Asset Register.
  • Mistake prevention: define rules that prevent users from breaking specific business bylaws, for example: don’t allow a particular price book to be used for a specific customer group.
  • Escalations engine: monitor by exception, for example: identify actions that have not been completed on schedule.

READ THIS NEXT: 14 ERP system benefits to consider in the selection process

MYOB ERP modules

Here are nine examples of how you would use MYOB enterprise software to improve workflow efficiency, and ultimately drive operational profitability:

1. Mobile Applications

  • Work on the go; review and approve timesheets, expenses, sales orders and purchase orders, to name a few.

2. Accounts Payable

  • Automatically approve payments or use an approval process to help you prioritise or delay payments. You can even designate payment methods or accounts to pay from.
  • Efficiently manage company liabilities to vendors for purchased or received goods and services.
  • Automate payment processes and flexible payment options.
  • Comprehensive reports and inquiries, with extensive drill-down capabilities, give you full visibility of the current state of Accounts Payable and historical vendor performance.

3. Time and Expenses

  • Customise workflows to move items through a specified approval process. Approved items can generate corresponding project transactions or invoices and can even be posted to specific cases, customers, contracts or projects.

4. Expense Management

  • Automate processing of time cards and expense claims using deadlines, escalation paths, and template-based notifications automatically delivered to the appropriate person/s.

5. Sales Automation

  • Make sure your sales follow a strict approval process by restricting workflow access rights and managing approvals at every stage.

6. Inventory Management

  • Reorder easily with automatically generated purchase orders and recommendations based on replenishment algorithms and your stock levels. Generated orders go directly to the vendor with the best delivery time and price.
  • The ability to create the warehouse structure, register new inventory, and manage the inventory in multiple warehouses provides real-time access to available inventory, inventory in transit, reorder quantities, and inventory costs, so you can efficiently manage your distribution process.

7. Sales Order Management

8. Purchase Order Management

  • Control orders and their release with pre-set approval rules and processes. Approval rules can be customised according to order specific information such as type or amount, or vendor information.
  • Manage purchase-related activities such as placing purchase orders, receiving purchases, and entering various additional costs associated with purchasing operations.

READ THIS NEXT: Getting to know order management systems (OMS)

9. Purchase Requisition Management

  • Ensure the correct people are involved in the process at the correct time, with approval maps and authorisations to provide alerts.
  • If no approval has been received within a certain amount of days, then send the approval request to next approver.
  • Request goods and services, approve requests and prevent cost overruns.

READ THIS NEXT: 9 step ERP implementation plan for business operators

Why invest in an ERP solution to drive operational profitability?

Simple – identifying inefficiencies allows for better process and workflow management and clear accountability. An ERP solution provides an automated solution so your people can focus on other high-impact, more profitable tasks.

So, prioritise which workflows need to be streamlined first, then automate. Moreover, don’t just shift the technology, shift the workflows as well – these are arguably the two most important steps you can take on the road to maximum operational profitability.

With MYOB ERP software, you can pick and choose modules to deliver the functionality you need. MYOB also lets you automate across the board – all teams, departments, and employees, including management. You all need to be on the same team.

To find out more about how MYOB Enterprise Software can streamline workflows click here.