CAPEX Approval Workflow
CAPEX approval workflows for business procurement are now clearly structured and automated in a central solution.
The new CAPEX approval workflow is used worldwide (USA, China, Europe) in the Plastiflex Group. As it is a solution for the approval of various procurement actions, the solution is used in all levels of management up to the CEO on an almost daily basis. Thanks to the use of skybow, the team was able to build, test and launch the CAPEX approval workflow without any programming knowledge.
The company already had a CAPEX approval workflow in SharePoint 2010 on-premise. This solution was now to be transferred to SharePoint Online. In addition, the solution was to receive further functions and features that could not yet be mapped in the old app.
For this purpose, the Plastiflex team compared different solutions:
- Using SharePoint in combination with Power Apps and Power Automate
- Have it built externally (using Angular Framework)
- Using the skybow low-code platform
The decision was made to use the skybow Solution Studio, as this was the only solution that met all the requirements. The low-code approach and the intuitive usability of the platform made skybow the perfect choice for the Plastiflex team. The CAPEX approval workflow was also to be built by colleagues who had no development experience in this area.
Despite the lack of experience and numerous parallel projects, the new CAPEX approval workflow was launched within only 5 weeks, including testing with the colleague from the finance department.
"skybow had more to offer than all the other options and working with the skybow Solution Studio is a lot easier than working with the Power Platform and Power Automate. That's why we decided to implement the new CAPEX approval workflow in SharePoint Online with skybow.", Bram Gijsbers (Plastiflex Group)
How it was solved
The SharePoint solution was created and launched completely independently by the Plastiflex Group team. Thanks to the various features and functions of the skybow low-code platform, they have managed to digitally map the entire CAPEX approval workflow and automate it as much as possible. They have used the following functions for this:
SharePoint forms are used for the submission of new procurement measures. These were adapted to the individual needs with the help of skybow's Forms Designer. Using calculated fields, conditional field validation and visibility controls, it was possible to make the forms extremely user-friendly. This results in significantly fewer errors and speeds up the filling out of the forms.
Furthermore, the user interface could be adapted to the user's wishes thanks to the numerous additional styling options offered by the skybow Forms Builder. Thus, the handling of the CAPEX approval workflow became more intuitive and the system is used with pleasure by everyone.
With this function it was possible to link multiple document libraries to the SharePoint master list. And this without creating complex master-detail-relationships. This allowed us to implement the complicated CAPEX approval workflows much easier and faster.
"Love this feature!", Bram Gijsbers (Plastiflex Group)
When a new procurement measure is submitted to the solution via SharePoint Form, an individual approval workflow is automatically triggered. We have configured various automation actions in the skybow Action Builder, which in turn are triggered by different triggers in the course of the process. These include, for example, e-mail notifications as soon as a person has to release a procurement measure. In some places they also used Java scripts to build custom logic.
The entire CAPEX approval workflow was built in skybow's secure development environment and then extensively tested with the finance department using their own data. As this is a very sensitive process, which has to work absolutely reliable, this was a big advantage. The Plastiflex Group team also benefits from the Package & Publish feature of the skybow Solution Studio during maintenance.
Built-in security features for SharePoint Users & Groups
Precisely because this CAPEX process is so sensitive, high demands were placed on the security measures. Only authorized persons must be able to access the respective procurement measures or their release. For this purpose, the Plastiflex Group team used List Security on Item Level, which was extremely easy to configure in skybow.
skybow has an impressive toolset and is great relief for our team for the development of new SharePoint workflows. The low-code tool provides exactly the features that SharePoint developers want. In addition, we can always count on the support of the skybow team. They are there to answer all our questions with very competent solutions.
The CAPEX approval workflow maps the approval of procurements in the company on different levels. Based on the input when submitting a procurement measure, various parameters are analyzed by the solution. Based on this, the procurement measure is assigned to a certain level.
The level to which a procurement measure is assigned depends on various factors. These include, for example, the type of procurement measure, the budget, the area, the intended use, etc. The level to which the procurement measure is assigned depends on the level to which it belongs. Depending on the level to which the procurement measure belongs, a separate approval workflow is triggered. A procurement measure must be approved by several people in the company. The CAPEX approvals build on each other, so it is imperative that the approvals take place in the correct order.
The SharePoint solution automatically sends notifications to the persons who currently have to approve a procurement measure. Reminders for CAPEX approvals are also sent in the same way.
If the procurement measure has been approved by the last instance, both the person submitting the measure and the finance department automatically receive a notification. If a procurement measure is not approved by an instance, the process is cancelled and the submitting person is automatically informed about the rejection and the reason for it.
Compared to the old CAPEX approval workflow, the new solution built with skybow is much more user-friendly and intuitive to use. Thanks to conditional data entry logic on the SharePoint forms, there are significantly fewer errors, the user experience is better and the processes are more efficient. In addition, the new CAPEX approval workflow works much more reliably than the old on-premise system. Users can now find all relevant information from the CAPEX process in a central solution and can view the progress of the approvals at any time.
Why would you recommend using skybow?
The skybow Solution Studio offers the perfect platform to build SharePoint workflows quickly, easily and without programming knowledge. With skybow, solutions can be built easier than with any other tool from the Microsoft 365 world. The tool provides all the features a SharePoint developer would want. This includes not only the super simple building of new solutions and the secure test environment, but also the possibility of maintenance.
The provisioning feature of skybow allows us to create updates for our CAPEX approval workflow at any time and to deploy them super easily and conveniently when they are ready. This allows us to constantly develop and improve the business app.
"Love the skybow framework for updates, testing and development.", Patrick Taels (Plastiflex Group)
We also really appreciate skybow's competent support. We are in regular contact with the skybow tech team. They support us in building our solution and always help us with competent and creative solutions when we have questions or problems. I have never experienced such a good service with any other software tool.
In addition, the low-code platform is constantly being further developed. The team constantly adapts the toolset to new requirements and thus keeps its finger on the pulse. So there is no worry that you will have to develop with an outdated platform at some point.