If your business has unique needs when it comes to creating orders, you might benefit from using Phases in Spire to Improve your Workflow.
Creating any type of order, whether it’s a Sales Order, Production Order or Purchase Order, will look different for many businesses. These differences can be influenced by factors including the industry type, business environment, people, and business operations in general. With so many variables at play, having a business management software that can adapt to your unique needs is critical; that’s where Phases come into play.
Phases are customizable, sequential process stages that allow for dividing or segmenting activities in Spire to correspond to internal steps taken to complete a process. Spire provides a status field on orders that denote a stage in the order process, however, they are limited. The status field for a Sales Order will start as Open, then can move to Process, Shipped, and finally Closed. Although, a business’ internal Sales Order process may involve additional steps or touchpoints that require action from multiple users, such as credit checks, supplier confirmation, scheduling, etc., these can be added through the Phase feature.
A list of Phases can be added and edited through the Edit menu on the top menu bar. A Phase can be added to Sales Orders, Production Orders, and Purchase Orders. When creating a new Phase, the Next Phase that follows is also assigned. The order moves to the Next Phase after clicking the Next Phase button on an order.
Advantages of Using Spire’s Phases to Improve Workflow
When an order moves to the Next Phase, typically new information is needed or it is pending action by another stakeholder. Custom filters can be created to list orders with specific Phases allowing users to isolate orders needing attention by creating a dynamic work list. Custom filters can be saved to the module list allowing users to open the list view instantly showing only the orders that are relevant.
Clicking on the Phase tab on an order brings up the Phase history of the order. This tab lists the date the order started in each Phase and the date when the Phase ended. Notes and Reference fields are available for entering additional information. This information is helpful for understanding how much time an order sits in each Phase and what processes need improvement.
Report templates can be added to individual Phases triggering reports when an order moves to that Phase. Reports pertaining to the requirements of a phase are immediately available when the order reaches that stage, such as contracts, price lists, or terms and conditions text.
Dividing a process into clear, individual steps provides clarity to users on the work needing to be performed in the overall process. Labeling the stages and linking them in a sequence is effectively mapping the process which is valuable when training new employees and eliminating variance. When a phase is completed and the user clicks the Next Phase button, it is clear based on the Phase description what is required and who owns this step. To further reduce mistakes, it is also possible to introduce a review or approval phase before the process is complete to ensure the order is evaluated.
Multiple Phase sequences can be created that move orders through different sets of Phases. A user can decide which starting Phase to assign an order to, based on factors on the order such as Customer, items sold, salesperson/ territory, or pricing. For example, an order that requires design work can start in the New Design phase, move to the Preliminary Design, then Approved Design, and finally Design for Production phase. Alternatively, an order that requires custom pricing can start in the New Special Order phase, then PricingTeam, ManagerApproval, then finally Approved phase.
We hope you enjoyed our blog on Using Phases in Spire to Improve Workflow. Check back soon for future blog posts on Phase sequence examples for Sales Order, Purchase Orders, and Production Orders.