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Using Dynamics CRM for bid sign off process

  • 1.  Using Dynamics CRM for bid sign off process

    Posted Feb 01, 2019 07:43 AM
    ​Hi, we, like most  companies, have a sign off process for submitting proposals to customers. We are looking to see how our fairly recent (on Prem) Dynamics CRM can support it, improving the user experience and helping us be more rigorous. Areas we think it could help in are; Communication and notification Sign off Gates, User Guidance, Prompts to do the right thing, Tracking  information or items
    I was wondering if you had any experience in having done this yourselves, any pointers or have seen any youtubes or urls on it?

    Guy Wood
    CRM Dir, CGI

  • 2.  RE: Using Dynamics CRM for bid sign off process

    Posted Feb 01, 2019 10:03 PM
    As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we set this up for clients all the time.
    You need to carefully consider how each person in the process needs to interact with the work stream. Do they work primarily in email, or would they use a dashboard if they had one? Not everyone has the same needs. Create a swim lane diagram of the flow and make a lane for each persons 'role'. Determine what field or event will be your stage gates. Will your flow have loops? Do you want to capture KPI's? if either of these are Yes, then you need to consider having a 'status history' table to track how many times a unit of work goes from one state to the next so that you know if you have a point of failure in your process. I wrote a blog on that here.

    For example, I just completed a workflow for a client where they fill in all the details for the quote, and click a button to start the routing of the approval process. Depending on business rules, the system will notify key staff members to perform their review and fill in their approval. We used field level security to only permit certain people to update their part of the approval. When all the approvals are completed, a workflow will generate a completed proposal using DocumentsCorePack and send it to the client through Docusign for approval automatically. We used workflows to either create tasks in queues, or just reassign ownership a record together with security roles to control who was responsible for any given task.

    Another job was for a national political party that needed to manage incoming invoices for approval. The invoice is received in email as a PDF which is attached to a custom entity that holds metadata about the document, such as amount, GL account, purpose, and category information. The metadata triggers a very flexible approval path that the system administrator can define. After all the approvals are collected, then accounting department can use the metadata for the accounting system to cut a check. In this case, we created from 1 to 5 approval task records using a workflow that followed business rules.

    Another client had us build a real estate construction loan approval process that needed to collect a lot of documents (which took months to collect). For each type of document, they had a different expiration date so we had to insure all the documents were up to date in order to get through the approval process. The approval process involved 5 different stage gates and revision loops.

    The point is many things are possible. I am not sure how much help any of this is, but I will say it is easy to paint yourself into a corner that only a software developer can solve, so a little investment in some upfront advice will save a lot later on.

    Nelson Johnson
    Solution Architect
    BroadPoint Technologies, LLC
    Bethesda MD