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Sofon Approval Portal offers extensive additional authorization functions for Sofon Proposal Organizer. The most important addition functionalities include the approval or disapproval of quotation via a portal and the possibility for multiple approval levels.
Sofon Proposal Organizer offers various possibilities for approving quotations and orders. Authorization can be defined depending on the role a Sofon user has been given. Quotations that comply with predefined rules do not require specific authorization. However, authorization may be required when the total quotation amount exceeds a certain value, for certain discount levels or certain products offered. Also more complex authorization procedures can be supported such as multiple hierarchically related approvals within a quotation.
In order to facilitate an easy and fast approval process, Proposal Organizer can automatically send e-mails to the approver with an approval request. This request can contain a report that only shows the quotation information that is relevant for the approval decision. Additionally, using filters, overviews can be provided of all quotations in a certain stage, or for example all quotations waiting for approval, approved quotations or disapproved quotations.
Once approval rules have been entered in Sofon models correctly, Proposal Organizer will only require approval for exceptions. After all, when a sales representative has made a quotation that complies with the rules, approval is not required.
In order to support both simple and more complex, multilevel approval processes, Sofon Proposal Organizer supports three approval scenarios.
In smaller organizations usually the approval of specific quotations will be done by a single approver. In this scenario, when approval is required, an e-mail with a request for approval will be automatically sent to the approver. The approver opens the applicable quotation, decides to approve or disapprove the quotation and optionally adds a textual explanation that is stored chronologically in a log file with the quotation. The quotation maker subsequently receives an e-mail message and can, in case of disapproval, create a new version of the quotation for which he will request approval again.
A more sophisticated approval process distinguishes technical and commercial approval. In this case initially, a draft quotation is offered for technical approval. Once technical approval has taken place, commercial approval can be requested from the one responsible for the commercial approval of the quotation. Also this procedure can be supported with e-mail notifications and filtered lists of quotations (quotations waiting for approval, approved quotations, etc.).
For complex multilevel approval processes the Approval Portal is the suitable solution. By means of roles it is defined which user gets which approval authorizations. By means of so called exceptions, rules can be defined for every occurrence that requires approval. Exceptions can for instance be the excess of a total quotation amount or certain discounts. Quotations in which no exceptions occur do not require approval.
Approval can be given for separate quotation positions and for a quotation as a whole. In case all quotation positions have been technically approved, the quotation can be set “ready for approval”. If the total quotation has been commercially approved, the quotation can be set “approved”. Every person who has to approve the quotation or a part of it receives an e-mail with a link to the Approval Portal. For every exception that occurs, two persons can be notified. It can be defined whether one of the two or both persons have to give their approval. Via the Approval Portal, the approver gets access to an internal report that provides the quotation details that are relevant for approval.
The approval process can be organized with exceptions related to a hierarchy of approvers: an e-mail is sent to the lowest level of approval first. Once this person or these persons have approved the respective exception(s), an e-mail is sent to the following level with an approval request for the exception that is higher in hierarchy. Once all exceptions have been approved, the quotation can be set “approved”. The Approval Portal supports mobile sales representatives who may not have access to the central database at all times and work with an offline Proposal Organizer on their notebook. On approval, they receive a pin code per e-mail which allows them to finalize the approval process locally on their own notebook and subsequently issue the quotation. They therefore don’t have to synchronize their local quotation database with the central server for this purpose.