How to Optimize Internal Approval Processes
The organizational structure – in other words, how information, operations, and decisions flow through the company – is key to its overall success. To demonstrate the importance of organizational structure, consider a smaller company experiencing rapid growth. Like many smaller companies, they will experience growing pains. Forbes lists the most damaging growing pains as:
- Constantly putting out fires
- Lack of direction
- Departmental silos
- Unproductive meetings
Most larger organizations have already passed these growing pains whereas smaller companies need to figure them out. Their first step is developing the organizational structure to address the issues above. It will help better define employee jobs and tasks, set out processes to work more efficiently, define a clearer vision for the company, and have more productive meetings, that do not involve the entire company.
Management teams make hundreds of decisions every single day. And one way to maximize the efficiency of the organizational structure is to establish internal approval processes.
Managing Asset Request Approvals
There are different processes for different types of approvals. For example, approvals for vacation or attending seminars vs approval for a new computer monitor.
It is ideal to establish these processes to obtain maximum efficiency. However, upper management is typically more concerned about the purchases going on throughout the organization and maintaining low costs.
To remain productive, employees require equipment like computers, desks, monitors, paper, and pens. Regardless of what department is in charge of them, the approval process is necessary, especially when equipment can cost thousands of dollars.
Four questions to answer when building an approval process:
- What equipment needs to be approved?
- Who needs to approve it (can be more than one person)?
- How much lead time is required to make the purchase?
- How do we make sure the costs go to the right department?
Approval Processes in VIZOR
One solution is using a request portal like VIZOR. VIZOR is a management platform for IT assets and ticketing that has extensive features for approvals. They include:
- When a request is made, VIZOR automatically sends an email to the approver
- Sends the request to many approvers, even if they need to be approved in a specific order
- Automatically sends them an email reminder to approve or not approve the request after a certain period of time
- Sends the request to multiple individuals and moves along in the process once a minimum number of people approve/disapprove a request (like in board meetings)
- Allows the request to be delegated to another individual if someone is on vacation
- If a request is updated, the updated request is only sent to those who already opened the request
- The request includes details of the person who submitted the request
- Tracks who is requesting what and their costs
Is using a tool the solution?
At this point, you might be wondering, “Why do we need a tool to streamline approval processes? “ This brings us back to the opening story. No matter the size of the organization, management is making hundreds of decisions every single day. Introducing a tool, like VIZOR, helps automate the process, manage the people involved, track the assets and costs and remain efficient. By implementing VIZOR, your organization would also reduce the time it takes to approve equipment and establishes open communication lines between departments.