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Hierarchical Approval Management

How to manage Hierarchical Approval Management for your uniform business

8 min read
Jason September 9, 2020

If you run a B2B e-commerce uniform business, you would have already understood that a run-of-the-mill order management system cannot satisfy your business’ special requirements.

While there are numerous requirements for an online business, order management is the key feature for a uniform business. Today’s fast-paced online business world calls for a much more sophisticated and advanced system.

A regular ordering system would only let your customers place, cancel, or edit orders.

However, being in the uniform industry and if you’re running an employee uniform program for specific companies, your order management system would require important features like Order Approval Management System or multi-level Hierarchical Approval Management system.

Wondering what a Hierarchical Approval Management system is?

In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about why you need one, and other factors to consider before software selection.

What is the Hierarchical Approval Management system?

A Hierarchical Approval Management system allows a uniform distributor or manufacturer running employee uniform programs to have the functionality to set approvers for a company.

They can either choose a single approver or multiple approvers hierarchically who have the option to either approve an order placed by their employees or reject it.

These approvers are generally set to monitor and approve employee orders based on an order value limit or payment type. However, they can also be set to approve orders for specific employees, products, or order quantity.

Once these specifics are set, any employee who places an order belonging to one of those parameters will go through the respective approver.

Why does a company need one?

A company choosing a uniform program would look for a Hierarchical Approval Management system or automated approval workflows to control budgets or prevent certain employees from ordering an item that is not earmarked for them.

They may also need a feature for the supervisor’s support to approve uniforms that are scarce in their field or has unique and complex design requirements.

The military is one such field that would require a Hierarchical Approval Management system or supervisor’s approval due to the above-mentioned requirements.

Why do you require a hierarchical management system for your e-commerce platform?

If you are a uniform distributor or manufacturer or someone who needs to cater to a huge number of employees of a company through a uniform program, then you may require a Hierarchical Approval Management system as part of your e-commerce arsenal.

Most corporate companies with a huge number of employees and public safety fields like Emergency Medical Services, fire departments, or the Military and Army fields require a supervisor approval feature mandatorily as part of a uniform program.

So, if you’re looking to approach a big company in the airline industry or the military, then make sure you equip your e-commerce store with this feature.

Having an order approval process will also benefit you in reducing incorrect orders and effectively saving time, resources, and money.

6 important functionalities to consider before choosing a software solution

An effective multi-level Hierarchical Approval Management system must have the below features to be able to meet the specific uniform buying requirements of large corporate and public safety fields.

Refer to the below image to get an idea of how the interface of a Hierarchical Approval Management looks like.

As the below example is related to the military supervisor approval process, all the features will be explained in that context. However, the functionality remains the same for any field.

1. Approval Sets

The approval sets are one of the most basic yet important things to be defined in order to set an approval hierarchy.

These approval groups or sets are groups of employees who have the ability to either approve or reject an employee’s order.

The admin can decide on assigning the employees to different approval sets and also name them accordingly. He can also set parameters based on which the approver gets an order notification for approval.

The best part is any number of approval sets can be defined based on the requirement.

2. Approval Levels

Once the approval sets are defined, it is time to set approval levels

Approval levels are the levels of hierarchy or supervisor approval levels that are set to define the number of levels required to approve an order.

In the above example, the Army Staff is assigned approval level 1 and the Chief of Staff is assigned level 2. When an order that requires approval is placed, it will first go through level 1 for approval.

If the order is approved by level 1, then it will go through level 2 for approval. It will not go through level 2 if it is rejected at level 1.

The order will be accepted and be ready to be fulfilled once level 2, which is the highest level, in this case, approves.

Normally, software solutions offer up to 2 levels. However, considering the feedback of our clients, we have provided the functionality to create an ‘n’ number of approval levels based on your requirements.

3. Approval Basis

An order can be approved based on two main options including Total Order Value and by Ledger.

The total order value is the total amount of the order or cart value, depending on which a notification will be triggered to the respective approver for approval.

The ledger value on the other hand is pretty straight forward where an order notification will be triggered to a particular approver based on the type of ledger option chosen by the employee at the time of check out.

Depending on a company’s requirement, more such approval basis could be added.

4. Ledger Type

The ledger type is another important feature of a supervisor approval process. The software must include the functionality of choosing the type of ledgers or payment options when ‘By Ledger’ approval basis is selected.

There are a number of ledger types that can be included into the software. Below are some of the common ledger types.

Points:

The points are assigned by the employers to their employees based on their performance. These points could be redeemed at the time of purchase.

Allowance:

The employer may provide an allowance of a particular amount of money at the time of joining the organization or periodically to purchase uniforms.

Purchase Order:

Unlike a regular purchase order, the employee will be given a particular code as a purchase order, which he/she could use at the time of checkout. If the code matches the backend one, then the order will go through.

Payroll Deduct:

The value of the order placed will be deducted from the employee’s payroll or salary.

Company Pay:

As the name suggests, the company will be paying the amount of the order value placed by the employee.

Store Credit:

As an admin, you have the option to provide a certain amount as store credit to newly registered employees or as requested by the employer.

Personal or Business Credit Cards:

The employee may use either a personal or business credit card at the time of check out and place the order.

For each ledger type, the employers or admin can configure the settings and set triggers to receive a notification for approval.

Not to brag, but we also provide the functionality of receiving email notifications to the approver, who can then direct approve or reject the order with the click of a button through that email.

5. Approval Limit

This is the minimum and maximum amount value that determines an order’s approval requirement.

For example, an order value within the $500-$1000 limit can be notified to an approver at level 1 and an order value within the $1000-$2000 limit can be notified to an approver at level 2.

In this way, different approval limits could be assigned to different approval levels in a hierarchy.

6. Approval for Employees or Products

A great supervisor approval software not only lets you create an approval process for employees, but also lets you configure for different products.

The products could be configured for approval based on premium-ness or if it is a part of a limited-edition collection or other factors.

Now that you an idea about what a Hierarchical Approval Management system is, you may want to check our blog article on setting up uniform orders with a supervisor’s approval functionality.

If you would like to know more about this approval workflow, you may request a demo, one of our experts will get in touch with you.

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