Supervisor Order Approval System with Email Notifications


The supervisor order approval system with email notifications feature is available as part of the Advanced Order Entry Tools bundle. With it you can configure an approval workflow where you create supervisor users that have access to approve orders either on their account or, when bundled with the Power Customers bundle, their child accounts. You will also setup requestor users which cannot place orders directly. Instead they have to submit their orders to a supervisor for approval.

What the User Sees

The Requestor

When a requestor, user needing order approval, lands on the payment page they can select from the following actions: Save Cart, Submit to a sales rep for help, and Submit to my supervisor for approval.

Image 1 – Requestor User’s available order actions

When they use the submit to my supervisor for approval action the system will email all supervisors assigned to this customer’s account. The supervisor can then log into the platform and approve or reject the order. When this happens it triggers another email back to the requestor letting them know whether their order was approved or rejected.

The Supervisor

The supervisor will get an email notification for new pending orders and will be directed, through a link in the notification, to the platform to approve or reject.

Image 2 – Sample Order Waiting for Approval Email

The link in the email will take the supervisor to the checkout page for the referenced pending order. Here the supervisor will see the following action: Return to user, Supervisor approve and place an order, Supervisor save, and Supervisor reject.

Image 3 – Supervisor User’s Order Actions for Pending Order

Supervisors also have access to an additional navigation item allowing them to view their pending orders. In the dashboard portal you will see the Waiting on Approval (Supervisor) navigation item and portal button under the Ordering section.

Image 4 – Supervisor user’s additional pending order navigation

If you are using the retail template you will instead see a pending orders link under the My Account menu in the top right-hand side of the site.

Image 5 – Supervisor Pending Orders link in Retail Template

Here supervisor users will see a list of the orders waiting for approval. By selecting the link in the Quote # column the supervisor will be taken to the checkout where they can approve, or reject, the order.

What the Rep Worker Sees

When the feature Worker access to supervisor approval settings is enabled workers will see a new section on the contact add/edit page called Supervisor Settings.

Image 6 – Worker Portal’s Customer add/edit page Supervisor Settings

What Admin Workers see

Workers with administrative privileges will see the Worker access to supervisor approval settings feature if you have the Advanced Order Entry Tools bundle. Turning this on will expose the supervisor settings to your workers. Alternatively, you can utilize a worker group to administer this feature to specific worker logins.

Image 7 – Supervisor settings feature

You will also see a feature in the Quotes/Ordering section of the application settings page with the name Supervisor order approval system with email notifications.

Image 8 – Supervisor approval application settings

IMPORTANT – If this feature is enabled at the application or site level all users (with the exception of contacts flagged as supervisors) will be required to submit their order for supervisor approval.

This feature will enable the order approval workflow for any users it is mapped to. Therefore, it is recommended that you create a customer group with this feature and map the contacts manually. Both supervisor and requestor users need to have this feature enabled in order for the site to function properly, see the How It Works section of this article for more information.

How It Works

Order Approval Workflow

The standard workflow configured out of the box is for a supervisor/requestor relationship on a single account. This assumes the supervisor(s) of a specific requestor share the requestor’s account. If you pair this feature with the Power Customers bundle you unlock the ability to have a supervisor and requestor that are on different accounts, this utilizes the parent/child settings found in the Power Customers bundle.

When a requestor visits the site they are allowed to start an order and submit it to their supervisor for approval, see Image 1. Depending on the supervisor setup for this requestor, the supervisor(s) get a notification email letting them know there is a pending order waiting for approval, see Image 2. The link in the email will take the supervisor user into the payment page of the pending order where they can approve or reject it, see Image 3. This will trigger an email to the requestor letting them know whether their order was approved or rejected and if approved the order will get placed.

Supervisor Configuration

To set up supervisors you will need to do two things, apply the Supervisor order approval system with email notifications feature and then flag the contact record as a supervisor (Approver). The former can be done by creating a customer group for the order approval workflow and assigning this right to it. Once this has been accomplished use the member’s tab to add your supervisor user, or alternatively, you can use the contact edit page to assign the order approval workflow customer group. Now the only thing left to do is to set the supervisor setting to Yes (Approver) using the contact edit page, or with the is_supervisor field if using CSV upload.

Requestor Configuration

To set up requestor users you only need to add them to the order approval workflow customer group you created for supervisors. This customer group will ensure the requestor has the appropriate order actions when checking out.

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