Struggling with Improvement on Quotation Approval Flow; Automatic Number Assignment for Quotation Number

Not only number assignment, automatic entry for eradication of mistakes as well!

Hi, there!


One sales manager (that’s me) is currently struggling to improve the “Quotation approval flow”!


With the improvements I’ve done so far, we have achieved automatic decision of whether we need Quotation approval, and automatic generation of Quotation PDF file. However, it seems that salespersons in the field are still dissatisfied.


I worked on solving one of the problems, which is the complaint that the number assignment for the Quotation number is cumbersome.


Utilizing Questetra BPM Suite, a Cloud-based Workflow


In “Struggling with Improvement of Quotation Approval Flow”, I will continue with the premise of using the Cloud based workflow “Questetra BPM Suite” to improve the business flow. In addition, I may use other Cloud services as necessary.


I will arrange it to be possible to download the Apps that can be used on “Questetra BPM Suite”, so if you would like to use it, please apply for Questetra BPM Suite Free Edition.


It is cumbersome as well as dangerous to manually enter the quotation number


“Quotation number” must be assigned to the Quotation to be submitted to the customer as a management number to identify each one. In the Step “Register quotation” on the Quotation approval flow, the salesperson makes a request for approval by entering the quotation number in it.

When preparing a ledger for “Quote number” management using a Google Spreadsheet beforehand, the salesperson must obtain the “Quote number” before registering it and enter it correctly at the time of making request.


For a salesperson, the act of numbering is troublesome, and there’s also the risk of entering the number for management erroneously.


Therefore, we will make an improvement to automatically assigning the Quotation number and set it into the Data Item of “Quotation number”.


Automatic Number Assignment of the “Quotation Number”


To automatically assign a “Quotation number”, we are going to use the “Process Sequence” function of Questetra BPM Suite.


Each App (Workflow) in Questetra BPM Suite has a “Process Sequence number”. A “Process Sequence number” is given each time a Workflow is started and the “Process Sequence Number” corresponds to the last “Process Sequence Number” plus one, and it can be used as the initial value of the Data Items.


You can also set a Sequence number to be reset by day, month, or year.


In our sales work, “Quotation number” must be assigned according to the following rule. Using the “Process Sequence” function, the “Quotation number” will be automatically assigned.


  • 9 digits in total
  • The first six digits shall represent the year and month – for example, Quotations issued in November 2017 and January 2018, it is set to 201711 and 201801 respectively
  • The last three digits shall be the “Process Sequence number” – for example, in the case of the 10th and 150th Quotations issued in the month, it will display 010 and 150, respectively.
  • The “Process sequence number” is reset every month.


That is, the 150th quotation, issued in January 2018 will be 201801150.


Settings for “Process Sequence” Function


First, we are going to set up a “Process Sequence”. Click on “Edit Process Sequence” displayed when you click on “App” on the details screen of an App. On the displayed screen, set the Reset type to “reset monthly”.



This makes the sequential number to be reset every month.


Settings for initial value


We are going to set the initial value on the Data Item of “Quotation number”. You do it on the screen displayed by pressing the Edit button on the Data Item of “Quotation number” as shown in the following figure.



In the displayed dialog, you enter a “magic spell” into “Initial”. For it, you describe the rule for Quotation numbers genertion. Specifically, you fill in a “magic spell” like the one written in the following figure.


#{#format(processInstanceStartDatetime, 'yyyyMM')}#{#sformat('%03d', processInstanceSequenceNumber)}


Although I omit the detailed explanation, it is possible to generate various initial values related to the Process Sequence Number. Please refer to how to use Questetra BPM Suite for detailed explanation and various examples.




With this improvement, it has become possible to assign automatically the Quotation number, and the number is set to a Data Item. This will reduce the burden on salespeople somewhat, and erroneous inputs in Quotation number.


We are preparing a file of the Quotation approval flow we’ve improved so far in this article on Questetra BPM Suite, so please download it and try it.


However, the Quotation approval flow still needs to be improved further…



About YAHAGI Hajime

幸せを生み出すITを追求するクエステトラの一味です。 国産の BPM ソフト Questetra BPM Suite で日本・世界を幸せにしたい。
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