Request management to the rescue

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The Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, Calif., has automated its workflow management system including the contract initiation and vendor approval processes. For years, the school district had managed its vendor clearance process through a paper-based system, which was time-consuming and prone to human error.

In 2014, the school district decided to upgrade to the Version 6 platform of Integrify. It had been using an older version of the solution since 2010. A Web-based solution for enterprise request management, Integrify is designed to enable organizations to automate requests and streamline processes.

Susan Beltz, director of applications development and support for the Oakland Unified School District, says, “Integrify makes sense process-wise. The school district doesn’t have an unwieldy number of approvals, so the process itself isn’t bad, but the nature of the paper process is that once it leaves your sight, you don’t know where it is anymore.”

The district is now running two major processes through the Integrify platform. One is vendor management, where recommended vendors are vetted and approved to work with the school district. The other is contract initiation, where a project is suggested, with an approved vendor attached, and then routed throughout various levels of the district’s hierarchy for approval.

“Integrify has a pretty powerful engine in terms of crafting workflows that are completely what you want them to be,” says Beltz, “and their plug-ins allow us to put in hooks to pull data and write to custom database tables, do fillable PDFs and make API calls back and forth to other systems. With regard to the form that people have to fill in, you can access all the underlying forms to show and hide fields depending on what the user previously selected. You design the forms the way you want them; it’s very flexible and powerful in that regard.”

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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