The Tasks module in DEAR is part of the DEAR Automation module and requires the automation subscription upgrade. Manually assign tasks to users directly from your sales, purchases, and more, or set up a whole task workflow for a Purchase, Sale, Supplier, Customer, Credit Note, Production, Assembly or Disassembly.
Task workflows can automatically assign tasks or steps that may be required to successfully complete an operation to different roles in your organisation. In conjunction with notifications these can be semi-automated. Roles could be Sales Reps, Accounting Department, Warehouse Staff, Marketing, and Management.
DEAR's Workflows feature allows setting up events and actions that trigger automatically once certain conditions are achieved. This feature is currently available for sales and purchase processes in DEAR.
- Upgrade subscription to enable Automation module.
- Configure task permissions through Settings→ Users & Roles
- Familiarity with the Automation module (required)
Table of Contents
- Enable Tasks module
- Configure calendar
- Set up task categories
- Setting up a Task Workflow
- Assign tasks from DEAR orders
- View tasks
- Reassign and reschedule tasks
Enable Tasks module
The tasks module must be first be enabled before any tasks can be assigned to users. Go to Settings → Automation → Task Settings, enable Task module is active and Save your changes. This will make the other task tabs (Calendar, Task Categories, etc.) visible.
Next, you must configure the calendar to enter working and non-working days. This will affect how tasks are assigned on those days.
Go to Settings → Automation → Task Settings → Calendar. Here you can change the first day of the week from the default Sunday to another day if required. Set your weekend days. Next, click Add Holiday to enter the non-working days such as public holiday or any other non-working days that will affect your business hours. Click Save to finish.
NOTE: Task calendar and Factory Calendar are independent and not synchronized with each other. Holidays and weekend days in the task calendar do not reflect those in the Factory Calendar. Created tasks, even for production items, reflect the task calendar, NOT the Factory Calendar.
Set up task categories
Task categories are used to group tasks together. Add a category name and label colour to easily distinguish between task categories. Task categories are optional, you can set up task workflows and assign tasks without defining task categories.
In Task Settings, go to the Task Categories tab. Click + and create all the Task Categories that you require, then Save your changes.
Setting up a Task Workflow
Workflows can contain as many steps as required, and can be renamed and changed to fit your organisation's needs. Workflows can be manually assigned to a user or triggered automatically by a notification.
You must consider what steps are necessary in your workflow and which internal and external notifications are required.
Consider a sample workflow for a Sale. We can split this process down into the following steps:
- Create a Sales Quote
- Authorise the Sales Quote
- Send the Sales Quote to the Customer
- If the Customer doesn't reply, send them a reminder
- If the Customer accepts, create a Sales Invoice based on the Sales Quote
- Authorise Sales Invoice
- Update Customer on Progress
- Post Sale Promotion (Promote sales offers to customers who have not bought anything in a while)
Before starting a workflow, you will need to make sure the correct notifications are enabled and active. Only active notifications can be used to start or stop a workflow.
Set up notifications
Notifications can be used to signal when actions have been started, completed or left unfinished. They can be sent internally to staff using DEAR system alerts, as emails, or externally as API requests. Notifications can be used to trigger or end a task workflow. This is an optional step, you can set up task workflows and assign tasks without configuring notifications, unless you want to trigger or end a workflow automatically.
To enable/disable notifications:
- Go to Settings → Automation → Notifications.
- Change required notifications to Active and choose their delivery method and message.
Once you have planned your workflow, consider which notifications you may need to trigger to carry out these tasks. For our example below, we will need to enable the following notifications:
- Sale → Sales quote has been created (Internal)
- Sale → Sales quote has been authorised (Internal)
- Sale → Sales quote status is AUTHORISED but not printed/emailed (x) days after creation (Internal)
Sale → Sales order has been authorised (Internal)
Sale → Sales invoice has been authorised (Internal)
Sale → Sales has been shipped (Internal)
Customer → Customers who have not ordered a product more than (x) number of days/weeks (Internal)
Create a task workflow
Once the Task Categories and Notifications you need have been set up, you can begin creating your task workflow. In this example, we have created the optional task categories Sales and Customers, Accounting, and Customer Service have been created to group tasks.
- Go to Settings → Automation → Task Settings → Workflow.
- Click + to start a new workflow.
- By default, a workflow is set to Active. Toggle the Active button to No to make the workflow inactive after creating it.
- Give the workflow a Name and select the operation (Sale, Purchase, Customer etc.) to which it is applicable.
- Set the parameter Due days are based on(Previous task completion date, Workflow start date, or Sale Required By date).
- NOTE: Basing due days on Sale Required By date sets task start dates by calculating backwards from the sale required by date. If this causes task dates to fall onto a date in the past the system will set the task start and end dates as Workflow start date.
- Choose the notification that will start running the workflow.
- Optionally, select a notification which will end a workflow before it finishes. For example, if a customer declines a Sale Quote.
- To add a task to the workflow, click the +Task button.
- Enter a name for the task, select a task category (optional), assign it to a user, enter the number of days when it becomes due, choose to either skip it if it falls on a holiday or move to another date, and enter its start and end times. Repeat Steps 7-8 until you've added all required tasks to the workflow.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Start time and end time will refer to the time zone for your organisation set in the General Settings (Settings → General Settings → Organisation), NOT your local time.
- Click Save.
NOTE: To follow the Workflow Example in the next section, you need to create the workflow seen in the above screenshots.
NOTE: When Due dates are based on is set to Sale required by date, the following applies:
- If Required by date is set for the sale and Start date is defined in Workflow adding popup, then Date from and Date to fields of the triggered tasks are set based on the Start Date defined in workflow adding popup.
- If Required by date is empty in the sale and Start date is defined in Workflow adding popup, then Date from and Date to fields of the triggered tasks are set based on the Start Date defined in workflow adding popup.
- If Required by date is set for the sale and Start date is empty in Workflow adding popup, then Date from and Date to fields of the triggered tasks are set based on Required by date is set for the sale.
- If Required by date is empty in the sale and Start date is empty in Workflow adding popup, then an error is given.
For this example, we will utilise the workflow we created in Create a Workflow.
- Sales rep creates a Sales Quote and saves it for manager approval. The notification Sales quote has been created alerts the manager who can then approve and authorise the quote.
- The notification Sales quote has been authorised will trigger the start of the workflow and automatically create the first task.
- Sales rep receives a notification that quote has been authorised and proceeds with sending it to the customer. The notification Sales quote status is AUTHORISED but not printed/emailed (x) days after creation will remind the sales rep if a given number of days has past without the quote being emailed to the customer.
- Clicking the task will open a pop up window where the sales rep can change the status to in progress, or Complete the task. Completing the task will activate the next task in the task workflow.
- If customer accepts the quote, sales rep converts it to a Sale Order. The notification Sales order has been authorised is generated by the system for the manager to authorise the invoice.
- Once manager authorises the invoice, the notification Sales invoice has been authorised tells the accounting department to commence payment follow up procedures.
- When the order is shipped, the notification Sales has been shipped informs the sales rep, who then notifies the customer about the progress of their order.
- Marketing/Sales receives automatic notifications Customers who have not ordered a product more than (x) number of days/weeks to prompt them to send promotional materials.
NOTE: All tasks relating to an order can be viewed on the top right-hand corner of the sale document header.
Assign tasks from DEAR processes
When the tasks module is enabled, you will be able to assign tasks to other users in your organisation from a purchase order, sale order, production order etc. Enabling the tasks module will cause the tasks icon to appear at the top-right of the order screen for most DEAR processes.
Clicking the tasks icon will allow you to view assigned and completed tasks for that order, assign a new task, assign a task workflow and view the task calendar.
Tasks can be viewed or created from an order, from the task calendar or from the notifications menu.
Assign a single task
Click the task icon and the + symbol on an order to assign a single task to a user. New tasks can also be created from the task calendar or from the notifications menu.
This will open a popup window where you can name the task, add a description, and assign it to a DEAR user.
If All day is selected, only the Date from field will be available. If All day is unchecked, you will be able to to select Date from, Date to, and start and end times for the task.
Adding a task category is optional. Click Save to assign the task to the user. This will make the Attachments button visible and add the task to the tasks list for that order and to the calendar.
Mark a task as in progress or completed
When a user begins a task, they should mark the task status as In Progress. This will make sure that whoever is monitoring tasks is able to see that the task has been started. Open an order's task icon, the task calendar, or (for tasks assigned to the user), the tasks tab of your notifications to select a task assigned to you.
Click on a task to open it. From this pop up window, you can change the Status from Open to In Progress when the task starts, or click Complete when the task is finished. Completed tasks can no longer be edited.
Cloning a task creates a copy of the task, which can then be assigned again or assigned to another user. Tasks with any status, including completed tasks, can be cloned. All task detail, except attachments, will be cloned.
Assign a task workflow
Click the task icon and + Workflow symbol on an order to start a task workflow. The task workflow must already have been created before it can be started.
This will open a popup window where you can select the workflow and workflow start date. The task workflow will start and its tasks will be assigned to the appropriate users. Save to start the workflow. This workflow's tasks will now be visible when the task icon for the order is clicked, and the tasks will be added to the calendar.
Clicking a workflow task will open a pop up window where the user can change the status to in progress, or mark the task as Completed. Completing the task will activate the next task in the task workflow. Task workflows can be stopped before all the tasks have been completed by opening a workflow task and selecting Stop the Process.
The Tasks overview allows a user to see all his or her assigned tasks. Those with the Can See All Tasks permission will be able to see the tasks of all users within the organisation. Tasks can be viewed in list or calendar format (More views coming soon). See View and Manage Tasks for more information.
View tasks by navigating to CRM → Task and select List view. In the List view, tasks can be filtered by date range, task status (Open or Completed), and assigned user. Clicking on any task fields such as Name, Assigned To, Observers, or Due Dates allows the user to make changes to the task. Click the star next to a task to mark it as important.
There are two ways to access the task calendar.
Option 1: Click a task icon on an order and, or go to the tasks tab of the notifications menu, to click Calendar/Open Calendar and view the task calendar.
This will open up the task calendar window. Tasks can be displayed for the Month, Week, or Day. The calendar can be filtered according to the type of order (Sales, Purchase, Inventory, etc.), according to your custom task categories, and according to user. Drag tasks to different days to reschedule them - completed tasks can no longer be moved. New tasks can be added from this screen.
Option 2: Go to CRM → Tasks and select Calendar view. Tasks can be displayed for the Month, Week, or Day. The calendar can be filtered according t your custom task categories, and according to user. Drag tasks to different days to reschedule them - completed tasks can no longer be moved. Show/hide completed tasks by using the Show Completed slider.
Reassign and reschedule tasks
Reassign tasks to different users and reschedule tasks from the tasks module. Go to Settings → Automation → Task Settings → Calendar. Simply check the box next to the tasks you wish to reassign or reschedule, select the new assignee and/or date, and click Apply. Tasks can be filtered by date range, status, or user.