Controlling the formal release of project, sales, and engineering documents to customers and clients is often done with transmittal letters. The transmittal serves as a record describing the sender, the recipient, and any special instructions or information related to the included documents. Before the controlled release of a transmittal, the letter and included documents are reviewed and approved by an authority before being sent via email, FTP server, or posted to an extranet or cloud-based system. The need for controlling the review, and recording the approval of the transmittal fits well with Active Wizard’s controlled document solution paradigm. This article will focus on using Active Wizard’s document review and approval workflow to semi-automate the creation of a transmittal letter and distribute it via the cloud.
Using Active Wizard to create and approve a transmittal letter is a different usage from TSG’s Controlled Document Solution, but one that easily leverages its dynamic form and workflow paradigm. With Active Wizard, creating a transmittal consists of filling in a form, attaching the documents to be transmitted, automatically creating the transmittal letter, and then routing the letter and documents for review and approval. Once approved, the letter and attached documents can be released and distributed through any type of system integration.
Active Wizard Configuration
Configuring Active Wizard to create and send a transmittal is a similar process to configuring it for routing a controlled document for review and approval. The transmittal form can follow a lifecycle equivalent to a document review workflow; moving through the stages from draft, to in review, and finally to approved. The documents attached to the transmittal may also follow the same lifecycle as the transmittal form.
While each transmittal form contains basic information, the form can be configured to capture information unique to the sending or receiving company. The following images describe an example of a simple transmittal form.
The process starts by filling in the information needed to route the transmittal workflow.
Next, the form collects the recipient’s information. This detail is used when creating the transmittal letter.
The person creating the transmittal can then search and add documents included in the transmittal.
After completing the transmittal form, the user can review all the information that will be included in the automatically generated transmittal letter and send it for review and approval prior to release.
Integrations for Releasing Documents
Distributing the transmittal letter and associated documents can be accomplished by integrating the release process with an email server, an FTP site, or a cloud site. The effort required to configure the release process is highly dependent on the capabilities of the software involved.
For example, using Alfresco’s hybrid cloud capability provides an innovative means for storing the transmittal letter and documents within the on-site repository and then synchronizing them to a location in the cloud. Once in the cloud instance of the Alfresco repository, the recipient is notified and can log in and access the documents. Conversely, the recipient may also post documents to synchronize back to the sender.
The process of creating transmittal letters and releasing documents to clients is generally a manual process. The ability to semi-automate the creation, review, and release of documents using Active Wizard brings the benefits of increased release speed, improved record keeping, and reduced errors. You can read more about our Engineering Construction Management solution here.
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