What is sap workflow functionality? What business problem it addresses?

What is sap workflow functionality?

To complete a business activity different people might need to perform well defined task. These tasks might be interdependent on each other. Completion of business activity requires information sharing between people who are spread across department/function/ geography. 

Organizations have well defined and structured procedure of performing a business activity which is called standard operating procedure. Operating procedure describes what work has to be performed by whom and when, it also covers the sequence/ flow of work to be performed also called workflow.

Organization can complete business activity faster if time delay between information sharing is removed. SAP workflow functionality helps in automating the sequence of work.


Let’s consider examples to understand the concept of workflow better:

Person belonging to manufacturing department raises a request for new machine. This request has to be approved by floor manager. After approval from floor manager, request is sent to manufacturing head for approval. After approval from manufacturing head, request goes to finance department for approval.

Completion of all tasks might become time consuming due to delay in information sharing and coordination issues. SAP can automate this workflow and eliminate any time delay in information sharing. Let’s see how sap workflow functionality can help here.

The moment person from manufacturing department raises request (user has to login into computer and submit request details), a mail is triggered by system and sent to floor manager. Floor manager gives approval on computer and mail is triggered to manufacturing head. Head can login into computer and approve. Immediately mail is triggered to finance department for approval and a mail to purchase department as well. Finance department approves and mail is triggered to purchase department for purchase.




Documents can also be attached along with mail.

SAP workflow functionality can help in automating above process.



Consider another example of loan approval process in banks. It will involve lot of approvals and document sharing.

below link provides some more input on workflow