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How to Build a Workflow Template
Rachel Decker avatar
Written by Rachel Decker
Updated over a week ago

About this Article

Workflow Templates are how you build and automate your company's procurement process. This article covers the process of building workflow templates that meet your organization's needs.

Overview

To build your company's procurement process, you will:

  1. Build the intake form (questions that are asked to the requester when the workflow is launched)

  2. Build the approval process (the actual steps and approvals within the workflow itself)

Vendr provides you with pre-built templates to make getting started easy.

Choose a Template Type

To get started building your process, login to Vendr and click Admin > Workflow Templates in the left-hand navigation. From here you have three options:

Use Vendr's pre-built templates (recommended)

Vendr strongly recommends that you use the given pre-built templates for your New Purchase and Renewal purchasing processes.

This is because your processes and intake questions will be different for each, it will be easier for your team to select the correct process when submitting a request, and your Agreements and renewal reminders are automatically saved within Vendr as a result.

  1. To get started, click Admin then Workflow Templates

  2. Look for the pre-built draft New Purchase and Renewal templates ready for you to edit and publish

  3. Click the View button on the card for the New Purchase template

  4. Now you're ready to start building your intake questions and your approval flows

Start from Scratch

If you do not want to use a New Purchase or Renewal template, you can use the Other template to create a workflow with any steps that you want. This is most useful when building procurement-adjacent processes like NDA or security reviews.

Template Differences: Other vs. New Purchase & Renewal

The Other template is different from the New Purchase and Renewal templates. Unlike those, it does NOT require:

  • "What products would you like to request?" intake question

  • "Save agreement details" step

This means that the "Other" template type cannot end in creating an agreement, which means it does not save Agreements to Vendr and does not remind you of a renewal the following year.

Duplicate a Template

If you'd like to duplicate a template that already exists, hover over the three dot menu on the template card and click Duplicate.

Important Note: Duplicating a Template Duplicates the Original Template's Type

Be aware that duplicating a workflow template causes the new template to inherit the type of the original. So duplicating a Renewal template will give you a Renewal template and duplicating a New Purchase will give you a New Purchase type.

This is important because workflow types are connected to other parts of the system.

For example, the Start renewal request button on the Agreement details page will only give users the option to launch Renewal workflows.

So if you duplicate a workflow template and want it to be used for renewals, but you duplicated it from a New Purchase template, it won't show up when users click Start renewal request.

Building a Workflow Template

Once you click on a workflow template you are in the Workflow Builder. This is where you edit the intake questions, steps, approvers, and tasks in your procurement process. To do this you must:

  1. Build the intake form (questions that are asked to the requester when the workflow is launched)

  2. Build the approval process (the actual steps and approvals within the workflow itself)

Note: Editing, building, or archiving a Workflow Template will NOT change the questions or steps for requests that are already in progress.


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Building the Intake Form

The intake form hosts the questions that any requester will need to answer when they launch a workflow to purchase something. The intake lets you collect any upfront information an approver might need to make a decision on the purchase.

First, click the purple Intake Form step to view and edit your intake questions. This takes you to the Intake Builder.

Adding, Editing, and Deleting Questions

From the intake builder you can edit, delete, or add as many questions to your intake form as you want. Questions can be reordered, marked as required, and shown conditionally.

Every New Purchase and Renewal template must include the "What would you like to purchase?" question so Vendr and your team knows what is being purchased. The question can be re-worded and moved around on the form but cannot be deleted.

  • To edit a question, click on it.

  • To delete a question, click the trash can icon in the bottom right corner of a selected question.

  • To add new question, click the + Add question button found after the last question in your form.

  • To make a question required, click the Required toggle on the question. It will not be able to be skipped when a requester is filling out the form.

  • To reorder a question, click and drag it to the desired location.

  • To add conditional logic to a question, click on the question and click if the answer to in the sidebar. Build out your desired logic so that the question is shown only if the criteria is met.

There are nine question types you can add to your intake forms:

  • Short text

  • Long text

  • Single choice

  • Multiple choice

  • Date

  • Number

  • Person

  • File upload

Testing Your Workflow Template

At any point, if you'd like to test your intake logic and experience what it will look like for your requesters, simply click the Test Mode button in the top right of the page.

This opens your intake and workflow template in a new tab and allows you to test your questions, conditional logic, step order, comments, and document uploads before you publish the template to your organization.

All users assigned steps in the workflow template will receive example notifications and alerts when running a workflow in Test Mode.

Build the Approval Process

Now it's time to build the steps in your company's approval process. To get started, click Workflow Builder in the top navigation to see the entire set of steps in your process.

Adding, Editing, and Deleting Steps

You can add, edit, and delete any steps you want.

To add a step, click the "+" button on the canvas. You will be able to add a standard step, conditional logic, or an integration step.
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To edit a step, click on the step card in the canvas. You will edit the details in the side drawer that opens on the right of the screen. This is what your approvers will see when they are assigned a standard step in the running workflow.

  1. Add the title of the step

  2. Add a description for the step

  3. Assign the step to the person who will complete it. You can assign it to the:

    1. Requester (the person who launched the workflow)

    2. Requester's manager

    3. Person (a specific person in your organization)

    4. Team (see the Teams article for more info)

  4. Decide whether this step requires approval or not. Toggling on Requires approval means that the person assigned must explicitly approve or decline this step.

  5. Set a due date

  6. Add any necessary document uploads you want the step approver to complete

  7. Add any additional questions you want the person completing the step to answer

  8. Add any additional items you want the user to complete in a checklist before completing the step

Important Note: If a step is declined, the entire workflow will end. There is no way to undo this.

To delete a step, select the step and click "Delete step" in the bottom right of the side drawer.

Using Conditional Logic

In addition to standard steps, you can also add conditional logic to your workflow that will send your process down one path or another based on logic you set up.

For example, you can create logic that sends the workflow down a path when the cost is above a certain threshold and down a different path if it's below that threshold.

You add conditions the same way you add steps (by pressing the "+" button) and then build your condition(s) in the side drawer that opens. To set up conditional logic,

  1. Click the "+" button after the step where you want to add the conditional

  2. Select "Condition". This will create a conditional branch in your workflow.

  3. Set up the parameters of the condition in the sidebar to the right. You can build conditional logic based on answers to questions you've collected in the intake or within steps in the workflow. The conditional logic can only branch into two paths: TRUE and FALSE. If the logic in the conditional equals TRUE when it is run, the workflow will follow the TRUE branch. If it's FALSE, the workflow will follow the FALSE branch.

4. After you've set the parameters of your conditional logic, you can add more steps on your FALSE branch, and then reconnect it to the main branch. Do this by selecting the node on the FALSE branch and dragging it to connect to the dashed circle that will appear between steps in your workflow.

All branches in a workflow must flow through the Save Agreement Details step before the workflow ends so Vendr can save your contract to the system, so this is why you must join your branches together again.

Integrating Other Platforms Into Your Workflow

In addition to conditional logic, you can also embed two Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) integrations into your workflow: Docusign and Ironclad.

You can also build any integrations to any platform you'd like by using webhooks.

Save & Publish the Workflow Template

When you're building, click Save draft at any time to save your progress.

When you're ready to share your work with your team for the workflow plan to be used to run purchase requests in your company, click the Publish changes button.

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