Smartker can be made even more productive by adding an electronic document workflow and approval system to eliminate paper processes. Workers save time and money by moving documents electronically around the workplace for review and approval.

Organizations typically have a number of internal processes for tasks such as order processing, purchase requisitions, travel expenses, etc. The electronic document workflow module brings order to these separate processes in a transparent, dynamic and robust manner, making it a key part of the document lifecycle.

The workflow engine streamlines the process of reviewing and approving documents as they move through their lifecycle. In collaborative work environments, this labor-intensive stage of document growth is where the greatest time savings can be achieved through the use of workflow.

The flexibility of workflow software allows users to make their workflow processes as simple or as complex as needed.

Workflow templates can be set up with established rules or can be made informal (ad-hoc) where end users can define all aspects of the workflow process. Workflow templates consist of two types of tasks: review tasks and approval tasks. Review tasks facilitate the collection of comments and feedback on documents from other users. Approval tasks facilitate the formal collection of signatures on documents. Upon completion of an approval task, documents can be approved, not approved, or approval can be postponed to a later date.

Workflows can be triggered (initiated) manually by a user or can be performed automatically depending on the type of document. Workflows can also be initiated on a single document or on multiple documents. Multi-document workflows can contain both main documents and supplemental documents, where the main documents are the ones being reviewed and/or approved and the supplemental documents are there only to assist in the review and/or approval process.

Once a workflow is started, the workflow process is initiated and the first activity set in the workflow template begins. All participants of the first activity will receive notifications in the document management software and via email notification. The tasks are also displayed in the Smartker calendar function. The workflow template can be configured so that one or all users assigned to the first task must complete the task. Once the task is completed, the workflow goes through the rest of the activities defined in the workflow template.

Documents can be checked out, updated and re-registered during the workflow process. Metadata can also be updated while documents are in a workflow. This allows the workflow process to continue if document updates are needed instead of cancelling or not approving documents. Workflows can also be restarted if necessary.

The status of workflows can be monitored by users participating in the workflow, any observers watching the workflow and can be monitored by library administrators in the workflow status report to ensure that the entire workflow is progressing. The workflow history of each version of a document is also recorded and can be used to review the approval log.