At February’s Blue Mountain Customer Lab, we discussed how workflow management is a major driver for compliance and productivity. Therefore, a powerful workflow automation engine is a key component of an effective and compliant paperless system. Blue Mountain RAM’s Rule Builder is an interval piece of the system that manages workflow automation. The Rule Builder is highly configurable to best meet an organization’s business rules and is responsible for seamlessly driving the record states and transitions, requiring electronic signatures when needed – such as for a review or to advance a record to the next state, and notifying personnel following a designated trigger.
Blue Mountain RAM’s Rule Builder
Blue Mountain RAM’s Rule Builder can only be accessed in the administrative area of the application: navigate to the “Go To” menu > “System Configuration” > “Sites” > select your desired Site > “Dataset Groups” > select your desired Dataset Group > “Rules.”
Each record type can have one or multiple rules – allowing you to keep workflows separate. Having multiple rules is beneficial for a record type that typically has multiple users in different roles interacting with it. Different security for different users enables an organization to manage who has rights to edit and maintain each record.
NOTE: Upon customization of your workflows, it is important to perform an analysis upfront to understand what sequence of transitions the workflow should follow. For example, you may want the initial state to be the Open state. Additionally, you may want to Open state to be able to proceed to either the Canceled state or In Progress state.
There are four main areas of rule configuration in Blue Mountain RAM. These areas are defined under four main tabs within the Rule Builder:
- States – organized segments of record processing commands and controls
- Transitions – configuration surrounding a record’s change to a new state
- Notifications – communicating transitions, e-signatures, and field/flag/status changes
- Eventing – automating the sending of a notification or the creation of a linked record based on adding, editing, signing, or transitioning records
The States tab of the Rule Builder is where all of a rule’s processing commands and controls are organized into meaningful segments called States. The States tab contains four additional subtabs:
1) Define: Under the Define subtab, enabled and disabled fields and grids are identified for each state.
2) E-Signatures: The E-Signature subtab identifies reasons for when electronic signatures are required, as well as the behaviors of electronic signatures within each state. Rules can be built to require electronic signatures (e-signatures) before advancing to the next state. Fields and grids can also be excluded from e-signatures so that users are only signing for fields and grids they are supposed to be reviewing.
3) Properties: Each state contains a number of properties, such as Exclude From Pass/Fail Determination, Locked, Prohibit Rule Change, etc. Organizations can edit each state’s properties in this subtab.
4) Security: Here, organizations can identify who can edit or electronically sign a record when in each state.
The Transitions tab defines which next states are available when transitioning from the current state. The Transitions tab contains four additional subtabs:
1) Define: Here, the transitions for each state are defined.
2) Reason(s): This subtab identifies the reasons needed for transitioning to certain states. Organizations can set a status change to prompt a user to enter required criteria before transitioning to the next state.
3) Properties: The properties of each transition are defined here. Examples of transition properties include Required Fields, Release Remaining Parts, Update Due Date On Transition, etc.
4) Security: Here, organizations can identify who has the rights to make the transition to the next state.
The Notifications tab of the Rule Builder is where message notifications are created and defined for a rule. The Notifications tab contains three additional subtabs:
1) Define: The Define tab is where notifications can be added and configured. The notification can be either plain text or html. Macros can be set inside the messages to identify field values and labels to inject record data into the notification.
2) Properties: Each notification contains a number of properties, such as Use Custom Body Only, Send to Email, Send to Inbox, etc. Organizations can edit each notification’s properties in this subtab.
3) Recipients: Here, it is defined where each notification is targeted. For example, a notification may be targeted to a group, person, or user defined in a particular field.
The Eventing tab defines how notifications are generated. The Eventing tab contains two additional subtabs:
1) Define: Within this subtab, Events are set up to trigger a notification based on certain criteria, such as Out of Tolerance. Additionally with Eventing, user defined asset record types, such as Non-Conformance Records (NCR), can be auto-generated and actions, such as updating the parent record, can be set to be completed.
2) Properties: Each Event contains a number of properties, such as Run As, Run Once, etc. Here, organizations can edit each Event’s properties.
Whenever you have questions, consult your Blue Mountain RAM User and Administrator Manuals. If necessary, please contact our friendly Support Technicians at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Also, please enjoy calling and speaking with your Regional Sales Manager (RSM) at 800-982-2388 if you are interested in Blue Mountain RAM training or services.