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Travel Expense Showcase in Appian

Project duration: 8 months

Brief description

Often, processes for reimbursing travel expenses are not digitalized – for example, they rely on filling out an Excel template. Various information such as the date and transportation method is captured. If employees stay overnight, original receipts must be submitted. The form is then printed out, signed and submitted for approval. To reduce paperwork and fewer postal transactions, the entire process can be partially automated. This is done in this showcase with the help of the web-based low-code platform 'Appian'. Thanks to the reduced code requirements, low-code allows business applications to be created, modified and executed much faster.

Supplement

The low-code platform Appian is a web-based application. Appian is delivered via SaaS, self-hosted or hybrid. The Appian Community Edition SaaS test environment was used for the showcase. Two scenarios were modeled: with and without original receipts. There are two lanes (responsibles): Employees and Supervisors. The process begins when an employee fills out the Add Business Trip form. Followed by that is the question of whether there are receipts. If the answer is YES, a text document is generated with an Appian Smart Service and saved in a folder in the Appian environment. An employee can later download this document, make changes (if necessary), sign it and send it by post along with the supporting documents. If the answer is NO, the data goes directly within the application to the supervisor for approval. He receives an email. If approved, the data is automatically saved in the Appian database, otherwise the employee will receive an automatic rejection email.

Subject description

The process was built in Appian Workflow Designer using traditional BPMN elements (Script Task, User Input Task, Events and Gateways) and Smart Services. Each Smart Service is like a mini app that can add sophisticated functionality to a process without any programming. Here, 'Send email' is used to send an automatic email to those who are responsible; 'Text Doc From Template' – to generate a .doc file in the pre-configured format and 'Write Records' – to save data in the internal database. User interfaces are created using drag-and-drop components, business rules, and constants. Thanks to the integrated version control, users can revert to the previous version if necessary. Employees are organised into groups and each group has its own functions and access rights. For each group (employee, supervisor) there is a site with different pages (maximum five). The site can be accessed via an URL.

Overview

Project periodProjektzeitraum09.05.2022 - 17.01.2023

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