I'm going to consider "Starter Template" of the 2016 edition.

This time, it is going to be the 2nd of the series, "Procurement Request" in simplicity.


This procurement flow is a Workflow that allows you to comfortably make requests for anything you think you want to or should buy.

That is, it is possible to request for anything, as long as being an employee, from consumable goods such as "copy paper", "drinking water", or "detergent", to fixtures like "desk", "vacuum cleaner", or "personal computer". However, it is left to the Procurement Department for actually whether or not purchased. Especially, for those difficult to determine the need and urgency, it will be in a status of "pending the decision for purchase" for long term.

Incidentally, "being approved on the Approval flow" in advance will be the premise of purchasing of the "application for purchasing items of more than 100,000 JPY ".

[Procurement Request]

I'm going to consider "Basic Business Pack" of the 2016 edition.

This time I will introduce a simple "approval flow", for the first of the series.

It's nothing but basically
  1. an employee submits a plan and
  2. his/ her superior approves it.
That's what it's all about.

This Workflow is just a good template to "get used" to the online Workflow system. It will be sufficient to give some alteration to "Remark" (input hint) in the input form for your own usage. Yet, it will be more likely to be used longer.

If you are
  • thinking to quit approval documents in paper
  • feeling a limit to the approval documents management in MS-Excel or Google Spreadsheet

I would like you to try running it within a small team for commissioning by importing this Workflow to "Questetra BPM Suite", a Workflow platform for Free

[Planning-Approval flow]

The last time, I published a case of cooperation with "Corporate Identification Number System" (Web-API).

◇2015-12-07: Brush-up on Customer Master Data by "Corporate Identification Number System Web-API"

This Business Process is a mechanism to automatically check if "the Names of Businesses in connection have changed" or not every week. It is automatically started at six o'clock in every Sunday morning. Human beings can detect naturally something to be corrected has occurred in "Customer Master (XML)".

However, it is on the assumption that "all the company has a Corporate Number". That is, it makes inquiry about all the companies listed one by one toward the "Web-API system". In reality, there exist trade partners who do not have Corporate Number. (Sole traders, foreign companies, etc.)

In the following Business Process Definition, it tolerate the presence of dummy number of "9999999999999" (13-digit 9) in the "Customer Master".

That is, it is the rule that to register "13-digit 9" for the business partners like overseas clients that do not have a Corporate Number. In addition, it is devised to make request for 10 instances at one time, toward "Web-API system".

[Automatic check of Trade-name Registration in Customer Master #2]

"Company name (trade name) will be changed."
"Transaction company will be changed for a group restructuring."

You may have often received "Name change notification letters" from suppliers. However, it is really insecure to carry out maintenance on"Customer Master data", only relying on such a letter.

Since December 1st, 2015, the Japanese government has started running a "Web-API function" for the "Corporate Number system".

If the application side has obtained the "Corporate Number of business partners" (13-digit number), it is possible to refer the registration information such as the business name and location of the customer, at any time. In addition, it is now able to detect change information (processing segment), such as the "Name Change", "Merger", "Company dissolution".

The following workflow definition is a mechanism to automatically detect "Name changes", utilizing this "Web-API function".

Here, we assume that the "Business Partner Master" (Business-Connection. xml) is present on the Workflow platform. In other words, trade names that are registered in the "Business Partner Master" will be confirmed if it is as the same as the information registered in government. It is set to be automatically run every Sunday morning.

[Automatic check of Trade-name Registration in Customer Master]

Japanese people are fond of "life insurance".

Despite the population of approximately 100 million people, 40-50 trillion JPY money is paid for insurance every year. That calculates the total of 400,000 JPY per person a year.

There may be various reasons for being fond of insurance, such as
  • The risk of family will be serious when the wage-earner dies, because of mostly wives are full-time housewives. (There are fewer working-couples in Japan.)
  • Insurance companies also make social contributions, such as being major shareholders of companies and constructing buildings.
  • First of all, national characteristic is strongly savings-oriented.

Whereas, it is also in consideration of the existence of Tax incentives which is
  • Income tax and personal residence tax will be reduced. (Up to 240,000 JPY per year)

That is, in Japan, under the thoughts of "More people should buy insurances", there is a system that "You've got a benefit of cashback for buying insurances of up to 240,000 JPY worth. 32,000 JPY at the maximum* will come back to you!". (* In the case of income tax rate 20% and personal residence tax 10%)
  • Income tax refund of "up to 120,000 JPY deduction × tax rate"
  • Residence tax reduction of "maximum 84,000 JPY deduction × tax rate"
In fact, there are many cases that buying insurances in accordance with the "maximum amount of deduction".


However, you must make application at each year-end to receive this benefit. That is the one which is indicated as "Insurance premium deduction" among two of year-end-adjustment document to submit.
  • A) Application for Deduction for Insurance Premiums for Employment Income Earner and Application for Special Exemption for Spouse of Employment Income Earner for 2015
  • B) Application for (Change in) Exemption for Dependents of Employment Income Earner for 2016

The following Workflow is a mechanism for auto-generation of this "Application form PDF". You work hard on it once, and it will relieve you from working since the next year by data copy (Start in reusing data).


[Year-end-adjustment-Insurance premium Deduction]

There is a "seasonal tradition" in firms in Japan, so-called "Year-end Adjustment", an application for Tax deduction. Employees of a firm are required to fill "family Dependant circumstance" and "situation of personal insurance", etc. into application form, to get a refund of the difference between "amount of withholding" and "income tax to pay". 50 million wage earners in all over Japan would fill in the form document, then stamp a seal, and submit to their firm.

Incidentally, there is a rule that companies collect Income and Local tax on behalf of the government in Japan, which is referred to Tax Withholding Obligation in Income Tax Act.

Eventually, these paper documents won't be delivered to a Taxation office or the National Tax Agency. For the companies, it doesn't matter the rule of "submission in paper", as far as "correct information" could be obtained. However, they must comply with the obligation of storing data for 7 years. As a matter of course, many of the companies have the feeling of "wasting of resources, such as paper, printer, labor of transcription and postage, etc..."

Well, one of these form documents will change its format this year.

As you know at a glance, Individual Number has been added. You may recognize that this document will be upgraded to "Specific Personal Information" from "Personal Information"... (I guess I will need a secure locker...)


[Year-end-tax-adjustment:Dependent Exemption application]

"I can't see how many man-hours inside..."

"Visualization of operating costs" is an important subject in the corporate activities. Moreover, a wide variety of expression technique should be possible by the evolution of Information Processing Technology and Communication Technology of today.
  • "GPS logger", moving path can be seen (Move map)
  • "Thermography", heat distribution can be seen (Infrared thermal image)
  • "EVM graph", budget history can be seen (Completion transition graph)
* GPS: Global Positioning System, EVM: Earned Value Management

"Hmm, I want to visualize it somehow..."

However, on the other hand, how to collect the information of "Actual work time", which is essential data, would be the major challenge when you want to put "internal man-hours" as the theme.

[General-purpose work request - work cost]

'I want to experience "Workflow", but don't know how should try it out with which business.'

Especially, it would be worrisome if you 'want to try as an organization' rather than 'trying alone'. For example, supposing if you want to put 'Daily reporting' on Workflow to achieve paperless, it is pitiful for the testing people as they must do the both of conventional manner and Cloud manner during the test period.

The following is a "General work request flow" that is often set at the time of trial for a Workflow product.
It can be used in the operations that is not "Workflow & paperless". That is, if you brought this template into operation as a Workflow, you are able to experience that throwing various requests to the member of the company. And also people on the side that has received the request can experience that "My Tasks" are accumulated gradually to the Workflow product.
  • 'Please create icons for the new product.'
  • 'I'd like a review on the created material.'
  • 'Can I ask you the data extraction from the previous ad?'

Insidentally, although this "General-purpose work request" is a workflow which has been introduced here and there, the exceelency of "General work request flow" here in this article is the indication of "Time cost" on the screen for making request.

(Even though I cannot express very well,) it makes you 'hard to ask a request' in a good sense. (You cannot make request so freely.) In other words, you will become more precise in making requests.

<Time cost> (criterion)
  • Officer: $100 /h
  • Manager: $75/h
  • Regular employee: $ 50/h
  • Part-timer: $ 25 /h

[General-purpose work request]

There are many occasions to write "Address data" in business.
  • Step of "Inputting mailing address of invoice" in Billing Process
  • Step of "Inputting answer data" in Questionnaire aggregation Process
  • Step of "Inputting the location where inspection was conducted" in Elevator maintenance Process
etc... Staffs in a variety of sections are inputting "address data" in their day-to-day business.

The following Workflow definition is a Business process for databasing "collected Name cards / Questionnaire paper". A large amount of business cards and questionnaires paper that have been acquired at exhibitions or events, etc. will be databased.


The inputting screen has been implemented a mechanism of automatic enumeration of candidate addresses by "partial input".

What is excellent in this Process, is that it refers "postal code data, including large offices" (about 150,000) for its refining search. That means, if you type a part of the name of a government office or a major company, all of the rest of information such as "postal code", "address", and "the name of the company", will be indicated for assisted input.

* Japan Post Co., Ltd. has assigned dedicating postal codes for each large establishment that receives massive deliveries.


In addition, when you type "otsu city hall", it will indicate
  • "otsu city hall" and
  • "izumiotsu city hall" as the candidate.

[Personal information databasing]


More than 10 years have passed since the technology of "Web-API" attracted attention.

The Web-API, in layman's terms, is "Web server that responds to the data request". * Application Programming Interface

Suppose if, preparing an environment in which anyone can refer / collect the latest information that changes from moment to moment such as "Weather information", "Exchange information", "Stock quotes", "Postal code", "Power usage", at any time hopefully for Free, information systems around the world will evolve more and more. Web-API may be said "foundation technology of data infrastructure".

And the development of "data infrastructure" is the key to develop human society. (It's something like "traffic infrastructure" (roads) that people and vehicles use.)


However, for the time being, there is almost no "useful Web-API" that can be used for free.

In the first place, there is almost no "benefits for the side which continue providing the information". (You can't attach advertisement...) And yet, it must endure against the enormous amount of Requests (+ attacks) from computers around the world. (Even though no doubt that it is "the reason why those are the seeds of new business"...)

December, 2015.
In such situation, Japanese Government (National Tax Agency) is going to start an information reference service for "Corporation Number" (Individual Number Act). It is referred to as "Corporation Number system API". It has two major functions. I want them working hard by all means,(at all costs).
  • A Obtain corporate information by '13-digit number'
  • B Obtain updated corporate information by specifying 'period'
The following Workflow Definition is a mechanism to call "Corporation Number system API" in the middle of the flow.

[Web-API-Corporation Number]

'Certainly, Sales daily report is "sober reporting work". Yet, it is also a "very significant activities record" at the same time.' (Daily Sales Report Referring to Customer Master Data)

Corresponding to the above previous post, some people gave me a request that 'want to record "GPS information" as well, so that the value of the record would increase'.

Indeed. For example, suppose a salesperson is working in a style which making a report right after a visit using Smart phone. Then, the "Latitude and longitude information" (GPS information) which has been obtained in the Smart Phone ought to be utilized at that time. That "GPS information" will be very useful information as a record for supporting Salespersons. (GPS: Global Positioning System)


"GPS information" has become very easy to use, today. That is, many browsers now have a "function of acquiring GPS information", it is possible to acquire accurate position information even in a PC, not limited to the smartphone. In fact, this function (called "Geolocation") is the most popular function among the new display format "HTML5" (by W3C).


The following is an improved version of 'Daily Sales report' which I have posted before.

The only change is the addition of two buttons in [Input Hint] below the input item of "Activity Detail" (texterea). However, it is very useful.
  • "A button for indicating Google Maps URL"
  • "A button for pasting the indicated URL to texterea"

[Daily Sales Report flow (Geolocation)]

"We will sincerely correspond to your voice"


Easier said than done. Actually, sometimes it might be impossible to "Immediately respond to customer voice". Suppose if you set up a framework to dynamically scaling up the "human resources", it will have its limit. No, wait. First of all, the policy of "simply increase manpower" will lead to "increase of cost". Consequently, it will not be for your customers.

Hmm, what truly is "corresponding sincerely"?

"ISO 100002" will be a great hint. That is, focusing on "making continual improvement by PDCA cycle for Complaint handling process". (It may also be said that to increase the maturity of the organization.)

Specifically speaking, it is to capture and to record the progress between the completion of answering to the customer, from the acceptance of the opinion and demands from customers. And then, continue to improve the "flow of Complaint handling process" or the "Work Manuals".

  • ISO 10002: Quality management (Customer satisfaction):
    Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations (2004)

The following Workflow Definition is a very simple "Complaint handling process."

* You may refer to as "Claim handling process" or " Inquiry handling process", as well.

To begin with, you run this simple Workflow for "Customer voice" for a week or a month. And then you will conduct the first Process alteration based on the accumulated handling records and actual experiences. Thereafter, iterate the improvement cycle.

In addition, it is excellent that it refers "Customer Master". If you have prepared the "customer master", operators will be able to input "customer name without fluctuation", easily.

[Inquiry Correspondence process]

Certainly, Sales daily report is "sober reporting work". Yet, it is also a "very significant activities record" at the same time.

There is no way of analysis if there was no activity record of the month;
  • when you think looking back at "month that sales were strong",
  • when you think trying to remorse on "month that ended in failure".

For example, suppose if you try to analysis on what and to which client group you have been pushing as the entire Sales department. It will take a considerable time for "decent analytical materials" to be completed, even if you conducted hearings to each member.

The day-to-day Sales daily report, in other words, is important foundation material for considering" the next sales strategy".

To say so, it has no meaning if there were inaccuracies in input of "attribute of the customer" or "customer name" or "activities". On the other hand, if it took time and effort for inputting, it is preposterous. (It really is difficult...)

The following is a "very simple Business Process" which is composed of only "Visit record" and "Superior's comment".

Even though, I say that the excellent point of this is the mechanism of the input support. That is, it allows referring to"Customer Master Data", which is managed centrally on the Workflow platform, for the "customer attributes" and "customer name". Also, it is able to refer to a list of "Basic activities and Concentrative proposal activities" for "Sales activity".

[Daily Sales Report flow]

"Workflow systems" of nowadays have responded very well to the needs of Quote creation.
  • A. Requirement of "Approval" by the supervisor who is in the headquarter
  • B. Requirement of "Paper" document for submitting to "Client" 
That is, not only responding to work on Smartphones, many of Workflow systems are capable of so-called "Document output function". However, furthermore devising will be needed for even such Workflow systems if you want;
  • X. to aggregate by "Salespersons"
  • Y. to aggregate by "Customers"
In short, you cannot expect smooth aggregation if, for example, a site where "fluctuation" would frequently occur upon inputting customer's name. Thus, the following three viewpoints shall be pre-considered.
  • o. Group management on "Quote"
  • x. Group management and ID management on "Salespersons"
  • y. Group management and ID management on "Clients"
In the following workflow, "Customer Master Interlocking Form" is utilized for inputting customer's name. (Search combo-box)

[Quote Creation flow]

In this example, a "Sales activity that begins with Lead handling" is divided into three stages.

  • 1st stage: [Sales Lead] - Confirmation if it goes Progress - [Submission of Estimate]
  • 2nd stage: - Progress extension (Estimate resubmission) - [Quote]
  • 3rd stage: - Negotiation - (Quote resubmission) - [Contract / Lost-contract]

That is, an Issue in which "Estimate PDF" has been registered is the Issue that has finished the 1st stage, and an Issue in which "Quote PDF" has been registered is the Issue that has finished the 2nd stage.

In addition, the information of the customer is specified by referring to "Customer Master data". Please refer to previous articles about Maintenance Operations on Customer Master.
Note that here, it has not been defined jobs of "Indirect departments", such as print-out, signature and mailing. You would be better to connect to these Workflows if they have been defined separately. (Process model connection API)

[Quote Creation flow:"1. Issue Registration - Provisional Quote" screen]


[Data Items list]

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[Japanese Entry (ε’Œζ–‡θ¨˜δΊ‹)]
A supplier changed their "Name" (trade name). It is a common story.

You changed the priority of your customer. It is as well.

The following is a Business flow to maintain "Customer Master data" collectively. "Monthly Reviewing" of regular basis and "Extraordinary Reviewing" will be performed by the Sales administrative assistant team.

By updating "Customer Master data" on this special Workflow, you can switch "List of Customers" which is shown on many of Workflows on your Workflow platform (Drop-down list of Options, list in a combo-box, etc.) all together. In other words, each Process-owner who is designing and operating respective Business Processes such as "Quote Approval flow" or "Billing Process" or "Repair Request Response" Process, will be freed from maintaining data of "Customer list".

* Please see the previous article for "Separative addition" to Customer Master data.

[Customer Master Data Maintenance]

If the Workflow platform possesses "Customer Master data", it will be convenient in various ways.

However, if everybody enters in "text form of free input", the names will be ambiguous such as;
  • "NTT", or "Nippon Telephone and Telegraph", or "enu-ti-ti (in Japanese characters)"
  • "Apple Inc." or "Apple, Inc." or even "Apple computer, Inc."
Anyway, input of corporate name would diverge... The work so called "Name identification" is so worthless to do.


The following is a "Trade Account Opening" Workflow.

At first glance, It's almost the same flow as the previous article (Credit Management flow), but it also has a mechanism which automatically updating "Customer Master data" (Business-Connections.xml), at the time of registering a new customer.

You can call this "Customer Master" into "Drop down list" or "Combo box which filters the list as you type" on other Workflows. That is, in any of the Workflow of "Quote approval flow", or "Invoicing flow", or "Inquiry correspondence flow", the corporate names to be input will always be "formal name" for it is selected from the "Customer Master data".

[Trade Account Opening]

"Goods and cash are exchanged at the same time"... it is not always. After all, in the business-to-business transactions, either one is required to "trust" the other party.
  1. To pass the goods and invoices, and get remittance by the end of next month (Accounts receivable)
  2. Transfer cash, and get the Goods shipped later (Advance payment)
So many companies, to set the "credit limit" for all the counter-parties. The procedure when setting for the first time is also especially referred to as "procedure for trading account opening". (Incidentally, to decide which side will be the creditor, it depends on whether "products first" or "cash first". It is the same structure as the "ransom exchange scene" you see in the dramas and movies.)


The following Workflow is a very simple Business flow of "Credit management". It is to set the "credit limit" for a particular customer. Specifically, a supervisor determines it with information such as "financial statements that obtained directly from the customer" or "information from a credit research company", or "past trading performance" or "priority on the business strategy". Eventually, CFO will grant an approval to it. (And day-to-day "accounts receivable" will be controlled within the limit that has been set there.)

The notable point of this Workflow definition is the utilization of "Corporation Number" which Japanese government is going to begin operation since October 2015. You will be possible to prevent failure in the "name identification" (the multiple setting of limits)...

[Credit Management flow]

There, it will come one more month later...

The Individual Number system will start also here in Japan. (2015-10-05) In this blog as well, I have exemplified several Workflows (Business Process) about "Process of Individual Number collection".

And I am going to introduce examples of utilizing "Corporation Number" also in the following weeks. Also,I am planning to publish utilization examples of "Web-API function" of Corporate Number system sequentially as soon as I confirm operation on "Pre-verification environment".

In this article, I will summarize on "Error detection" which is indispensable in the business that deal with "Individual Number".

The Workflow definition below is a sample which allows you to experience 'accuracy check' on input data. It is set both of [1] the mechanism of automatic data checking during input (JavaScript in input screen), and [2] the mechanism of data checking on the server computer (JavaScript in Script Step)

By the way, "Check Digit" means a character for inspection. It is used widely for such as "Credit card number", "Product code"(EAN / JAN barcode), "International Standard Book Number" (ISBN), etc. In the case of "Individual Number" in Japan,
  • Corporation Number (13 digits): The leftmost digit
  • Individual Number (12 digits): The rightmost digit
are calculated by the "specific formula", and is added.

[Check Digit sample:"Test form" screen]

In the previous article, I introduced Japanese "Civil Procedure" and a Process Diagram of it.

The following represents trial process of "Criminal Procedure" in Japan.

This Process Diagram will be helpful for understanding the outline of Criminal Procedure, its "Three-trial system" and the "positioning of the Summary Court". Also, it will help to aware of the "difference between Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure" by comparing with trial process of Civil Procedure.

For instance, it has not generally been recognized that an appellate against the "first instance in Summary Court" moves to "High Court in a Criminal procedure, whereas it is brought in District Court in Civil Procedure. Or else, recognition by the Flow chart will promote understanding the difference which "submission of Indictment" by prosecutor will trigger a Criminal Procedure, whereas "Filing of Complaint" by plaintiff will do a Civil Procedure.

"Process Diagram" is indispensable in understanding the "rules" whatever it is the law statement or the company regulations.

<Reference>

[Criminal Procedure flow]
Most of what is called "rule" are described in "text".
  • Law
  • Administrative Procedures
  • Company regulations
  • School regulations
And therein, the "flow of the procedure " is also described.

Needless to say, the costs for "understanding the entire rule" would be significantly reduced if there was a"Process Diagram". The Process Diagram, "Deliberation Process on the Bill" which I have introduced in the last article, is also very useful for understanding the Japanese legislative rules.

The following Process Diagram, which I am going to introduce this time, is "Court Process for Civil Litigation."

The "judicial rules" in Japan has been drawn there, and it can be said that is an effective figure for understanding the "Three-trial system" or "positioning of the summary court". For example, if they have embedded this diagram onto their website, it would surely contribute to the understanding of site visitors.

Incidentally, please be noted that the following business Process Diagram is described as being limited to "ordinary suit" (legal disputes between individuals) within the "Civil Suits". (Not includes Criminal procedure, Administrative litigation, Patent litigation, Domestic Relations Cases or Juvenile Cases)

[Civil Suits flow]
'I see, In Japan, Laws are established through the deliberations by both of "the house of Representatives" and "the House of Councillors".'

If you want to let someone to understand this basic framework (only), the Business Process Diagram (Workflow Chart) which I introduced before contains too many information. I can hardly say that it is easy to browse / to understand. That is because it describes a variety of details of Flows that may happen.

Indeed, even though it has been described focusing on "pathways which may realistically chosen", I cannot hardly say that it is easily to understand (e.g.) the notable "Flow of 60 days rule", which is a measure for the conclusion by re-vote in the House of Representatives when deliberations in the House of Councillors were prolonged. Further consideration will be needed if it is used for "Civics textbook" or for "newspaper article".

The following Business Process Diagram is a simplified version of previous Business Process Diagram.

This also can be said that a flow chart for explaining the "backbone" of the Business Process. Although some part of "procedures actually possibly occur" has been omitted, there is no inconvenience in understanding the mechanism or to check the status of deliberations. (Cases that the succeeding House passed the bill with alteration, etc.)

[Bill Deliberation in the National Diet-2]