Streamlining Sales Processes with Process Holds

It seems that “workflow” is a popular buzzword. Everyone wants it, some really need it and no one seems to define it the same way. I see workflow as a way to automate previous paper or manually driven processes. Think paper shuffling. Think emails back and forth. Think things slipping through the cracks. Think knowing who approved what and when.

There are a range of workflow solutions available for Dynamics GP, from the standard GP Workflows to a variety of third-party solutions that can automate everything from purchase requisitions to employee onboarding. Here we’ll look at a relatively simple workflow solution you can put in place today with no additional installs or purchases:  Process Holds in Sales Order Processing.

A process hold is a customizable hold you can place on a document in Sales Order Processing to prevent it from advancing—printing, posting, transferring or being fulfilled. Process holds can be set up quite easily from the Sales Page:

Sales Process Holds Setup window

Sales Page | Setup | Process Holds

Simply enter a process hold ID and description and specify a password for users to remove the hold from a document. Most importantly, you need to specify the activities you would like the hold to prevent:

  • Transferring Documents—Prevents an order from transferring to an invoice, a quote being transferred to an order, etc.
  • Posting—Prevents the posting of an invoice or return
  • Fulfillment Advancement—Prevents the advancement of the fulfillment workflow (more on that in another post)
  • Fulfilling Documents—Prevents the order or invoice from being fulfilled
  • Printing Documents—Prevents the document from being printed

Once you set up your process hold, you can apply it to a document in a few ways.

Method No. 1

In your sales document setup, you can assign process holds that automatically default on to a document. This is a great way to place specific holds on certain types of documents (Online orders or new customer orders need to have their addresses verified, for example).

Sales Order Setup and Sales Process Holds Assignments windows

Sales Page | Setup | Sales Order Processing | Sales Document Setup button

Select the type of document (Order, Invoice, etc.) and the specific ID you want to use the default holds, then click “Holds.” Select a hold to apply to the document ID and click “Insert.” Click “OK” and then save the document type. Now, whenever you use the selected document type ID, the selected process holds will be automatically assigned.

Method No. 2

You also can manually assign a process hold to a sales document quite easily. For example, if you find an order with unusual pricing, you might want the sales manager to review it before it is printed.

Sales Transaction Entry and Sales Process Holds Entry windows

Sales Page | Transactions | Sales Transaction Entry | Holds Button

Enter or select a process hold using the lookup, and then click “Assign” to apply the hold to the document. The hold appears in the Assigned Holds section, along with the user, date and time the hold was assigned. When a hold is assigned to a document, a visual cue is displayed on the document:

Sales Transaction Entry window with a Process Hold applied

Sales Page | Transactions | Sales Transaction Entry

To remove a hold, you can also use the Sales Process Holds Entry window. Simply select the hold in the Assigned Holds section and click “Remove” or “Remove All.” If a password is specified for the hold in the Sales Process Holds Setup window, you must enter it to remove the hold. The hold is then tracked in the Removed Holds section, along with details of the user, date and time the hold was removed.

Sales Process Holds Entry window

Sales Page | Transactions | Sales Transaction Entry | Holds button

Method No. 3

There may be occasions where you need to mass assign or remove a hold from a group of documents. Perhaps a particular item has had quality issues, so you need to apply a quality control process hold to all orders with that item. Use the Sales Hold Processing window to apply or remove holds for a range of documents.

Sales Hold Processing window

Sales Page | Transactions | Hold Processing

Select the process hold, and then choose to either Assign or Remove. Use the Document Range dropdown to select a range, enter values and click “Insert.” Only ranges that appear in the restrictions box will be used. Click “Restrictions” to view the affected documents.

Restrict Sales Documents window

Sales Page | Transactions | Holds Processing | Restrictions button

Clear the checkbox to exclude a document. Click “Process” to assign or remove the hold based on your selections. The holds will automatically be assigned or removed from the individual documents, and the Sales Hold Processing Journal will print.

Sales Holds Processing Journal

Prints after assigning or removing holds using the Sales Hold Processing window

You can also view sales process holds information in a special inquiry window.

Sales Process Holds Inquiry window

Sales Page | Inquiry | Sales Process Holds

Select the process hold you want to view and choose to display documents where the hold is assigned or removed. Also select to include only unposted documents or history. Ranges can also be specified—click “Redisplay” to apply the selections. Note:  You can use the “show details” icon to display further details about the holds.

Sales Process Holds Inquiry window

Sales Page | Inquiry | Sales Process Holds

The additional information displayed includes the user who assigned or removed the hold, along with the date and time.

Please contact our Microsoft Dynamics GP support center at with questions about process holds or for assistance with configuring process holds to support your business processes.

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