E-mail

How to Personalize the Email Messages in your Free Purchase Order Software

Peter from the United Kingdom reached out to us on Facebook to ask if he could personalize the emails that SpendMap creates when sending Purchase Orders to his suppliers…

“Is there a way to create a template email?  Also is there a way that the (PDF file name) can be defined, either to match the PO or have a prefix?”

Yes, there are settings in SpendMap to personalize the email messages, including;

  1. Adding your company name to the “From” field of the email messages,
  2. Adding any text that you want to the body of the email itself, and
  3. You can customize the filename of the PDF document (i.e. the PO itself) to show your company name (or any other prefix), as well as including the PO number in the filename.

All these options are available in the middle of the Email Settings screen, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings


The Online Help for that screen has all the details about how to use those settings, but here’s what your emails might look like, based on the settings used above…

Email Purchase Order

 

Separate PDF files to send Purchase Orders to suppliers by e-mail

Imran works in the Engineering Services field and was asking about the best way to create PDF files of his Purchase Orders to send to his suppliers when using the free version of SpendMap.Many-POs-in-PDF

“While processing a PO, how do I print the buyer’s copy and seller’s copy separately?
…it is printing both pages together.”

Imran is printing both a “supplier’s copy” as well as an “internal copy” of his Purchase Orders, and both are ending up in a single PDF file (since both copies are in the same print job).

This would also be an issue when processing multiple POs for multiple suppliers at the same time.  For example, if you processed 5 POs in your PO Work Area for 5 separate suppliers, if you chose to print to a PDF file, you would get a single PDF file containing all 5 orders, again, since all are coming from the same print job.

If you’re printing hard copies (on paper), this doesn’t matter because you’ll just grab the pile of POs off the printer and give each one to the applicable supplier.  But if you’re printing to PDF (most likely to send to your suppliers by e-mail as Imran is trying to do), then you will end up with a single PDF with all POs in a single file, which obviously won’t work.

Solution: Use SpendMap’s Email Module to send the supplier their PDF file.

Instead of enabling multiple copies of your printed POs in PO Printing Settings, just use SpendMap’s built-in email feature to send the supplier their copy of the order.  When you process new orders, SpendMap will create a PDF copy of the PO, attach it to an e-mail message, and will send it to the supplier automatically, with no manual intervention (i.e. it all happens behind-the-scenes, so there is no need to manually create PDF files, manually create e-mail messages, and then attach the applicable PDFs to the applicable e-mails.

(more…)

Upgraded e-mail features in your free Purchase Order Software

We made two fairly significant improvements to the e-mail features in the Free Version of SpendMap (including v12.65)…mail-GREEN

1) Encrypted E-Mail

SpendMap now supports encrypted (SSL/TLS) connections to the mail server.  Better security aside, we have been finding that more and more e-mail providers (like Google’s Gmail) no longer support unencrypted connections.  If you previously had trouble getting SpendMap to work with your e-mail system, please try again after upgrading.

Note the new “Secure Connection” setting under the Server Name or IP Address field, in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Please note that to send e-mail, SpendMap now requires the Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 or above to be installed on the PC (available since 2010).

We normally don’t make changes to published versions of SpendMap but we made an exception in this case due to recent changes at Google and the increasing number of requests for this feature.

2) Free, Built-In E-mail Service

The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.

Just enter “SpendMap” in the Server Name or IP Address field in E-mail Settings to use this free service (don’t worry about the other SMTP settings as they will be ignored when using the built-in e-mail service).  The Online Help for the Server Name or IP Address field has additional details.

For new downloads of the free version of SpendMap, the Evaluation Copy is preconfigured to use this new e-mail service.  If you already have SpendMap installed, your settings will not change automatically but you can manually change the Server Name or IP Address field per above if you want to use this free service.

History of sent e-mail messages in your Free Purchase Order Software

Jose works in the irrigation services industry in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was asking how to see a history of e-mail messages that were sent from SpendMap…

I couldn’t confirm whether the PO, RFQ was sent to the recipient….How do I know the PO and RFQ are being sent successfully?

There are two options for sending e-mail from SpendMap, 1) MAPI and 2) SMTP.

If you would like e-mails that are sent from SpendMap to show in your Outlook Sent Box, then use the MAPI option (using the two fields at the top of the E-mail Setting Screen).  TIP: In most cases, you do NOT need to enter any of the other MAPI-related settings further down the screen.

If, however, you prefer the SMTP option, you can enable the Sent E-mail Log, using the setting called “Maintain a log of sent e-mail messages” (also in E-mail Settings), and you will see a history of the outgoing e-mail messages in…
– PURCHASING > Utility > e-mail and internal messaging > e-mail log > Log of sent e-mail messages

Email Logs in free PO Software

TIP: It would be unusual for SpendMap users to verify that each and every e-mail was sent successfully (e.g. by checking Outlook or using the Sent E-mail Log), since you will be notified if an e-mail could NOT be sent.  If SpendMap cannot connect to Outlook or your SMTP server to send a message, you will see a “failed e-mail” icon in the Main Menu of SpendMap, and the failed message will show in the E-mail Error Log, in here…
– PURCHASING > Utility > e-mail and internal messaging > e-mail log > Local/Server e-mail error log

Or, if SpendMap is able to pass the message to the outgoing mail server but the message fails for some other reason (e.g. bad e-mail address), the mail server will send an “undeliverable mail” message back to the sender.

Sender of email messages in your free Purchase Order Software

mail-GREENMichael works in the construction industry in England and was asking about the “From” field when sending Purchase Orders and other documents to his suppliers by e-mail…

“Do all emailed purchase orders need to be sent from the same email address irrespective of user? … Is it possible to have individual email addresses for each user, if so how do I set this up?”

You actually have both options.  The e-mail can come from the individual Buyers (i.e. the person who processes the Purchase Order in SpendMap) or it can be the same e-mail address regardless of who is sending the order, such as “Purchasing@YourCompany” or similar.

It’s controlled by the setting “Sender of external automatic messages” in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Per the Online Help for that setting, the “sender” is noteworthy as the recipient might reply to a message or an error might occur during transmission (in which case the sender would typically get an “undeliverable mail” message from the outgoing mail server), so if you decide to use a single e-mail address for all messages, make sure that someone is set up to receive messages to that account.

Hope that helps.

MAPI vs. SMTP e-mail setup in your free PO Software


>>> 07/29/2015 update – The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.  This post has details.  The balance of this post, below, still applies if you want to set the system up to use your own e-mail server or ISP.


Since we blogged last month about how to set up the e-mail module in the free version of SpendMap, we realize that the MAPI option might be better than SMTP for many smaller companies (the target market for the Free-Procurement Project).

Our suggestion in last month’s blog post to try the SMTP option first came from our Support Group’s experience with our paying customers, who mostly use the web-based version of SpendMap, and who usually have their own (internal) SMTP servers.  For these customers, SMTP is usually the best option.

But for smaller companies, who are more likely to use a third-party e-mail provider like Gmail, YAHOO mail, MS Live, etc., the SMTP option may not work as some hosted e-mail services don’t allow third-party apps to connect to their outgoing mail servers.

So, if you don’t have your own internal SMTP server, please give the MAPI option a try first, using the two fields at the top of the E-mail Setting Screen.

TIP: Assuming you have MAPI-compliant e-mail software (e.g. Outlook) installed on the PC that you’ll be using for SpendMap, setting the first two fields in E-mail Setting to the MAPI option is all that will be required.  In most cases, you do not need to enter any of the other MAPI-related settings further down the screen.  Any e-mail messages that SpendMap generates will be “handed off” to Outlook and will show in your Out Box until you hit [Send].

All the other instructions in that earlier blog post remain the same (e.g. other setup steps, testing, etc.).

Sorry for the false start, folks.  If you have any trouble, we’re always here to help.

Best regards,
The Free-Procurement Project team
Totally FREE software that automates Purchase Orders and a whole lot more
Powered by SpendMap

E-mail Setup in your Free Purchase Order Software

email purchase order


>>> 07/29/2015 update – The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.  This post has details.  The balance of this post, below, still applies if you want to set the system up to use your own e-mail server or ISP.


Most people who use the Free Version of SpendMap want to send Purchase Orders and other documents to their suppliers by e-mail.

You can also enable various e-mail notifications, to let people know about important events, without them having to log into the system (e.g. “You have a new Requisition waiting for your approval” or “Your Requisition was rejected”, and so on).

For SpendMap to send e-mail to your suppliers and staff, you need to enable and set up the e-mail connectivity module, which is included in your free PO software.

Everything you need to know to get e-mail going is in the Online Help system, but I’ve taken the liberty of writing it out in detail here, to save you some time…

E-Mail Server Settings

Before we get started, it helps to understand that SpendMap is no different from any other e-mail client (e.g. Outlook, etc.) when it comes to sending e-mail. Just like Outlook needs to “connect” to your outgoing e-mail server to send messages, so does SpendMap. So you can probably borrow the settings from your standard e-mail software and plug those into the E-Mail Settings Utility in SpendMap, using this menu option…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Most people use the SMTP protocol (as opposed to MAPI), so I’ll assume SMTP for now. If you have any questions, or if you prefer to use MAPI and need any tips after reading the Online Help, please log a free support ticket.


>>>CORRECTION<<<  After we posted this article, we realized that the MAPI option might be better than SMTP for many smaller companies (the target market for the Free-Procurement Project).  If you have any trouble using the SMTP option outlined below, you might want to give MAPI a try instead.  Here’s another post with more details.

OK, back to what we were saying…


On the E-mail Settings screen, select “ISP or SMTP server” in the two fields at the top of the screen.

Then, in the block of fields labeled “SMTP” just below that, enter your outgoing mail server’s name or IP address. It will usually look something like “smtp.service-provider.com”. Again, you can probably get that from the Settings area of your e-mail software, or you might have to contact your service provider or IT Department.

Next, enter “587” for the port number, unless your service provider advises you otherwise.

Then enter the user account (or e-mail address) that you use to log into to your e-mail account, and the associated password in the adjacent field.

That’s usually all that is needed for SpendMap to connect to your outgoing mail server.

Other E-Mail Settings

Other than that, you will need to fill in the three fields at the bottom of the screen (Proper User Name, User E-mail Address, and SpendMap User ID). This will improve the formatting of the e-mail messages that your suppliers receive.  Again, the Online Help has details of what those fields are used for.

So those are the only mandatory (i.e. minimum) fields that you have to fill in. You may, however, want to review the other (optional) fields. For example, if you want to add some text to the cover page of the e-mail that goes along with each new Purchase Order to your suppliers, you can use the Boilerplate field in the center of the screen. If so, this blog post may also be of interest.

And it’s also quite popular to enable the setting to “Maintain a log of sent e-mail messages” but, again, all that stuff is optional. And again, the Online Help has all the details.

Test to Confirm Settings

Once the E-mail Settings are configured per above, it’s time to test that SpendMap is in fact able to connect to your outgoing e-mail server. Rather than processing a new PO to do this test, I prefer to just try e-mailing a report, which has less variables than processing a PO, so it’s faster/easier to confirm that it’s working.

So just run any report and select the “e-mail” option when it asks you “Where do you want to send the report?”. Any report will do, but personally I like to use a small report for testing, so maybe try the User Master File report, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Reports > Master file reports > Users master file

So, assuming the report shows up in your e-mail client, then that means that SpendMap is able to send e-mail.

Additional Setup for Specific Types of E-Mail

Once you have the e-mail feature working per above, you can enable the various types of e-mail messages in SpendMap.

Sending Documents by E-Mail

If you would like to e-mail Purchase Orders or other documents to your suppliers, please see this section of the Online Help…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Documents and Reports > Sending Documents Electronically

E-Mail Notifications

If you would like SpendMap to send e-mail notifications to your users when certain events occur (e.g. an e-mail to the Approver when someone processes a new Requisition, etc.), please see this section of the Online Help…
– System-Wide Features and Information > System-Wide Features and Utilities > Automatic E-mail Notifications

Keep your Purchase Orders out of your supplier’s Junk Mailbox

Are you sending Purchase Orders to your suppliers using the e-mail feature in the free version of SpendMap?

If your e-mailed POs are getting caught in your suppliers’ Junk Mail filters, you might want to try adding some text to the e-mail cover page.  Without some content in the body of the e-mail, the e-mail will include only an attachment (the attached PO) and one line of text (the default e-mail footer “Get your FREE Purchasing Software at…”, which also includes a hyperlink).  In some cases, a one-line e-mail with a hyperlink and an attachment will be enough to trigger a supplier’s SPAM filter.

So consider adding some text to your e-mail cover page for Purchase Orders, using the field called “Boilerplate for POs/Releases/RFQs”, in the E-mail Settings utility, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Here’s some sample cover page text to consider…

Dear Supplier,

Please process the following orders/confirmations.

If you have any questions, please contact us before processing this order.

Also please add this e-mail address to your “safe sender” list or address book, to help ensure that you get our Purchase Orders going forward.

Thank you,

ABC Company – Purchasing Department
(other contact info here)
(avoid adding hyperlinks like e-mail addresses or your company’s URL, as additional links can increase an e-mail’s SPAM score)