How to personalize, automatically save and send invoices

Factureren in huisstijl | Boltrics

How to personalize, automatically save and send invoices

This blog only focuses on sales invoices. For other reports, after step C4.1, the report needs to be added to the ‘report overview’.

 

About two months ago, Cleo tought you how you can personalize ZPL-labels yourself. This message received a lot of response, which can mean two things: either you love ZPL-labels, or you like to give a personal touch to your documents. If the latter applies, I suggest to read along. Are you interested in easily personalizing your invoices? So your customers directly know who is the sender or to comply with your corporate identity? Or do you already have personalized invoices, but do you need to print them on specific paper to add your logo? In this blog I will teach you step by step how you can add your corporate identity to you invoice lay-out. Next, I will explain how you can automatically save it and send it to your customers via e-mail. I divided this in four chapters to keep a clear overview for you. Firstly, I will mention these chapters below.

Chapter 1: Corporate identity & writing paper in only 3 steps

In our solution you can easily add a corporate identity to your invoice lay-out. You do no longer need preprinted writing paper, but you can print the design on a blank sheet. “Print?”, is what I hear you think. “Can’t we just send them as a PDF via e-mail?” Of course you can, you can find out how in chapter 2.

Chapter 2: Apply e-mail templates

You decide not to send your invoices as letters, but as a PDF via e-mail. Effective and sustainable. What is effective within that context: an e-mail template with predefined texts. This will save you a lot of typing work! What is fun about this: you can use information from you database, like your company details, a customer or contact person, or even data from the selling invoice. This way you can automatically personalize a generated mail with all requested references from the selling invoice header.

Chapter 3: Adjust lay-out templates yourself

At this point you changed the appearance of the invoice yourself by adding the corporate identity and you realized that the content of the e-mail is generated by a standard report. Well done! Do you need to make a customer specific report to change some details? No, luckily this is not necessary. But do you want to underline the total amounts or make them bold? Or maybe in a color? Do you want to make the invoices even more personal for your customers by adding their logo? This is all possible with an adjusted RDLC lay-out!

Chapter 4: Automatically save and send booked invoices

Let’s move on to the automation part. Because why would you send the e-mail manually with Outlook over and over again? It is also possible to automatically save the PDF and the attachments with the booked invoice in Dynamics. With just one click you can request the invoice, print it or send it to your customer. It is just that simple. You can also automate the sending of the document, so you do not have to send an e-mail per each invoice.

Chapter 1: Corporate identity & writing paper in only 3 steps

Step 1: create a creative corporate identity in Word for example and save it as a PDF.

Step 2: Go to “Letterhead” in Dynamics

  • Create a new entry
  • Import the PDF file you just saved. You will get a confirmation that a file is linked.

Step 3: At Sales invoices > Edit, you can add your corporate identity to your default report or a customer specific default report.

That’s it! Invoices per e-mail are from now on customized by defeult with your own imported corporate identity.

Chapter 2: Apply e-mail templates

As you can see in the e-mail template above, a standard text is used for sending the message. Not very personal, is it? Let’s do something about it.

Step 1: Set up an e-mail template in Email template overview. The source needs to be “invoice” and for sending automatically to contacts, you can already fill in source: “contact”.

Step 2: With the button ‘E-mail Extended Text Details’ you can create texts with a template code per language.

  • It is recommended to add a template on an empty language code with the tick box “all languages” and besides you can set up deviating texts per language.
  • In the example below, you can see an English text on this empty language code.
  • With the ‘dots’ (…) you can add texts, but what is also possible (and more fun): retrieve related data from your database. There are plenty of possibilities, as the example shows you.
  • Table 79 for your company details, table 18 for customer information, table 112 for invoice data and 5050 for contact information.

The e-mail that is now showed is much more personal and contains a lot of detailed information. And all you had to do was arrange it once.

Chapter 3: Adjust lay-out templates yourself

Nowadays you can easily adjust a random report to your own taste with RDLC. Besides, you can set up a filter when you want to apply this adjusted lay-out.

Step 1: Go to ‘Custom Report Layouts’ and create a new built in lay-out. Here, you should use the report number that you also use for the invoice, in this example 11154656. Next, you tick the box to announce that you will insert a RDLC lay-out.

  • If you would like to use multiple variants, you can follow this step several times for the same report. Use the description for the distinction.
  • Watch out: If you want to use only one adjusted version, you still need to activate that lay-out at ‘Report layout selection.

Step 2: The next step is to set up a filter for the moment that this lay-out should be activated, for example the customer number of the sales invoice (table 112).

Step 3: With the button ‘Edit layout’, you can now adjust the lay-out with the report builder.

In the example below I added an image, and I gave several values a different color (I highlighted these for you with red circles). If you want to know more about the possibilities of customized report lay-outs, maybe our RDLC-report courses are interesting for you.

Behold the result: if the customer number = 31669966 Boltrics, the adjustment is activate on the lay-out. For other customers the default lay-out applies.

Chapter 4: Automatically save and send booked invoices

Booking a sales invoice is in this case a trigger to create a document, save it and send a task via e-mail. Completely automated!

Step 1: Go to ‘Job queue entries’

  • Here, you can activate the archive of 3PL/Nekovri Dynamics for documents and images. You mention a path where the archive should be place. Sub maps are automatically created as documentsyyyymm.
  • Watch out: if the archive is already activated, it is not recommended to do adjustments in it. Because if you do, the links are updated, but the documents will physically stay at the same location.
  • Tip: You can connect a BCC e-mail address, so you can receive a copy of the sent e-mails.

Step 2: Go to ‘Document handling entries’

  • Over here, you will make an entry for table 112, booked sales invoices. Connect the created e-mail template for sales invoices.

Next, you can determine per contact who will receive the e-mails with invoices. First you have to create and save the document. Then you can send the saved document as an attachment. This is all configurated in the same line.

Step 2.1

Step 2.2

You need a task queue for both actions.

Below you can find several tips to make everything go even smoother:

Tip 1:
In the e-mail template, you can set up a ‘e-mail from’ field separately. The system for sending mails (SMTP settings) needs to have the right authorization for this. If you do not do this, the e-mail address from the company details will be used as the ‘from’ address.

Tip 2:
For creating and sending, you can set up separate programs. In this example a ‘continuous’ program is used for creating, and an ‘hour’ program for sending. The benefit that comes forward is that the PDF is immediately created and linked to the booked sales invoice. At the same time you control everything, because within the next hour you can still prevent the actual sending.

Tip 3:
For printing or creating the PDF, it is always necessary to set up the company contact, but for mailing (step 2.2.) you can set up different contacts that are connected to this company contact. Perhaps with a separate e-mail template and program.

You can monitor the process in ‘Document handling entries’.

Below you can see the process as a whole.

1. You create an invoice and you connect an attachment.


2. When booking the sales invoice, a document handling entry is automatically created.


3. The print status goes to the status ‘Ready’ if the document is created and saved. Moreover, a link is documented in this archive.

From this link you can always consult your digital invoice and attachments. You can open, mail or print these at any time.

4. If the Job queue entry for sending the e-mail is done, you will see this in the Document handling entry.

Personalized, saved and automatically sent

I do not hope so, but you might think: what did I just do? Well, all by yourself you configurated that with one press on the button (‘book sales invoice’), a sales invoice with your own writing paper and lay-out with an attachment included as a PDF is archived and afterwards gets automatically sent to specific contact persons of your customer. And to make it all complete, you receive a BCC every time you send your customers an e-mail. A mouthful, but also quite an achievement.

Or not completely?

Did it not work out for you with this walkthrough? A consultant is glad to help you. Or maybe it was easy for you. Then the following functionalities in 3PL and Nekovri Dynamics might be interesting for you:

  • Automatically sending of payment reminders as a PDF file;
  • Automatically sending reports via a status function or a STEP from a logistics document to a so-called ‘document party’ like a carrier, agent, customer – or a mailing list of these (predefined) parties;
  • Approvement flow via e-mail for buying- and sales invoices via web.

Would you like to receive more information about one of the beforementioned optimizations? Contact your consultant, he would like to tell you more about it.

Frank Groot Roessink
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Frank Groot Roessink