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30 Jan 2017

Khaos Control Training Webinar – Multichannel Automation

Drop Shipping Webinar

This training webinar dives into how you can use Triggers and Workflows in Khaos Control to automate your multichannel business.

From how these work, are set up and configured, through to real life examples that you can walk away with after the session.

This will be an excellent opportunity to take a deep dive into this area of Khaos Control and find out how automation and workflows can benefit your business.

If you would like to know more about Khaos Control, get in contact. Our notes from the session follow below, for reference.

Multichannel Automation Notes

Good morning and welcome to this Khaos Control Webinar.

Automation leads to efficiency and leads to improvements in the level of service you can offer your customers and, as a result, their overall experience.

Email is a vital communication tool with regards to this, as it allows you to keep your customers up to date, using a form of communication that they can access wherever they are – more and more emails are being read (or at least skimmed) on our phones and mobile devices – helps to create a customer experience that is inclusive and informative.

But as a successful multichannel retailer you will know that customer contact comes at a price. Khaos Control already allows you to automate a lot of your communication. From back orders, to despatch confirmations through to statement runs. But what about those processes that are more bespoke to the way you and your business run?

Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to automate those as well?

Well, my name is Andy, I’m in my 12th year as a member of the Khaos Family, and I’m going to spend the next 45 minutes or so taking you through some of the ways in which we can help you to benefit further from automation.

TIME: 1:03

Points to Note

Before we get started there are a few housekeeping points to note:

1. The navigation/options bar on the right of the screen. RED Arrow and Hand Up
2. If you have any questions during this Webinar, then please put your hands up, or use the question area in the side bar. Alternatively email us via training@khaoscontrol.com
Please note re: numbers and technical knowledge…
3. There is no need to take notes as you will receive a copy of the recording of this Webinar after the event. We will also be sending you a copy of our notes AND of the automations that we use during the session
4. If you would like a copy of the SQL reports, email marketing@khaoscontrol.com.

TIME: 2:21

What are we going to cover?

So, what are we going to cover during this session?

Firstly, we’re going to look at the Reports screen as some of you may not have seen or used it before. We’ll then take a look at the Workflow dialog, also called the Email Trigger dialog and then we’re going to look at a range of different reports that use the workflow to demonstrate the different ways that you can use this method of triggering emails to interact with your customers and staff.

The scenarios are:

A. Automatically emailing new contacts to welcome them
B. Send a reminder to customers that they have a quotation older than 30 days
C. Remind customers that they have a proforma order that needs payment
D. Remind customers that bought a product that they need to reorder it
E. Email the purchasing department to let them know of the back-order stock requirement
F. Send out safety data sheets to customers that purchase specific products
G. Send information via FTP to a feedback service.

If you have any other examples you would like to share then please use the question facility, or email us via training@khaoscontrol.com.

TIME: 3:55

The Workflow Dialog

What is Workflow?

The Workflow dialog allows you to trigger emails either internally or externally based on a SQL report. SQL is Structured Query Language and is used to communicate with databases. To open the Data Query screen:

• Click on the ‘Print’ button in the bottom of the Command Window (or you can enter report in the Command Interface).

For those of you not familiar with this screen we’ll just have a quick overview of the areas we’ll be using. The screen has buttons at the top and the list of SQL reports below. The large pane in the middle has the query at the top and the results will be displayed below.

Let’s load a report, it’s the first scenario we’ll be looking at:

• Expand Price List
• Double-click on Customer with Price Lists.

To see the results, use the ‘Execute’ button.

Once you have loaded the query you can then access the Email Trigger Workflow dialog.

• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

We’ll check out some of the options that are available:

Description: this is the name of the SQL report that has been loaded, as you can see it’s the name of the report we just opened
Email Template: this lists all the Email Templates as set up in the Email Manager regardless of the Trigger Type
Email Doc Type: is the type of document that the trigger uses
Execute period: is the number of days between executions of the trigger
Last Executed: the date and time the trigger was last run. You can set a Last Executed date that’s in the past for the next weekly / monthly run to then run at the correct point going forward, as well as on the first occasion it runs
‘Reset’: resets the Last and Next Executed times and dates to the current date and time in the Last Executed and the next Executed will be updated by the execute period.
Next Executed: is the date and time the trigger is next due to be run
Internal Email Address: if you’re sending emails to an internal address, we’ll see this later
Trigger Application has the following options:

o Any: either of the below
o Khaos Control: triggered internally by Khaos Control
o Command Line: if the trigger can be activated using a Command Line prompt.

Use Command Line if you want automations running throughout the day (i.e. you have a routine running every hour). Use Khaos Control is you’re happy to just run automations once a day – these will fire when the first Admin user logs in each day.

For the Command Line trigger please contact development@khaoscontrol.com as we will need to deploy our KSDMU utility. There will be a small charge for the time that takes (c. 2 hours).

‘Delete Trigger’: removes the trigger for this report
Send Immediately sends the email when it is created
Consolidated Report when ticked, if the company has more than one result they are combined. Example later on
FTP: enables the ‘FTP Settings’ which opens the Supplier FTP dialog so you can configure this to upload a report to a FTP site, we’ve got an example of this to show you later
File Format is the type of file for example; pdf, CSV, TSV (will export a .csv file but will use ‘tab’ indents as delimiters as opposed to commas), Tab Aligned and CSV Quoted (uses quotes instead of commas)
Disable checkbox disables the workflow trigger, it can be enabled later if required.

TIME: 10:40

Prerequisites

So now that we’ve looked at the Workflow dialog, there are several prerequisites before you can use it:

1. A valid SQL report must exist
2. Normally an Email Template must be setup, although as we’ll see later this is not always the case!
3. The Workflow trigger must be setup for the appropriate SQL Report
4. There must be valid email addresses if you want your customers to receive the email.

Right, let’s crack on with our first example.

TIME: 11:50

Scenario One – Automatically emailing new Contacts

This will send an email to all new contacts, that is either new companies or a new contact added to an existing company. This can be used to thank them for registering, send them an offer code, welcome them…

• Expand Webinar
• Double-click on 01 – New email subscriber contacts.

The new contact must be an Emailing List Subscriber and the contact will be emailed on the day they are created.

Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to them.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open New Contact.

This is a basic Message Template welcoming a new user, you could of course add further information if you wanted.
Notice the $Name as used in the template. This is going to pull the information through from the SQL report and MUST be in the same format as the report headings.

• Return to the 01 – New email subscriber contacts SQL report
• Press ‘Execute’.

The column heading we’re using in the email will be Name and be prefixed by a $ sign. You can use any column heading from the report to pull the information into the email when it is sent out. Column headings must always be prefixed by a $.

So, let’s setup the Workflow to send this automatically.

• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

Notice the Description.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog.

Notice that by two of the SQL reports that there is a little alarm clock. The red one indicates that the Workflow is active and the black one indicates that it has been disabled.

• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent email.

Just a point to note. If the new contact doesn’t have an email address, the system will still send the email but will use the main email address against the company. Alternatively, you can manipulate the email address to feed email automation tools such as MailChimp, DotMailer etc..

TIME: 16:44

Scenario Two – Remind Customers about a Quotation

So, that was quite a basic example. In this next scenario, we are going to remind customers that they have an active quotation. The system can help by automatically emailing customers after, in this case 30 days from the Quote Order Date, to remind them about their active quote.

As I’m sure you’re aware, just creating a quotation for a customer isn’t simply a question of putting in a quotation and waiting, quite often the customer requires a nudge to remind them about the quote.

• Double-click on 02 – Quotation Reminder
• Press ‘Execute’ to see the quotes that are between 30 and 80 days old.

Notice that the first column is green. This indicates that it is a Goto field so you can open that screen, in this case the customer screen.

Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to them.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open Quote30.

Notice that this time we’ve included two tags from the report $Sorder_code and $Contact_name.

• Go back to the 02 – Quotation Reminder (make sure you select it)
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent email.

Now, although we have a report that will send this after 30 days you could set up a series of these prompting the customer. Let’s see how to do that.

• Go back to the 02 – Quotation Reminder
• Click on the ‘Save’ button
• Enter a new name 02 – Quotation Reminder – 7
• In the top of the report change the following options to 7

DECLARE @MIN_DAYS_OLD INT = 7;
DECLARE @MAX_DAYS_OLD INT = 7;

• Press ‘Execute’ to see the quotes that are 7 days old.

You would then need to setup the Workflow for this report just like the previous ones we’ve covered this morning.

TIME: 22:15

Scenario Three – Remind Customers that they have a Proforma Order that needs Payment

We’ve seen that we can automatically remind customers that they have active quotations, another group of customers that you might like to prompt for payment are those with Proforma Orders.

• Double-click on 03 – Proforma Payment Reminder
• Press ‘Execute’ to see the active proforma orders.

Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to them.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open Proforma.

Notice that this time we’ve included two tags from the report $Sorder_code, $Company_name and $Amount_outstanding.

• Go back to the 03 – Proforma Payment Reminder (make sure you select it)
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog.

Notice that by two of the SQL reports that there is a little alarm clock. The red one indicates that the Workflow is active and the black one indicates that it has been disabled.

• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent email.

TIME: 27:02

Scenario Four – Remind Customers that they need to Reorder

What about if you want to remind customers about a product or service they might like to reorder, for example PAT testing, pet food, shampoo, sharps or pool cleaning etc? The next scenario is for you!

If you’re going to use product reminder emails then you need to setup Stock UDAs first. This lets the system know what stock items are affected and how many days since the customer purchased them do they need to be sent a reminder.

• Open stock UDA dialog
• There is a UDA called Product Reminder Days

o It is of Type CHOICE (and must always be of this Type).
o The Choices are the number of days. These are the number of days after buying the product that the customer needs to be sent the reminder.

Close the UDA dialog
• Open the Report screen
• Double-click on 04 – Product Reminder Emails
• Press ‘Execute’ to see the active proforma orders. Notice the column heading names.

Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to them.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open Reorder.

Notice that this time we’ve included two tags from the report $Sorder_code, $Company_name and $Amount_outstanding.

• Go back to the 03 – Proforma Payment Reminder (make sure you select it)
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent emails reminding customer that they should reorder the items.

TIME: 33.30

Scenario Five – Let the Purchasing Department know of the Back-Order Requirement

We’ve concentrated on sending our customers emails but the Workflow can also be used to send emails internally, for example letting the purchasing department know that there are sales orders that are not linked to purchase order, sending the sales team information about the overdue quotes that need to be chased etc. This next report creates a pdf of the results and attaches it to the email that is sent.

• Double-click on 05 – Back Order
• Press ‘Execute’ to see the active proforma orders.

The First Po Date and Po Code are the first purchase order with available stock that could be allocated to the sales order.
Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to the purchasing department.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open BackOrder.

Notice that this has no tags as the information will be contained in the pdf attachment.

• Go back to the 05 – Back Order (make sure you select it)
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent email. Right click to see the attachment that has been sent.

TIME: 36:50

Scenario Six – Send out Safety Data Sheets to Customers

So, we’ve seen that we can email attachments internally but the system can also send out attachments to customers, we’re going to see this in the next example.

There are many reasons for sending out information to customers, in this scenario if the customer purchases a specified item then they can be emailed the safety sheet, so for example if anyone buys a drill them we send them the data sheet.

There is some setup that needs to be done before this can be used:

1. The safety sheets must be saved in a central location and named after the stock code of the item for example
2. A Custom Stock Option must be set up in System Data and ticked on all stock items that require a safety data sheet
3. The Invoice contact must haven an email address as they are sent the email
4. The sheets will be emailed out to all customers that bought a drill since yesterday.

• Double-click on 06 – Emailing of Safety Data Sheets
• Press ‘Execute’ to see the customers who have bought drills within the last day.
• Open Stock item 102 Makita 6300LR 13mm Angle Rotary Drill 240v
• Open the Options screen
• Point out the Custom Stock Option Safety Sheet Required
• Close the stock screen.

Let’s check out the associated email template that will be sent to the purchasing department.

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open SafetySheet and check out the tags that have been used
Close the Email Template
• Return to the 06 – Emailing of Safety Data Sheet report
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• It has already been setup, untick the Disable checkbox.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’
• Click on the ‘Test Now’ button
• Open the Email Manager and find the sent email.

TIME: 42:39

Scenario Seven – Send Information via FTP to a Feedback Service

In our final scenario, we are going to look at how you can use the system to send out a file via FTP. For example, we can send the data about sales to FEEFO the feedback site.

• Double-click on 07 – FEEFO Sales Order
• Press ‘Execute’.

The associated email template is very simple:

• Open [ Email Manager | Email Templates ]
• Open BackOrder.

Notice that this has no tags as the information will be contained in the pdf attachment.

• Go back to the 07 – FEEFO Sales Order
• Click on the ‘Alarm Clock’.

NB: – Please see SQL Reports PDF for detailed parameter information.

Let’s test this:

• Click OK to close the dialog.

The results of the SQL report will be sent to the FTP site depending on the Execute Period.

TIME: 45:08

What have we Covered?

During this webinar, we’ve taken you through how versatile the Workflow is from sending reminders to customers and staff to emailing attachments and sending information via FTP.

Questions

We are now going to spend some time answering your questions. If you have any questions regarding the topics we covered or any other areas of Khaos Control please use the Chat facility to queue them up. If a question occurs to you after we’ve finished, or you’re watching this ‘on demand’, them please email training@khaoscontrol.com or tweet us @KhaosERP.

Thank you for the questions you have already asked during the webinar. As the session has been so popular we have not been able to answer all of them but we will aim to reply to everyone by the end of the week.

Future Webinars

The next webinar will cover purchasing in Khaos Control, with a focus on drop-shipping and how you can automate customer comms if (or when) your drop-ship supplier lets you down.

Details on how to sign up will follow next month and hopefully I will see you, at least virtually, then.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see in future webinars please let us know by emailing training@khaoscontrol.com.

Thank you for watching.

Wiki Links

The following Wiki links are for pages that describe the functionality covered during this session:

http://www.khaoscontrol.com/wiki_kcx/index.php?title=Data_Query
http://www.khaoscontrol.com/wiki_kcx/index.php?title=Category:Data_Query
http://www.khaoscontrol.com/wiki_kcx/index.php?title=Email_Trigger_Dialog
http://www.khaoscontrol.com/wiki_kcx/index.php?title=Email_Manager_Message_Template
http://www.khaoscontrol.com/wiki_kcx/index.php?title=How_To:_Email_Manager

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