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How to Use the Document Batch Processing System

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This video will show how to use the Proposal Pack Wizard's document batch processing system for manually creating projects then batch creating all the documents at once. It then shows how to bulk import contacts from files (Excel, csv, txt, xml) or from 3rd party systems such as QuoteWerks, SalesForce and Outlook then batch create proposals, invoices, contracts, letters, etc. for them. Also shown is how to make bulk updates to an existing batch such as adding a new page into all of the generated proposals or adding an invoice, contract or letter.

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Use the Company and Client CRM Database

In this video we're going to show how batch processing system works in the Wizard. Now I've already created on my desktop a custom folder called it Batched. This is just a folder we're going to set up in the Wizard's Preferences to hold all the documents generated out of a batch.

This is done just to make it faster to access all of the individual proposals or invoices, letters, contracts and so on that you may create in the process of a single batch. This is because when we do a batch in the Wizard we're running off of a list of projects in the Wizard. Each project has its own subfolder that all the documents for each project are kept in.

So if you create a long batch of projects it could be a little time consuming to then go down into every subfolder one at a time to get your generated documents. So we'll create a folder for the Wizard to copy everything into for us automatically. Now to set this folder up in the Wizard we're going to click the Preferences.

We're going to go into the Project Settings tab, click the Configure Batch Processing button. That will put us on the Batch Processing tab so we can configure it. Now you have a number of options here.

When we're copying documents to that external folder you can just have the project name prepended to the front or you can just change it to a number. We're just going to leave it as the default. This Browse button here for this field makes a copy of each batch project's documents to this folder.

We'll just browse go to our desktop and pick this new Batched folder we just created. If we're going to be importing data files that we're creating for holding all of our contact data you can set a folder for that. If you're exporting data from another system and then you're converting those exported files into a format that the Wizard can import, and we'll show the format of those files in a bit, you can always change the default folder that opens every time to a custom folder of yours.

You have some options for how to determine duplicate row processing. We're going to set it as the default which is Company Name, First Name, Last Name all have to be unique. Also when the Wizard processes your projects you can have it set a specific status so you can manage the projects later in the drop down screens.

We're just going to leave it as the defaults. Another thing with the batch system is it can import data from third–party sources if you use the integration version of the Wizard. We have it directly able to connect with a program called Quotewerks so you can import your contact data from Quotewerks directly without having to retype names and addresses.

Same with Salesforce or your Outlook. So we've set up our Salesforce account and connected to Salesforce because we're going to demo how to import contacts from Salesforce as part of the demo here. Once we have our Preferences set up click Ok.

Now we're going to start generating a batch. Batching works the same way pretty much as our normal process of adding a project, picking some documents, adding name and address data which you normally do one at a time. However the batch system is set up to automate these tasks creating multiple projects at once and batching them all at once.

We're going to illustrate this first batch with our Transportation #10 design theme. To start a batch you just click the Document Projects button but instead adding a new project like you would normally for a single project you would click the Batch Projects button here. Now we're going to want to set up a new batch.

Click this button and we'll give it a name. I'll just call it Batch #1. Now we're going to illustrate this first batch using manually created projects versus importing contacts and automatically creating a bunch of projects.

So now that we have the batch started I'm just going to go out of the batch screen and now I'm going to manually add some projects. I'll just call this Test #1 for Batch #1 and note when we're doing batching we want to turn off the Excel dynamic linking because we're doing a batch processing and then copying documents into our batched folder. The process of copying documents out of the project folders to an external folder would actually break the links between spreadsheets that are directly linked by cells into the Word document we'll turn off Excel dynamic linking when we're doing batching.

I'm just going to pick Cover Letter, Title Page, Executive Summary, Cost Summary and the Back Page for this first one. Our Company Data is filled in and we've filled in a dummy client here. Now we're going to save the first project but we're not going to build the documents.

We'll just save the project and we'll click No for creating the project. I'm just going to go and add a second project and we'll pick a different set of templates. Just a Title Page and a Work Order.

We'll keep the same Company Data and we'll just change up the Client Data a little bit. Save this project and we won't build the documents yet. This is an example of how if we have multiple projects we've built up and they're all completely independent.

They don't have to be related to each other in any way. We're just creating projects without building any of the documents. This might happen if you have a set of projects you want to keep rebuilding for some reason over and over or maybe it's going to be a number of large documents you need to create that you don't want to have to sit and wait for and then kick off one after the other.

We just want to batch them all go to lunch or come back the next morning and have them all ready. This is how we're going to do that with the batch system. So now that I have a couple of projects created go back into the batch project screen and we have we still have the same Batch #1 has been set up.

You'll see these two projects we just added in this list here. So this list is going to be whatever projects are available in the whole database of projects that you can add to a batch. I'm going to skip this Import Content button because we're not going to import contacts for this particular batch.

We're just going to show how to start a batch and use existing projects we've manually created. This is really all there is to it. You just click the Ok, Start Batch button and now we just sit back and wait for the batch to complete.

Okay, now the batch has been completed and the Wizard is going to take you to the edit screen usually for the last project in the batch if you didn't set up the batch folder. If we set up the batch folder it'll just go back to the home screen but the current project will be the last project in the batch. If you click the Edit Current Document screen this will actually take you to a copy of the project that's within the project subfolders here.

However, copies of each of the batch documents say Combined Project Document which the FullProposal document in this project folder but a copy of it was made into our external batched folder. It's using the naming conventions we set up in the Preferences which were to prepend the document project name to the document name. So now it's Test #2 for Batch #1 dash FullProposal.

If we open these up we'll see all the templates that were selected for the first batch which is Cover Letter, Title Page, Executive Summary, Cost Summary, Back Page. For the second batch project it was the Title Page and a Work Order. Now we can either just edit the documents that are in this batch folder and ignore the ones over in the project folders.

It's completely up to you how to manage these documents at this point but that is how a basic batch works. Create a bunch of projects, run the batch and then you have access to all the documents. We're going to set up a second batch.

We're going to illustrate the second batch with a different design theme which is Skyline #5. Those design themes really don't matter as far as the batch system goes, we're just using different design themes for each batch to help distinguish them visually. So just like before we go into the Batch Projects and we're going to create and set up a new batch.

Called this Batch #2. Now in this example we're going to show how to import contacts to automate the creation of all those projects. We don't have Outlook and Quotewerks enabled in the demo but depending on where you want to import your contact data from you do have the ability to import contacts directly from your Outlook or directly from Salesforce and we've set up Salesforce for this demo.

Or from the Quotewerks software. If we have a list of contacts in the Wizard's built–in contact database we can just import directly from those or we can import from a file. Now we're going to illustrate the file here and a file can be an XML file, text file, CSV file, an Excel spreadsheet that just has rows and columns defining all the individual data elements like first name, last name, company, phone numbers and so on.

You do have to setup a file in the format that the Wizard is going to be able to read and we'll show how to do that but the first thing you need to do is since we're going to be importing name and address data. Name and address data from an external source doesn't know anything about what the document's going to be so if we're going to batch create a whole bunch of records how do we turn that into a set of projects? What we have to do is we have to set up a Project Template and a Project Template is just going to be the list of templates, the pages, that are going to make up that proposal. So when you're using this system you're basically setting up in a way that the outputted documents are going to be the same for every contact so it's going to be the same set of pages like a Cover Letter, Title Page, a Services page, Price List, Back Page that will be the same set of pages for every imported record.

This is why the Wizard has the ability to also create manual projects so if you want to do a batch where the structure of the documents is different you do that through the way we just showed you first. Now we're in the project template creation screen and you'll see that the Wizard will turn off some features that are not applicable. In this case like it's already turned off the dynamic spreadsheet linking, it's turned on the merging because that's going to happen through combining of this project template with the imported records and so on.

So all we're really going to be doing is picking the documents. We'll just set up a Cover Letter, Title Page, Back Page and an Executive Summary. We're going to make this short because we're going to use this project later to show you how to go back and add additional pages to every project in the batch later.

If you forgot to add a page for example. We've selected our four chapters and we'll save the project template. We've had our project template created and it's in our pick list here.

Now we can import contacts so we're going to do Import Contacts from a File for this example. You see two things here. We can Browse to a file and there's also Dry Run Test.

We're going to leave the dry run test checked. I'm going to browse and the Wizard has four example files already created so you can use these as models. There's a readme file here so I can open this PDF and this is just a PDF of instructions on how to set up these import files.

It'll direct you to a video and it'll also direct you to a chapter in the Wizard's manual. That manual is shortcut linked on your desktop here. You can also look at these example files.

I'll just show you one of these example files so you'll see there's a header row that has these little designations for defining what each column will be. These have to be in here for the Wizard to know what the data is. These are our names for each of the data types like customer title, your salutation, first name, last name, website domain, addresses, company names and so on.

The Wizard has the ability to import a lot of different data so we've highlighted these in different colors. The color doesn't really matter for purposes of importing. It just helps differentiate the different types of data.

So, you can import your basic customer data, first names, last names, company names, phone number, address, email address and so on. You can also override the company data if you want. That's this set of fields.

We also have a set of fields that are contract related if you're using legal contracts and you want to use the contract tags. There's also 50 different custom tags. So this gives you the ability to really customize the import data beyond just your basic customer name, address and basic contact details.

Okay, so we're just going to select one of these files. Now all these for all four of these files are basically the same set of data just in different formats. I'm just going to select the text file.

This is just a comma delimited version of that Excel spreadsheet. Okay, so we've selected our import file and i'm going to do a dry run test. When you click the Import Data it's just going to perform the whole process of importing that data and creating records but it won't actually change the Wizards databases.

It will give you a chance to check to make sure all the data is correct and what it's going to do is it's going to create a little report file here while it's doing the dry run test. You'll see the screen here has a green check box that basically means no errors or warnings occurred. We can scroll down the report here and just look at the fine details of what got imported or would be imported.

We can close this report and now we'll do it again turning off the dry run test and do the real import and just sit back and wait for it. Okay, so the dry run worked and the final worked. Now if you want to actually make individual changes to any of the created projects, so basically this created five projects in the Wizard so it took that project template of four pages, it merged each one of those projects with the contact data and created five projects.

Alright, so now we're ready to start the batch and it's automatically selected the five projects. Now we could if we really wanted to if we decided we need to make a manual change to any of these projects in the batch, say one of them needed an extra page or we wanted to tweak the contact data a little bit we could just cancel out of the batch screen. I could just show this right now and we could just go and edit any one of these manually.

These are the imported projects from that contacts file and say for this one i'm just going to add an Evaluation page. So i'm going to save it but i'm not going to build the document because we're going to let the document get built through the batch process. Just go back into the batch screen.

So this one here, this Sally's Boutique project we've added an extra page into. Now we're just going to kick off the batch. Okay now this batch has been completed and it pops open our batched folder for us automatically.

You can see these are the documents created in the new batch. You can see we've got the Cover Letter, Title Page, Executive Summary and the Back Page. This one is the one we added a fifth page to.

So you can see the Evaluation page was added. So that is an example of using the file import to batch create a number of projects customizing one of those projects and then running the whole batch. We're going to illustrate this next batch with our Science #5 design and we'll show the Salesforce integration.

Just like before we click the Document Projects button. We'll set up a new batch we'll just call this Batch #3. Now we're going to import contacts.

You'll notice all those new batched projects we created are not available in the list here. That's because they were created from a previous batch and their status has been set to Batch Completed so that they won't show up in our list of available projects. We'll show how to switch back to a previous batch here in a bit and you can still get to all those created projects through the normal project screens.

Now we're going to import Salesforce records and like before we need to create a batch project template. The previous batch project template we created was tied to the previous batch so that one's not available for us to reuse. We'll just create a new one and i'll just do a Cover Letter, Title Page, Back Page and a Services page.

Now that we have our batch template created now we can import contacts from Salesforce. We already set up the Salesforce screen with our user login id, token and so on. So now here's our list of Salesforce contacts.

It's pulling right from the Salesforce system and we'll just load say six of these. We've already shown the dry run test so we're just going to turn that off and just do a straight import data. We'll import these six Salesforce records to create six Proposal Pack Wizard projects all using the same batch template to create those projects from.

Now it's imported our six Salesforce records, created the projects, there were no errors or warnings so I'm just going to close the report. We can always reopen the report using this button. We can always go and customize individual projects if we want before starting the batch.

We're just going to kick off the batch. All six of the records are selected and we just start the batch. All right now this batch has been completed and you can see the documents have been copied over and they're in our Healthcare #5 design.

Now we're going to illustrate one of the last things the batch process can do which is how do you go and make an edit to add additional pages to a previous batch. You could individually edit every single project one at a time add a new page and regenerate that document but what if you wanted to make the same change across all of the projects in the batch. This could be a situation where you forgot to add a page in the first place and you don't have to start from scratch rebuilding all the documents or maybe you did a batch for a set of proposals that went out and now you want to go and add invoices or a contract page or a follow–up letter to go with every one of those.

You could have added those pages in the first place and had them ready to go for every project in the batch but you may have forgot to do that or decided to do it after the fact. So what we're going to do is we'll go into the batch project screen and we're going to click the Switch to Old Batch button. You can see our three previous batches.

We're going to go back to Batch #2 and now what it's going to do is set Batch #2 as our current working batch. The only difference is this batch now has the documents already created for it versus a new batch that hadn't been run yet. I'm going to click the Edit Batch Project Template because what we need to do is we need to edit the template that all of the projects in that batch were created with.

Note this is only going to work for a batch that we imported contact records with. If you did something like in that first example where we manually created each batch then you'll have to manually go and make your change to each project. For this Batch #2 I'm going to go and add just an invoice document and I'll save the project template.

Now what it's going to do is it's going to go and update every project created from the batch template to add this new page. Now that I've made the edit to the batch project template which then updated all of the other projects in the batch I can click Ok and now since I switched to the old batch and made an update it's automatically reselected all of the five projects in the batch. We can just simply click the Start Batch button.

It's going to notice that we already created documents for the project and it's going to ask do we want to delete the existing project documents for all projects from the batch. I will say No we do not want to delete those. So we are going to update the documents in that batch.

Now in this case we only added an invoice. That's going to add an invoice into the project folder. It's not going to actually make changes to the pre–created project documents.

Now we could have made an edit to the batch template to add a new body page into the generated documents and it would actually go and add that new page into all the documents that are created in the previous batch. Okay, now the batch update has been completed and you'll notice it copied in an extra copy of each of the main documents for that Batch #2. This is just what's going to happen when you use the external batched folder and have the Wizard copy the documents in.

Each time it's going to see that there was one already in there it'll make one with a new name. You'll have to manage these yourself if you're going to do batch updating. You'll see that for each of these projects it created an invoice document.

So that is how you use the Proposal Pack Wizard's batch system to automate the process of importing contact data and automate the process of creating multiple projects documents and also automate making mass updates to an existing batch.

Proposal KitPublished by Proposal Kit, Inc.