If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have heard me sing the praises of the CongaMerge suite by AppExtremes. It's one of my favorite addons for Salesforce. In short, it allows a user to create complex merges and workflows that reduce manual work down to one or two mouse clicks. The Salesforce merge engine has its limitations that Conga exceeds and puts a lot of power and flexibility into your hands. On top of that, they have world class support.
I wrote this blog because I love the application. I think it's a great way to make Salesforce work for you, and I LOVE building merges for people. I think building great outputs from Salesforce is a very low effort, high impact activity, and I love giving my clients a little "wow" when things come together. As a disclaimer - I have no partnership with AppExtremes and receive no monetary compensation from them. I just really like their product and the way their staff stand behind it.
Here's an example of a merge I just helped create: Click the "Generate PO" button on a purchase order record. CongaMerge fires up, and gathers all the line items attached to the purchase order. It merges them into a fully formatted and branded PDF document, which it then attaches to an email addressed to an email address referenced on the Purchase order record. It then sends it off (also BCCing the procurement manager). The body of this email was also populated by a standard Salesforce template with other key information. After that, it generates an activity that logs the email & an activity that dictates that a purchase order was generated. The file is also attached to the purchase order, and finally, the status of the purchase order is changed to "Submitted".
All of this work is done by clicking one button, once.
Before moving to this process, my customer was using Excel spreadsheets to accomplish this. They would create a spreadsheet each time and mail them through Microsoft Outlook. It was difficult to maintain consistent line item data, hard to remember what had been sent and what hadn't, and if the PO clerk went on vacation, no one knew what was going on.
By moving them to Salesforce and CongaMerge, the work was reduced 90%, and everything is now stored in their CRM for organization wide visibility. All transactions are tracked and Conga even logs all the sent files so it's easier to track mistakes.
If this sounds good to you, here's a few thoughts on when a CongaMerge solution makes sense:
- When you need to merge a multi-object join into one form letter. Think of a record with multiple related lists, or even related lists of other related records.
- When you need to simplify a lot of email sending. Click one button to send a prescribed merge email with the attachment along for the ride.
- When you have a regimented process that just needs a little bit more "oomph" added to its workflow.
- Sending Quotes - The Salesforce quoting object and template are good but often not flexible enough. With a Conga generated document, you can customize quotes as much as needed.
- Automate signatures. With CongaMerge, you can automate the process of passing documents to Echosign for electronic signatures.
- And much, much, more... :)
If you wish to learn more about how CongaMerge works, check out the AppExtremes website here: http://www.appextremes.com. Their support staff are excellent and happy to demonstrate the application for you. Or if you're interested, contact me here at Red Argyle for a free consultation and review.