MS Outlook is a well known application for managing email correspondence as well as contacts,tasks and calendar. Outlook is capable to contain several email accounts, and the emails are downloaded to local folders and can be viewed without internet connection after downloaded. Outlook has a rich features set for email management like sort, search, archive, filter and many more. The new Office 365 suite allows access from everywhere.

Outlook - Organisational Connector

Outlook is a leading organisational communication hub. It allows messaging and files transfer, meeting scheduling and tasks management. Outlook transmits significant amounts of data and usually workers spend a lot of time either reading or writing emails in a daily manner. There are many researches and approaches to improve email management efficiency. Yet another approach is technical. Automation and customized development of aiding features can help organisations to perform better in this field. Outlook can be naturally integrated with other Office applications like Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other. Programming at Office script level can allow many powerful features.

Outlook - Excel Automation

Outlook is in the middle of numerous business processes. In some cases, data collection and analysis takes place during Outlook interaction process. Here an automation can be applied through a customized development of suitable modules. Following are some automation examples:

  • Data analysis in Excel, send results via Outlook. Charts and tables inside customized email template and data file attached automatically to predefined emails list.
    • Outlook email can be generated automatically based on predefined template and dynamic parameters per each email.
  • Analysis of performance per customer based on CRM data. Analysis results are sent in a separate mail to each customer with corresponding results PDF file attached.
    • When it is about hundreds and thousands of customers this process will require hours of manual work. Automation allows to click a button and drink coffee.
  • Daily procedure of production data csv file that is received on Outlook. The analyst downloads the file, opens it and copies data to a master production file.
    • Using an automated procedure saves time and improves accuracy. The model will scan Outlook inbox for relevant input file and perform all data manipulations automatically.
  • Personal greeting mails on holidays, newsletters, email marketing campaigns etc.
    • Export relevant contacts to excel and run the entire process via customized on-click module

Hours Can Be Saved

To demonstrate the potential of Outlook and Excel programming integration, we will describe a typical process from inventory management realm. Complex products usually carry a complex BOM (bill of material - the structural components of a product). It can reach tens of thousands of components. Analysts usually use Excel to analyze various aspects of inventory management based on BOM, for instance, weekly inventory status of critical items. The data is extracted and organised into predefined tables, then separated into different excel files according to items type and sent to planners. This process can take 3-4 hours of manual work weekly. Automated procedure will require only several minutes and perform the whole process including sending the emails.

Html Designed Email With Dynamically Generated Content

In addition to automation of simple processes via Excel and Outlook, like mass emailing with customized features, attaching files, data analysis and more, it is also possible to generate html emails through VBA scripts. Custom designed html mails can contain pictures, charts, tables and dynamically generated text.

To conclude, Office applications contain a vast set of advanced features that can empower end users with fully automated customized procedures.