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Repeating A Letter With A Contact Plan

This topic steps you through creating a contact plan to repeat a letter. It requires familiarity with creating contact plans and using batch processing.

This example will schedule a debtor statement to be sent on the 27th of each month. This may be used by commercial collectors to ensure that the debtor receives a timely report each month.

The steps for repeating a letter are:

1. Create a repeating contact plan with two events:

  • a repeating letter event
  • a repeating plan event

2. Run the repeating plan on an account.

3. Process automatic contacts to repeat the letter on a monthly basis.

tip.gif Make sure that you have already created the letter that you want to repeat. The example uses the Multipage Debtor Statement in the Demonstration database.

The rest of this document steps you through creating and scheduling the repeating letter plan.

Repeating Contact Plan

This process uses a repeating contact plan. When the plan is run, a letter will be scheduled to be queued in the daily batch for the 27th of the month. Then the plan will set up a repeat for next month. The repeat is activated when you process your automatic contacts in your daily batch.

To create the contact plan,

1. From the top menu bar, select System and then select Contact Management Settings from the drop-down choices. This will display a submenu.

2. Select Contact Plans, View to display the list of contact plans. Select the NEW button at the bottom of the list or press F3 to create a new contact plan. This will open a blank Contact Plan form.

3. Type a unique 3 character name or number into the field labeled Code. Enter a brief explanation in the field labeled Description.

For this example, we are using Code 002 and Description Debtor Statement.

4. Press F5 to activate the Events subform and select YES to create a new Event.

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Repeating Letter Event

Make sure that you know the name of the letter that you want to repeat and that it exists in your Report Definition list. This example uses the Multipage Debtor Statement in the Demonstration database.

1. Now that you are looking at a blank Event form, select Letter from the pick list on the field labeled Type.

2. Select the pick list on the field labeled Description and select the letter you want to repeat.

3. Put a dot in the radio button next to the field labeled Day of month. A new field will be displayed. Enter 27 in the DoM field. This means the 27th of the month. You can change this to another day, if you wish.

4. Put a check mark in the field labeled Delete same type contacts. Put a check mark in the field labeled Same description only.

Everything else remains the same. Your Letter Event should resemble the following screen shot.


Letter Event based on Day of Month

5. Press F3 to open a new blank Event form.

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Repeating Plan Event

This Event is a plan event that reschedules itself for next month. It is only activated when you run your daily batch processes. The steps below set this plan up, but processing automatic contacts puts the plan into action.

1. Now that you are looking at a new Event form, select Plan from the pick list on the field labeled Type.

2. Select the pick list on the field labeled Description and select the contact plan 002 from the list.

3. Select the radio button labeled Next Month Same Day so that there is a dot in it. This sets the plan to be processed in the daily batch next month on the same day.

4. Put a check mark in the field labeled Delete same type contacts. Put a check mark in the field labeled Same description only.

Everything else remains the same. Your Plan Event should resemble the following screen shot.


Plan Event Next Month Same Day

5. Select OK or press F8 to close the Event form and return to the Contact Plan form.

The Contact Plan form should resemble the following screen shot.


Contact Plan to Repeat Monthly Letter

6. Select OK to close the Contact Plan form and again to close the list of contact plans.

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Run The Repeating Plan

There are several ways you may put this plan into action.

  • This plan can be run on an account directly when you are viewing the account. Select the button labeled Action and select the contact plan to run it.

  • Or, type the contact plan's Code into the small Action box to the right of the field labeled Summary on the Debtor form.

  • Or, if you want the plan to run on every new account that you enter for a particular client, enter the plan's Code in Client Settings in the field labeled Contact plan for new accounts.

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Process Automatic Contacts

Once the contact plan has been run on the debtor, you will need to run two Daily Batch processes - to print your scheduled batch letters and to process the repeating plan contact.

When you run your daily letter batch on the 27th of the month, the Debtor Statement will be printed.

Next, the repeating part of the plan is activated as follows.

1. Select Tools from the top menu bar and then select Batch Processing from the drop-down choices. This will display the Batch Processing form.

2. Put a dot in the radio button labeled Process automatic contacts previously scheduled and then select NEXT. The Select Contacts To Process form is displayed.

3. You can process ALL or select the types of contacts you want to process. Make sure there is a check mark in the check box labeled Run contact plans. Then select NEXT to display the Process Scheduled Events form.

4. Select START when you are ready.

This will schedule the repeating letter for next month on the 27th and will set up the contact plan so that you can process it again next month as an automatic contact, previously scheduled.

The next screen shot shows what a debtor's contacts look like after the repeating letter has been in effect for two months. The first letter was printed and the repeating plan was run by processing automatic contacts. This resulted in two completed contacts and two new contacts, one letter for the 27th and a new repeating plan contact for the 19th, which is the day of the month when the plan was started.


Repeating Letter Contacts

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Summary

The steps above will schedule a repeating letter as long as you continue to process automatic contacts. If you close an account and delete all pending contacts, the plan will be stopped and will no longer repeat.

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See Also

- Batch Processing Topics

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