Attachments in Alerts

corygcoryg ✭✭✭✭✭
05/14/20
Accepted

Can anyone come up with a workaround for this situation:


I have a submittal log for a construction project. I attach and log submittals in Smartsheet as they come in from the general contractor, and Smartsheet alerts the applicable designer that they need to review the submittal. Once they have done so and attached their reviewed copy, I get an alert that it is ready to send to the GC. I would like to be able to check a "Send to GC" box to send an alert to the GC with the attachment. I need to have control over when it gets sent to the GC. This is a template, so it needs to work across multiple projects.


As I have come to find, there is no way to include an attachment in an alert unless the attachment triggers the alert. I cannot fathom why this restriction is in place. The Update Request / Approval Workflow workaround does not work for me because it is confusing for the recipient and this is going to an outside party. The email they receive needs to be simple to understand. Arbitrary SS restrictions like this are starting to get really frustrating. I do not want to use a third part app, but I don't think it would work anyways without every project manager needing to have knowledge of the app and set up the workflows for each project.

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  • Mary_AMary_A ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coryg we had a similar situation -- Dynamic View was our solution. Attachments are visible and can be added in a view. That was an alternative to the restrictions you express here: " I do not want to use a third part app, but I don't think it would work anyways without every project manager needing to have knowledge of the app and set up the workflows for each project."

  • corygcoryg ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never used Dynamic View, so I don't know much about it, but it seems like that would require bringing the GCs into Smartsheet, which is not ideal for us. We work with a lot of different types of GCs. Some of them may be willing / capable of dealing with Smartsheet, but others just need an email with an attachment.

  • @coryg You should try out proofing! Proofing allows you to upload an image, multiple images, or a PDF and request feedback from as many people as you like, even if they are not shared to the sheet or in your Smartsheet account. They can comment with annotations, and you can even track responses.

    https://help.smartsheet.com/learning-track/smartsheet-advanced/proofing

    Do you think this could help in your use case?

  • corygcoryg ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BrianBosché Thanks for the response. I have looked into Proofing, but it is not a good solution for construction submittals for a few reasons:

    1. We need more options than just "Approve" and "Reject", such as "Furnish as Noted" and "Revise and Resubmit". Custom options would be great.
    2. From what I can tell the comments are lost when downloading the document. There is no way to see what the comments are unless you are using Smartsheet. This makes it impossible to send the reviewed submittal to a General Contractor in a format that he could forward on to his subs. Again unless everyone was in the Smartsheet ecosystem, which is rare. We also need the ability to archive the reviewed submittal with the comments intact.
    3. There is still no way to automatically send the document once approved. I could setup an alert to the GC to trigger once it is approved, but from what I understand, this alert would not include the attachment. If I'm incorrect here, please let me know.
  • Melissa.Holland80446Melissa.Holland80446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can include the attachment in the alert. In your alert, if you go to the custom settings, you can choose what columns you want displayed. Check the box for the attachment column. See the attached picture. Does this help?


  • corygcoryg ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Melissa.Holland80446 I wish that worked, but unfortunately, attachments are only included when the attachment triggers the alert. I don't understand why, but that's how Smartsheet works.

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @coryg

    Would it work/help if you send Update Requests instead?

    Then it will work with the attachments.

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please help the Community by marking it as the accepted answer/helpful. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • corygcoryg ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Andrée Starå Update Requests theoretically work, but they are very confusing to the recipient because I am not actually asking them for anything. I just need to send them the attachment. Unfortunately, I think Smartsheet just does not have the functionality needed to accomplish this. I will continue to send documents manually.

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coryg

    What I ended up doing in a client solution was to include only one column/field with placeholders and information explaining the process.

    It works perfectly so far.

    Would that work in your use-case?

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Please explain why Smartsheet wouldn't by default build in functionality to include attachments in alerts? Why include it in the fields that can be customized in the alert if it's not already functioning?

  • @BrianBosché

    This is the first time I tried to send attachment with alert. Doesn't work like everybody is saying. Now I tried to activate proofing and I'm requested to ask system admin or owner to do it. I am owner of the sheet. In fact I'm the only one using the sheet.

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