I need someone to help us customize how we use Outlook. Currently, we don't use Exchange just IMAP email accounts, but we'd consider moving to a hosted Exchange provider if really we had to.
We are a small distribution company and our office has three people. We receive orders from our sales reps via email at our 'orders@..." address. This begins an email thread with several other people included in the loop over the course of a few days. I would like any of our office staff to be able to check on the status of any order. However, as a single order might include anywhere from 2 to 10 emails, our IMAP folders can get very messy and hard to follow for this purpose. Also, since the subject field is not necessarily a consistent format, grouping by conversation is not that useful either.
I'm thinking that when an initial order comes in, I would like to be able to assign a unique identifier to it such that any subsequent replies or other messages can be associated with this initial order. I imagine this probably requires creating some kind of 'orders' table, with each record representing a unique order. Additional fields for Rep, Warehouse, Status, etc would also be useful for this table.
The goal is for anyone to get a snapshot of what orders are in progress (probably 10-20 at any given time) and ideally be able to easily view the associated email thread as well. Once the order is complete, the records can be filed away for future reference.
I'm open to suggestions on how to achieve this, but I'd like to keep the solution as simple to use as possible. Any ideas?