Can I set the order status for a batch of orders to 'complete', and then send those customers an email saying that goods have been shipped?
Yes - and it's a huge time saver! We generally advise our customers to set up their order workflow without the use of Order Manager first. This usually means having to process each order individually. Once you're happy with the workflow and it behaves as intended, then add Order Manager to speed things up.
A typical order status workflow in Magento looks like this:
1. The status of an incoming order is mostly influenced by the payment method used. Some have this as a configurable option, some don't
2a. Depending on payment method, an invoice for a new order might be created automatically or not. Creating the invoice most often would move an order from new (or pending payment) to processing
2b. Shipping items on an order which has not yet been invoiced would also move the order to status processing
3. Magento automatically marks an order complete once all items have been shipped and invoiced
Magento allows you to send email notifications once an order, invoice or shipment is created. If the order and/or invoice email is sent, is again dependent on the payment method implementation.
A common use case for our Order Manager extension is to mass ship (and less often to mass invoice since this is already done by the payment method automatically). The actions can be configured to send the notification email including any tracking numbers entered en masse.