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  • Question

  • I am sure this is a common problem but not found a solution for our problem just yet.

    My client has a number of resellers who can be present in a number of countries/regions.  As such each reseller also has one or more contact at each country/region site.

    I am looking for recommendation on how I could store this structure in CRM 4.0 IFD to manage this structure?  I need to be aware of Outlook client users as well.

    One proposed solution was to create a 'top-level' account called 'Reseller Name' and then add sub-accounts to this account for 'Reseller Name UK' and 'Reseller Name US'.  We would then add contacts to each sub-account and set the Primary Contact.  To me it seems like the top-level account is a waste as it acts purely as a shell and the major of email correspondence will be done at contact entity level.

    Eventually the client wants to be able to list resellers by country/region.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 8:39 PM

Answers

  • Hi Geordie,

    One benefit of the top level parent account is the feature that combines all activities of the child accounts into the associated activity view of the parent so it can be useful to the end user if they want a quick view of all correspondence for a particular reseller. Personally, I would go with that design. The Outlook/Web Client access method isn't really an issue.

    As for your country/region requirement, you need to structure this and not allow text fields to to hold this info. I have seen countries handled using picklists (v.laborious to configure 192 value picklists, especially if you want to apply the same picklist on several entities - fine of you have the luxury of global picklists in crm2011!) and using a custom 'Country' entity (better if you need to apply across several entities and also is available in workflow mappings unlike picklists). The trouble with using a custom entity is it is a little more challenging if you plan to import lots of accounts/contacts as you would need to link them to the relevant country record.

    So in short, if you don't need to add 'Country' to more than 2 entities, and you aren't planning on using workflow to 'map' the picklist value to another picklist in a different entity, go for the picklist option. If you need to add country to several entities and create mappings between them, go for the custom entity.

    Hope that helps with your decision,

    Rob

     

     


    CRM MBSS Consultant - GAP Consulting Ltd.
    • Marked as answer by geordie_123 Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:41 PM
    Monday, January 31, 2011 9:38 PM

All replies

  • Hi Geordie,

    One benefit of the top level parent account is the feature that combines all activities of the child accounts into the associated activity view of the parent so it can be useful to the end user if they want a quick view of all correspondence for a particular reseller. Personally, I would go with that design. The Outlook/Web Client access method isn't really an issue.

    As for your country/region requirement, you need to structure this and not allow text fields to to hold this info. I have seen countries handled using picklists (v.laborious to configure 192 value picklists, especially if you want to apply the same picklist on several entities - fine of you have the luxury of global picklists in crm2011!) and using a custom 'Country' entity (better if you need to apply across several entities and also is available in workflow mappings unlike picklists). The trouble with using a custom entity is it is a little more challenging if you plan to import lots of accounts/contacts as you would need to link them to the relevant country record.

    So in short, if you don't need to add 'Country' to more than 2 entities, and you aren't planning on using workflow to 'map' the picklist value to another picklist in a different entity, go for the picklist option. If you need to add country to several entities and create mappings between them, go for the custom entity.

    Hope that helps with your decision,

    Rob

     

     


    CRM MBSS Consultant - GAP Consulting Ltd.
    • Marked as answer by geordie_123 Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:41 PM
    Monday, January 31, 2011 9:38 PM
  • Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Can you explain a bit more this statement;

    "One benefit of the top level parent account is the feature that combines all activities of the child accounts into the associated activity view of the parent so it can be useful to the end user if they want a quick view of all correspondence for a particular reseller. Personally, I would go with that design."

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 10:52 AM
  • Hi,

    If you goto the account form, then click on 'Activities', you'll notice a 'Filter On' list and also an 'Include' list. The latter has an option to include 'Related "Regarding" Records'. This means any emails, tasks etc that are linked to a subordinate account, will be shown in that view, giving the user a 'global' view of activities across your resellers.

    Rob 


    CRM MBSS Consultant - GAP Consulting Ltd.
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 12:55 PM
  • Hi Rob,

    I get it thanks I did not realise that was the case.

    I can also add emails to the History section of top level parent account by setting the regarding field to one of the sub-accounts.  Nice :-)

    I have marked your initial reply as answer - thanks again!

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:47 PM
  • Rob,

    I have a similar question but a bit more complicated:

    A Main Account has several Sub Accounts.

    Contacts are associated with thes Sub Accounts

    In Sub Account, I can view all activities of the associated Contacts (Related Regarding Records);

    In Main Account, I can view all activities regarding all Sub Accounts, but not the activities of the associated Contacts of the Sub Accounts.

    Is this configurable? Otherwise I have to add a kind of report or aspx page to collect all activities.


    Rene Vroemen Principal CRM Consultant CRMPlus+
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:36 AM
  • Hi Rene,

    Did you find a solution to your question above?

    We have exactly the same challenge.

    Best regards,

    Sten

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 10:37 AM
  • Hi Sten,

    Our solution is to associate all contacts to the Main Account AND to add two additional lookup fields between Account and Contact (1:N) that refer to linking the Contact's addresses (#1 and #2) to either the Main Account or the Sub Account independently. When an Account's address is changed, a plugin will look for associated Contacts to update these addresses as well.

    Additionally we have added a (default) view to see only the Principal Accounts (= main accounts) on start-up.

    May this solution will suit you as well?

    Kind regards,

    René


    Rene Vroemen Principal CRM Consultant CRMPlus+
    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 11:32 AM
  • Hi,

    My company is have similar issue. We have 4 different studios with some of the same Accounts and the same contacts. When we tried to break it out into seperate accounts it wasn't working well because we had multtiple accounts for the same client. We also could not search our account contacts easily. For example we had ClientA for Studio B, ClientB for Studio B, and so on. We decided to do one main account with all the contacts only under the parent account and use the sub-accounts for the studio's. We are having a hard time deciding on the naming structures for those sub accounts. We thought that the "location" of the client would work but it seems we may have the same sub-accounts in the same location.

     

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Yuliya

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:29 PM