Company or Contact? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I am implementing CRM 3 for a client that gives seminars and classes. Each student (contact) is the customer, rather than the company they work for. In their current system, they do enter the student's employer, work phone, and address, so that should be part of the student's record in CRM. There may additionally be several students from a single company.

    It appears that CRM's emphasis is on the company, rather than the contact.

    When looking at how to the do import, I am considering importing the companies, then importing the contacts (students) and linking them to the company. This is going to require a considerable amount of data manipulation before and after the import and I am wondering if there is a better way to do this.

    Would it make more sense to add a custom field - Company - to the contact record, then leave the Company section of CRM for entities like vendors?

    Also, I need to have a way to tell CRM that a particular address is the primary address for mail merge. Some students will receive mail at home, others at work. When I create a Marketing List for a specific class, I need to make sure that mailings are sent to the correct address without intervention from the user running the mail merge.

    Thanks for your help!

    Sunday, November 30, 2008 5:10 AM


  • It seems like you are doing a good job of thinking through the options.  It is generally a good idea to take the path of importing the companies first and then linking Contacts to the Company.  This will provide a good foundation for later system expansion. 


    You can make the connection between Contacts and Accounts or Companies fairly easily by running an Advanced Find on all Active Accounts once you import them.  Select the Dynamic Worksheet option as the Export method and then use the Unhide feature in Excel to reveal the AccountId or Guid for use with importing the Contacts.  Associate this ID with the appropriate Contacts in your import file and the Contacts will associate to the Account or Company when you Import them.


    You can also take the path of adding a text field to the Contact to store the Company but I would take the extra effort now to build the associate between the Account and Contact record as there are several advantages like Reports, Workflows, Campaigns, upgrades, etc.


    With regard to the address, put the primary address for mailing purposes directly on the Contact record.  By default, this will be the addressed used during a mail merge process.


    Best of Luck with your implementation. 

    Sunday, November 30, 2008 3:23 PM