04-25-2011 12:49 PM
This is a best-practices questions....I searched a bit but couldn't find much but I'm sure it is something others have had to deal with.
I have end-users that buy my product, and I have distribution partners who sell to them. I need to somehow relate each end user with their distribution partner. Goals:
Any thoughts are appreciated.
04-25-2011 01:20 PM - edited 04-26-2011 02:55 AM
ACT!, natively, can connect Contacts to other Contacts via the Relationships Tab. (Problem: you indicated that some distributors are company records only - not contact records - if that's the case, you can't use the Relationships Tab)
ACT! can also connect Contacts to Companies - that's done on the Groups/Companies Tab. But, it doesn't show up on a field - it shows up under that Tab. You can only link Customers' Contact Records to Distributor Company Records, you can't link Customers' Company Records to Distributor Company Records.
So in summary, you can link Contacts to Contacts, and you can link Contacts to Companies, but you can't link Companies to Companies.
Now, if you buy one of the custom table addons, like TopLine Designer or Durkin Toolkit, you can add Company to Company links and have them show up in a field. (Assumption: a customer buys from one and only one distributor.)
04-25-2011 06:22 PM
Note: Relationships are a newer feature in ACT!, so depending upon your version, you may not have that feature. (I can't remember when they came - was it an update to 2010?)
Kevin touches on a very important point when tackling this requirement for your system: Clearly defining how the business works before setting up the software. Which also infers: Do not decide on what you think it should look like before doing this. (I.E - Is having the distributor in a field really a good call?)
You must know for certain: Does a customer only ever one source distributor? What happens if they change due to moving location or the like? If they do, do you need to know who the previous distributor(s) were?
It's good that you are looking for best practice. One of the largest is fully comprehending how the business process works. After that, customizing/applying the software becomes amazingly simple. And: "Easy to use"!