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How do you indicate which end users work with which dealers?

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

How do you indicate which end users work with which dealers?



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:


  1. Every distributor is entered in the Company tab while only some end users are in the Company Tab
  2. When looking at an end user contact I'd like the distributor they work with to be displayed in a field, ideally both on each contact and also in the Company tab if that end-user has a Company profile.
  3. I need to occasionally see a list of which end users buy from which distributors.  Ideally this would be in a group rather than a report. 

Any thoughts are appreciated.







Bronze Contributor
Posts: 930
Country: USA

Re: How do you indicate which end users work with which dealers?

[ Edited ]

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.)

Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,170
Country: USA

Re: How do you indicate which end users work with which dealers?

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"!