Managing and Using Contacts

The Contacts feature in the system allows adding people and linking people against entities (customers, suppliers) and tracking transactions (sales, purchases, job cards etc.). Contacts are separate from customer or suppliers but are related to them through links. A contact can be linked to multiple customers and suppliers.

 

Working with Contacts.

Contacts are easier to add, but harder to maintain than more formal entities like customer and suppliers. It is important that your organisation creates and follow some rules to build up valuable contact data over time. One problem is getting some unique identifiers into contacts. You can add as many duplicate contact names (John or John Smiths), so try to get either a mobile number and or an e-mail address into the contact. That will make it a lot easier to find an existing contact and keep their history intact.

Ultimately when your system has been in production for a while, the contact’s history of transactions is a great way to do additional business.

Some rule suggestions:

  1. Enter and spell the contact name correctly to begin with. This seems simple, but with a little extra effort, the person you are dealing with be a lot happier if you get their name right. The system allows entering a name, but does not separate first and last names. This makes it easier for cultural diversity. However a name cannot be expected to be unique.
  2. A mobile number is one of the best unique identifiers for a person. So when possible get a contact’s number recorded.
  3. Same goes for an e-mail address.
  4. In many cases a full address is not required, and many customers do want to go through the hassle of giving up all their details. But a City and State is a good and easy way to further identify the contact.

Adding Contacts

You can add Contacts under Contact Maintenance, but Contacts can also be added on the fly from many pages where a contact is relevant.

Basic vs. Detail Fields

When adding a contact, the basic contact fields are always displayed. Additional detail can be added by selecting the field in the “Add Detail Field” drop down. The Basic Contact Fields are configurable, the default varies but normally includes at least; DisplayName (required), Mobile Phone, E-Mail Address, Company, and Job Title.

ContactsDetailField

 

The Contact Composite Control

When a document or entity references a contact, in most cases the Contact Composite Control is used. This allows you to add or edit contacts “on-the-fly” without leaving the page you are on.

ContactsComposite

Searching for Contacts

To find a contact type in the any of the values stored on the contact. For example, one of the simplest way to find a contact is by entering a portion of the contact’s mobile number.

ContactsAutoComplete

Contact Associations and Transactions

One of the strongest features for contacts for a system that has been in production for a while is the Associations and Transactions.

Associations

Contacts are automatically linked to any customer or supplier where there has been a transaction. You can also manually link a contact to a Customer or Supplier from the corresponding Maintenance Pages.

Transactions

Contacts are automatically linked to any transaction in the system that supports contacts. So when you sell something and have entered a contact, the invoice will be linked to that contact. You’ll see the same work various transactions across the system (sales order, invoice, purchase orders, job cards etc).

ContactsLinks

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