Customer Setup Help

I apologize in advance if this is a little long but I want to make sure I explain it well.

We are in the middle of implementation and I am trying to figure out the best way to setup customer. We sell our products to a dealer network but sell replacement parts to end users. We also track all end-users for warranty purposes.

Our dealers can have multiple locations, some billed independently. Some secondary locations have different names then primary locations. If a dealer has multiple locations they may not all be able to sell our product due to another dealer in that area. We track all locations a dealer has even if they can’t sell our product, mark them is inactive. Also not all dealers/locations are allowed to sell all products and we track what product is also eligible to be sold by a dealer or location.

We have a list of dealers and there sub-locations, prospective dealers we track that are interested, not interested at this time, and interested but have an area conflict at this time not currently allowing them to be a dealer. Included in this list is also dealers we currently consider to be inactive but have been dealers in the past and there sub-locations.

We do trade shows where we make contact with end users and reference there information back to dealers but log the information about the interaction in crm. We also sometimes make highly customized products that sometime require the end user to have direct interaction to assist with engineering the product.

I was thinking of using customer group to differentiate end-user from dealer and attributes to categorize dealer information. I am assuming the way I would make a dealer inactive is to set valid payer valid sold to and valid ship to off. The problem with this is if we use the Ship To area to define secondary locations I do not see a way to make a specific location inactive or define attributes for a secondary location. Also if a location is billed independently and only has a rough relationship to the parent I am assuming we want to enter it as its own customer but I want to make sure we maintain the rough link.

Currently some of this is maintained in our legacy system, each dealer location is just treated as an individual customer. We define an attribute to relate them to the parent, which is not always done properly creating billing errors, and tribal knowledge is used to know who to bill. All end users are also given there own customer number and tribal knowledge is used by sales to know who to select when generating a quote, this leads to the occasional double entry of a dealer and billing errors. My goal is to eliminate the tribal knowledge and to get more accurate reporting for when we review our dealers.

Thanks for any help

Welcome David!

I think you’re on the right track here. In the Customer table there is an “Inactive” field (visible on the Kinetic screen but not visible on the Classic screen) that should begin to solve ONE problem. There is NOT such a field on the ShipTo table, but you can add a User-Defined (UD) field and make it function similarly.

Your usage of Customer Groups and Attributes looks to be right on point.

At the ShipTo level, as you say, there is no “Attributes” functionality out of the box, and if that feature is very important to you you might consider making the ShipTo into a different Customer, and then using the National Accounts functionality to relate them financially (that has other ramifications as well that might make it impossible, but it’s a shot). Alternatively you could create a User-Defined sub-table to the ShipTo table and add an “Attributes”-type functionality, but that would be some work.

It sounds like you have a lot of data, and over time it’s accuracy has, um, drifted. That is inevitable to some extent, but the best way to counteract it is to have solid processes (written down) and lots of training. It’s boring and time-consuming, but it’s really the only way.

There will ALWAYS be tribal knowledge. That’s what makes some employees valuable… but tribal knowledge should be an ADVANTAGE and not a REQUIREMENT to get the job done in the first place. It’s a fine line that moves.

Good luck!