On the contact card, you can:
- Find essential information about contact, things like name, address, phone, e-mail, etc. You can also check if this contact is a company or a person.
- Find more defining information for a company (such as company size, the ownership, sector information, etc.) and for a person (such as role of the person, etc.).
In the following sections we are using the Sales Manager user profile.
Contacts – Overview
- On the role center the Contacts are located centrally and when you click on it:
- You get an overview of all the contacts registered in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
- You will notice that some records are in bold and a number of records that are not in bold. What is the difference? Well, the contacts that are listed in bold are Companies and the contacts that are not listed in bold are Persons.
- Some contacts are sorted on top of the list. These are contacts where the Type is Person and have no relationship with any company. This means that we can track and record people, without necessarily recording to which company they belong.
- Some contacts are sorted in the list, just under bold records. These are people that are linked to the company.
Contact of Type Company
Let us open a contact card for a company, say for A. Gibson’s Law Firm in this example.
How would you really know if it is a company? Well, by checking the Type field.
On the contact card, you will see that you can enter a name, address and all the normal information. There are number of fast tabs:
In the General fast tab you will find the essential information.
In Lines fast tab you will find more qualifying information.
In the communications fast tab, you can find the normal communication information.
The Segmentation fast tab is very important for Relationship Management. Why? Well, because here is our first and most important step for segmentation of contacts. In this fast tab, you can link your companies or people to a number of qualifying segmenting categories such as business relations or industry groups.
- Foreign Trade
If you want to add a VAT number, you can do it under Foreign Trade tab.
Contact of Type Person
Let us open a contact card for a person, say for Alan Brewer in this example. How would you really know if it is a person? Well, by checking the Type field.
Again you see a number of fast tabs:
On the General fast tab, you can see that the Type is Person and this person is linked to a company, so Alan Brewer is linked to A. Gibson’s Law Firm.
When you open up the lines you will notice that you have more qualifying information which is quite different from the company. For example, here we can see that Alan Brewer is skilled, is married and he likes golf.
It would also be interesting for you to know what other contacts are related to the company to which Alan Brewer is associated to.
You can of course close the contact card and view the information from the contact list or you can just click on the Related Contacts under Navigate tab form the card itself.
In this example, when you click on the Related Contacts, you see all people related to A. Gibson’s Law Firm. So it’s not only Alan Brewer, but also David Oliver Lawrence and Lori Kane who are related to the same company.
Setting up Contact Information
Open Departments/Sales & Marketing/Setup/Marketing Setup.
Inheritance Fast Tab
Let’s say, first you setup a contact of type company and then you link a contact of type person to that company. In this situation you would like the person to inherit various values of the company automatically.
You can configure inheritance between contact of type company and contact of type person in Marketing Setup, under the Inheritance fast tab.
So you can configure to inherit: Salesperson Code, Territory Code, Country/Region Code, Language Code, Address Details and Communication Details.
Particularly the last two, i.e. Address Details and Communication Details are very interesting to configure because it means that you do not have to re-type the address and communication information all over again when you link a contact person to a company, which makes the registration a little bit faster.
Default Fast Tab
While creating contacts, you may like to specify some default values. You can configure in Marketing Setup, under the Default fast tab.
For instance, majority of your contacts are English speaking, so you can specify a default value in the Language Code field. This way you only have to specify language for those contacts who have different language.
Numbering Fast Tab
If you are working with contacts, you need to make sure that a numbering range is configured for contacts.
Creating Contact Companies
Create a New contact.
On the contact card tab out from No. field. A contact number is generated automatically.
The Type is automatically set to Company. Specify the Name of the contact. You can also specify other information like Address, Post Code, City, Phone Number, Salesperson.
You can also specify Segmentation information.
In this way a new contact of type company is created.
Creating Contact Persons
While creating a contact as a person, you need to take care of the following aspects:
- Type should be Person.
- We can link this contact to an existing company or register this contact as an independent contact. Both scenarios are possible.
- If linked, then the company number on the card will represent the link to the company.
- If we do not link the to the company, then this contact person will be sorted on the top of the contact list.
- If you have configured inheritance in the Marketing Setup, and if you link the contact to a company you will automatically get the specific fields values for the person. There is also an automatic inheritance and that is Segmentation.
Create a New contact of Type
Link this person to a company by specifying the Company No. (use the example created earlier).
You will notice that since you linked the person to the company, immediately the address information, the sales person information and the communication information is inherited from the company because of the Marketing Setup.
The Segmentation information is also inherited from company by design:
The only this remaining is to specify the Name.
Search for Duplicates
Keeping your database clean is key for marketeers.
What does this mean in terms of Relationship Management? Well, it means that we need to avoid duplicate contacts.
For many of you this might be recognizable, for example: you do have a database, you want to send out an email campaign, but you have a number of contacts which are duplicate in the database, a real nightmare! Because if you have to clean it manually, you will lose a lot of time.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV includes Duplicate Search functionality which can help you in maintaining a clean database.
In Marketing Setup, you will notice that there is a dedicated tab for Duplicates.
You must select Maintain Dupl. Search Strings and Autosearch for Duplicates and also you must specify Search Hit % field, which will determine when something is considered as duplicate, for example: 60% details should be identical to be considered as duplicate entry.
Let us assume you are a colleague in marketing department and you want to enter a new contact that you have identified i.e. “Learning Center” and you are unaware that another colleague of yours has already entered that information.
So let us create a new contact with the name “Learning Center”. You will notice that you do not get any error message or any identification that a similar contact is already available. Why Not? Well, because there might be a Learning Center that is not located in the same location (the one entered before is in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast).
So let us say you are still unaware and you continue to fill in the information, such as the post code. So you specify 4217, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast and then click OK.
You will notice that you receive a warning that there are duplicate entries available.
The system asks you if you would like to process these. Let us say you decide to process these entries, so you click Yes.
The here you will notice that the system lists the duplicate entries. So in this example you are trying to create a new contact CT000145 and the system suggests that a duplicate contact CT000143 already exists. Both are called Learning Center, so the question is what do you want to do?
You can find some additional information (such as address, post code, city, phone number, etc.) bottom of the page where you can compare the original entry and the new entry. This will help you to check if they are unique or the same.
Remember that this page is just a warning page and you cannot carry out actions such as delete from here.
So in case this is the same, you can delete or rename the duplicate entry manually.
In case the entries are unique, you can select the Separate Contacts field on the warning page. So next time when you run the Duplicate Contacts batch, the system will treat these entries as unique and will not show as duplicate entries.
This is of course done during the creating of new contacts, but you can also check for duplicates in the system at any time by running the Duplicate Contacts batch.
Click Departments/Sales & Marketing/Marketing/Periodic Activities/ Duplicate Contacts (or simply type Duplicate Contacts in search and select related link).
Here you will get a complete overview of how many duplicate contacts you have in your database. You can choose to say that these are separate entries or one by one go to the entry and delete them.
Also if you are maintaining duplicate search strings (in Marketing Setup), you can use the Generate Duplicate Search String. This periodic activity generates search strings for your contact companies, not contact persons. The program uses search strings when searching for duplicate entries.
Synchronizing Contacts with Customers and Vendors
If you want to check if the contact has a link to a customer, you can check the Business Relations in the Segmentation tab.
Link With Existing
You can use the Link with existing action to link the contact to an existing customer or vendor.
Let us say you choose to link it to a customer.
- In this case we see that the contact is already linked. So there is no need to link it anymore.
- In case there is no link, you can select a Customer No. to link it to the contact.
- You can indicate which entity will be the master (in this case either contact or customer). Suppose if you say that the master is Contact then at any point if you change information in Contact then the Customer will be updated.
You can create contacts as customers or vendors using the Create as action.
For example, if a contact is not linked to a customer and you choose to create as customer, a new customer will be created based on the customer template and linked to the contact.
Create Contact Automatically
Open Marketing Setup and check the Synchronization fast tab.
Here the Business Relation codes for Customers, vendors and Bank Accounts are important. For example, if you specify a value in this fields and you create a new customer, a contact will be created automatically and this contact will have Business Relations Code CUST.
Let us assume that the organization that we are working for has a new customer and this customer is called Microsoft (create a new customer):
You will notice that just by creating a new customer, a corresponding contact is also created automatically. Also, in the Business Relations of the contact, you will find the link to the customer.
NOTE: You need to be careful about what is the process in your organization, i.e. do you create contact first or do you create customer first. This process should be clear and well defined to avoid duplicate entries.
Using Batch Jobs
Click Departments/Administration/IT Administration/Contact Creation (or search for Contact Creation and select the relevant link).
Here you can choose various batch jobs to automatically:
- Create contacts from existing customers
- Create contacts from existing vendors or
- Create contacts from existing bank accounts
You can apply necessary filters while running the batch jobs.