Introduction to Customers, Suppliers and Contact Persons in CRM by HansaWorld

Information about your Customers, Suppliers and Contact Persons and all other companies and individuals with whom you have some contact is stored in the Contact register. Storing Customers, Suppliers, Contact Persons and other companies and individuals together in one register means that you can make full use of the Calendar, Task Manager, Mails and Letters with companies and individuals of all kinds. It also means that you will only have to maintain a single record for a company who is both a Customer and a Supplier.

Throughout these web pages, the terms "Customer" and "Supplier" are often used when referring to records in the Contact register. Those records does not necessarily represent firms that have purchased goods or services from your business, or sold goods or services to you, and in fact can represent any company that is a potential customer or supplier.

The term "Customer" is usually used when describing the use of a record in the Contact register in a sales context, while "Supplier" is used in a purchase context. "Supplier" implies that the Supplier box in the header of the Contact record has been checked.

As soon as contact is established between your business and a potential client, you should record their details in the Contact register. You can register their relationship with you (e.g. "Prospect" or "Lead") using the Contact Classification field on the 'Contact' card of the Contact record. Mark the record as a Customer or Supplier or both using the check boxes in the header. The Customer check box will allow you to use the Contact as a Customer in Quotations.

The term "Contact Person" is used when referring to an individual person: this may be a private individual or someone who works for a Customer or Supplier. In the latter case, you will have separate records in the Contact register for the Customer or Supplier and for the individual Contact Person. The Contact Person and Customer will be linked using the Customer Relations register (described here).

The term "Contact" is used when referring to any record on the Contact register. A Contact can therefore be a Customer, a Supplier or a Contact Person.

You can group Customers of a similar type together using Customer Categories. Every Customer belonging to a Category can be given the same default Price List, saving you the work of having to specify these in the Contact records for the Customers. Defining and assigning Customer Categories also makes modification easier: if you need to assign a different Price List, for example, you only need to make one change (to the Customer Category), rather than many (to each of the Customer records). If you specify information both for a Customer Category and in the Contact record of an individual Customer belonging to that Category, the information entered in the Contact record will take precedence. For example, if you specify a Price List in a Customer Category and in a Customer belonging to that Category, the one in the Customer will be used.

If you are updating to CRM by HansaWorld from its predecessor FirstContact, please note that prior to version 5.0 of that program, Customers and Suppliers were stored together in the Customer register, and Contact Persons were stored separately in the Contact Person register. In version 5.0, these two registers were combined into one, which was re-named the Contact register. If you are updating to CRM by HansaWorld from version 4.3 or earlier of FirstContact, you will need to use the 'Convert Contact Persons to Contacts' Maintenance function in the Technics module to bring the information in the two registers together. This is described on the Combining Customers and Contact Persons page.


In this section: