Mar 7, 2013

Sales process – Part 1 – Product Catalog

Microsoft Dynamics CRM got flexible features to cater most of the pricing needs for products and services. Here I am explaining how they will fit in to your scenario. Here my starting point is Product Catalogue. Product Catalog is nothing more than few purposely designed entities. If you click settings > Product Catalog, you will see below screen with the entry points to four sections.


Unit groups and Units

First thing first! It is important to understand the relationship of Unit Groups and Units within the context of usability. This is fundamental physics! Any product should have a method of measuring.

Primarily most of the products can be count as integers (i.e. each). For example we can count Cars, Generators, computers, tables or etc. In day to day life, we have defined different packages of items for ease of usage such as cartoons, dozens and etc. Best example comes to my mind is beer. When we got o bar we can ask for one or two... but when we order them for a party we might order beer packs of 24 or 26 or etc. In CRM, these countable items can be defined as one Unit Group while, as same as the example mentioned, other “item packs” can be different Units under same Unit Group.

Now I am considering this Unit group as my Primary Unit group. CRM allows me to define many Units under this. Once you created one Unit Group, you can click the Unit link shown as an associate view, where you can add you’re Units. Suppose I define a dozen. Below is the simple form I need to fill. This explains dozen is created by multiplying Each by 12.

Also I can define a Cartoon which is 5 dozens.  This is the view I see all the relationships of Units under my Unit Group called “Default Unit (Each)”

Now I realize there can be different other products which can’t be measured with my primary unit group. Ex: Metal, Wheat, Cement and etc. Now I know they are measured by weight not the number of items. So I need another Unit Group for weight. Obviously, I can again define my Units under this Unit Group. Here I have added my second Unit Group;

Within Weight, I have defined different weights as Units. From this illustration you should realise that my primary unit for Weight Unit Group is 1kg and I have defined different packs of different weights based of 1kg.

Hope this explains that you can define whatever the measurement and units goes with your product or service. It can be length or time or etc.

Product and pricelist

Now only we can add records to products and pricelist.

When creating a new product you are required to populate both Unit Group and Default Unit. Always Default Unit look up shows you the values according to the Unit Group you selected.

Pricelist is the next important entity that keeps prices of products for their different units. Pricelist keeps all those information as PriceList Items. Please check a sample pricelist item as bellows;

This pricelist item says the price of the product for a Dozen. This implies, typically we need two more records for the same product for each and Cartoon.

Now we will consider this case. When I open my second product I see below error message in the beginning of the form. It says I haven’t set the default price list for the product.

In fact, now I am trying to open the lookup and set it, but I can’t see any pricelist in the pop-up lookup window!  This is because; price list doesn’t contain a pricelist item for this given product.
Now you are required to add a pricelist litem for this product before making any use of this product.

Discount Lists

In price list item, there is another special lookup called Discount List which obviously is to select a relevant Discount list for the record.

Discount List contains different Discounts under it. Discounts are simply discount amount /Percentage you get for buy different numbers. For example this Discount says that buyer gets $3 of discount if buy 4-10 of this. So user is free to define many Discounts under Discount List. Obviously user can have many Discount Lists to be attached to different pricelists.

When quoting, these discounts are being applied automatically.

2nd part of this article: Sales process – Part 2 – Quoting
3rd part of this article: Sales process – Part 3 – Modifying calculation of quote product
4th part of this article: Sales process – Part 4 – Modifying calculation of quote

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