The Accounts Tab

From Opentaps Wiki
Revision as of 19:52, 30 September 2009 by Claudefeistel2 (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Introduction to the Accounts Tab

In opentaps the term account can refer to many different sorts of things, but in the Accounts Tab the term means just one thing. That is the Customer Account of a company or organization who is a habitual purchaser, user, and consumer of our products. They frequent our business looking for the kinds of products or services we offer, and they bring us repeat business from time to time. This repeat business is often the most profitable kind of business we enjoy, so the habitual customers are the one we most want to keep satisfied.

The Customer Account is the focus of our account management, and keeping the account satisfied and coming back for more business is the reason that the management processes and the popular term "customer relationship management" or CRM were invented. Thus, it should not be surprising that the Account Tab is the center piece and collection point for all forms of information about each of our Customer Accounts. The Account Details Screen is the main presentation screen for the Customer Account summary of status, activities, orders, history, and documentation. It also provides access to some of the main functions associated with CRMSFA.

Accounts Are Organizations

In opentaps a Customer Account is always an organization or company, therefore it is defined as a "PartyGroup" in opentaps configurations. On the other hand, a Lead or a Contact is always a person or "Party" in the opentaps configurations and database.

Sub-Accounts and Parent Accounts

Because companies and organizations can be complex structures, and we need to conduct business with different sub-units of the complex, the Customer Account in opentaps can have sub-accounts each doing business with your company. In this case, there can be just one parent account for each of the sub-unit accounts. The parent account can be defined during [Create Account] for the sub-unit, but the parent can be changed during [Update]. The parent to sub-unit relationship determines how financial and accounting quantities roll up for the organization. Leads can also have a parent which must be an existing account in the system.

Account Teams

Teams of employees can be assigned to a Customer Account in one of two ways. The people can be defined as a team in CRMSFA > Teams Tab and then the team can be assigned to the account. Alternately, people can be assigned to the account on the [Account Details Screen] directly, in which case they are part of the account's Sales Team.

Cleanup with Merge

Sometimes we may discover that there are accounts in the system which are duplicates or which need to be consolidated for some reason. The [Merge Account] button provides a way to merge data from one account into another eliminating one of them. If the duplicate entries contain conflicting data it may be necessary to clean up the two conflicting entries so that one remains before a successful merge can be accomplished.

Teamwork and Context

The Accounts Tab in opentaps is a good example of how the system provides all of the key elements that can make the account management team more successful. The Account Details Screen provides a summary including these three important parts:

Part I. Contexts

  • Account information and status
  • Account Orders and status
  • Customer requests, needs, and status
  • Ownership of Account and action items
  • Links to Account financial reports

Part II. Communications

  • Links to Account phone calls,email,
  • Log of other correspondence items entered by the team
  • Account visits, and meetings
  • Notes prepared by all Account Team members for coordination
  • The collection of Account documentation and files saved on the system
  • Access to reports about the Account

Part III. Actions and Plans

  • The online Calender
  • Activity, Event, Meeting plans and history
  • Roles, and assignments of team members

Given these ready resources, which are current in real-time, and accessible to every team member regardless of their location (when they have access to the secure opentaps servers via the internet), the only remaining pieces required for excellent Customer Account management are the good people and the good training for their jobs.

For more information about teamwork and coordination using opentaps refer to the manual section What the Teamwork and Coordination Vehicle Does. While our discussion here has focused on the Customer Account management team, opentaps provides similar teamwork environments for other critical teams such as fulfillment, production, accounting and others.