Thursday, February 25, 2010

Import MS CRM Product Catalog : Step by Step Part 1


Imagine you are working on a project where the client's business has hundreds of products such as a Telecommunication company. When you ask for a list of products they deal with, they give you lengthy brocures with rates, tariffs etc. How would you go about transforming those flashy brochures into MS CRM Products with different categories, product lines, price bundles etc.

Here I describe a step by step technique to import your whole Product Catalog that includes Units, Unit Groups, Products and Pricelists.

> Gather a list of all possible categories, types, map those into one or more MS CRM fields on Product entity : example  Product Type, Subject etc.

* Subject can be really useful in terms of grouping products for Knowledge base articles and Cases are you would generate Cases for select Product; and Sales Literature categoriazation.

> List down those categories in a CSV file, import Sujbects, refer to one of my previous posts on this.

> List all the Unit groups and  individual Units for each unit group and transfer those into MS CRM Unit Groups and Units using Import tool.

> Create a list of Product names, codes etc. organize the details into a single CSV file and Import it.

>  Create Price lists for different currencies and special occasions like Christmas, Thanks giving day and Customer classes : Gold, Premium etc.

> Now comes a tricky part, you have the Subjects, Units and Products linked to those and different Price lists, how do you generate Price list items ??

> For this create a CSV file with fields similar to those shown below :

Product Name (lookup) | Price Amount | Price list
Product 1                      |   45.56           | Rs.                
Product 1                      |   1                  |  US Dollars
Product 1                      |   0.64             |  Pound Sterling
Product 1                      |   0.8               |  US Dollars Thanks giving day Special

As you can see, you have to replicate rows for each different combination of Price amount, Price list type for the same Product.

> Once you have build this CSV file in the above format, Import it and your product catalogue is complete.

Drop a line if you need to contribute more to this, I will be posting a detailed article with screenshots and sample CSV files for you to try.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Setting up Service Scheduling in MS CRM

The default MSCRM doesn't provide service scheduling by default, it needs to be set up and there are a number of steps involved as described below:

1) Create a Service, i.e. define a Service or a Job to be done
Go to MS CRM > Settings tab > Business Management > Services ( 3rd from top in the right side)
    Click New to Create a new service, you can see existing services in the list below
    Give name to the Service, choose how the time will appear in Calendar against that Service when scheduled, 
  • Default duration is usual time take to perform the service which is editable at the time of booking the Service
  • Start activities every ... lets you define time slots for the entire day for the Service , for example : for a service with default duration of 30 mins and start activities every hour starting from 9 AM will have time slots  such as : 9-9:30  , 10-10:10 like wise, hence it wont be possible to choose a 9:30-10 slot which may be the norm as per organization standards.

     Once you have entered the Service details, create a Resource Selection rule which is used to specify :

  • How many people are required to perform this task, ex. 2 or 3 engineers
  • Whether they need to belong the same geographic region

    Click on one of the parameters : Site , Resource, Resource Group etc, which will give the following pop up
     After choosing number of people and location details, choose a group of workforce - users who can work to perform    this Service

    If you have not created a Resource group, you can create one while creating the resource selection rule,   this will help to make it easy to add or remove users from the group

2) Set work hours and break timings for the workforce, i.e. CRM users.
Go to : Settings > Administration > Users > Select and open a user >
Click on "Work Hours" from the left nav link

Click on Set weekly schedule, choose What days the person works,
    Add Start and Finish timings routine, add break time in between

    Specify any restriction this staff has on the service jobs they can perform, ex. in this case, Darshana Goswami can not do TV Delivery. 

    3) After setting up workforce - user's working hours and Service & Resource rules, create a service activity and Schedule it 
       Go to MS CRM Workplace > Activities > New > Service Activity 
       Choose the Service, Customer, Resources ( will appear as per resource selection rule for the service on the right side on form assistant)

    Click on Schedule button to schedule this Service Activity

     Select one more resources based on the resource selection rule, clicking in find available time will automatically show all the possible time slots and un-booked resources

    Choose one of the time slots, Save the Service Activity

     The service activity will appear in Service Calendar for the booked resource -staff.

    hope this helps, let me know of any questions.