Using Custom Party Relationships

Using Custom Party Relationships

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This article focuses on Party Relationship functionality. The term Party refers to both People and Organisations and this articles covers the following topics:

Creating Relationships between third-parties

Party Relationships are created via the People or Organisation tabs on a Party record. These relationships are constrained by the type of the Party record and the tab from which you are creating the relationship, which identifies the type of the target record. Only relationships valid between the source and target record types are shown.

The example below demonstrates the creation of a Party Relationship between two People records where Jamie Russell is the supervisor of Bill Jones.

Open a Person record, and then select the People tab along the top of a record. From here, you will see a button called “Add 3rd Party Relationship”:

The dialog box that appears on screen allows you specify details about the Relationship. By default, you can specify the following information:

  • The first picklist (top left hand column) will show all of the Relationships from the Party Relationships Customisation screen that have been marked as a “3rd Party” and are valid between two people.
  • The second picklist (top right hand column) will show a list of People that you can relate your record to. The list is dependent on how you have configured the relationship and is controlled by the “Party Type” picklist on the Relationship Configuration screen.
  • Relationship status – Defines whether the relationship is Open, Closed, Awaiting Review or Suspended.
  • Valid From – Date field to hold when this relationship started or is due to start.
  • Valid Until – Date field to hold when this relationship finished or is due to finish.
  • Comments – A simple Rich Text Field to collect any relevant notes.

You can create custom fields to capture additional information about the Relationship via Start > Configuration > Customisation > Record Types > Party Relationships > Custom Fields.

Above: In this example Jamie Russell is the supervisor of Bill Jones. We’ve specified the relationship is “Open” to signify the current relationship between two People.

Click “Add” when you are happy, remembering that you can update this data later on if circumstances change. Once you have added the relationship, you will be returned to the People tab where you can see an overview of that person’s related People.

Once a Relationship is saved, you can click the Relationship text to open the relationship, where you will see additional tabs:

  • Summary – This contains an overview what has happened with the relationship over time including audit so you can track changes.
  • Notes – Additional information about the relationship that you may not necessary want to stop on the front of the record.
  • Activities – Allows you create Activity records where reminders can be set to follow up on Relationships and ensure that your data is kept up-to-date.
  • Emails – Communications between the related people are stored here.
  • Related Items – You can relate other record types here that might be useful for ease of access.

The behaviour described in this section also applies to creating Relationships from the Organisations tab as well.

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Creating Relationships between a third party and your Own Organisation

Workbooks allows you to create relationships between an Organisation/Person and your Own Organisation. You can mark an Organisation as being a Customer, Supplier, Partner, Competitor, Prospective customer, Reseller or Distributor for your Own Organisation. Alternatively you can create your own custom relationship. For example ABC Company is a Subsidiary of Workbooks Online Limited.

If you have started using Workbooks after Saturday 20th September 2014, you will see a new Relationships grid view as shown below:

To add a new Relationship click “Add Relationship” which will display any Own Organisation Relationships configured on your database. Select one of the Relationships from the list and Workbooks will create it for you. Depending on how you’ve configured Workbooks, you may or may not see a prompt to complete any custom fields. See the section "Switching between Grid view and Checkbox View" for more information.

If you are using the checkbox view, you can still create a relationship; Open the record for the Organisation or Person with whom you want to record a relationship. Click in the checkbox next to Partner, Supplier, Customer or Prospect as appropriate and click “Save”.  You can choose one or many of these classifications as the same Organisation or Person could have more than one type of relationship with your Own Organisation.  Once you’ve saved the record, you’ll notice a series of links appear below the help text. You can click these links to open up the Relationship record and add additional information as shown above.

NOTE: In order to set these checkboxes you need the relevant Capabilities. Ask your System Administrator to make sure you've been granted the Capability to Relate own organisation CRM partner/supplier/customer, as appropriate. You don't need any specific Capability to tick the box next to Prospect. If you don’t have these capabilities then these checkboxes will be greyed out and non-editable.

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Relationship Status

NOTE: The Relationship Status of a Relationship record is not automatically populated based on the valid from and valid until dates, this will need to be manually changed. You may wish to consider creating an Activity record with a Reminder for the day the relationship expires so that it can be updated.

The status of a Relationship controls whether a user can create a Transaction Document against their Own Organisation. If an Organisation is marked as a Customer or Supplier, you can raise an Order, Invoice, Credit Note, Contract or Supplier Order against that Organisation providing they have a valid “Customer” or “Supplier” relationship i.e. the status is set to “Open”. If the status is set to “Awaiting approval”, “Suspended” or “Closed” you will be able to create the order and save it as a DRAFT order but you will not be able POST the order. Workbooks will prompt you if this is the case, showing the following message:

NOTE: You can override this restriction if you wish by clicking Start -> Configuration -> Databases -> Other Settings and then un-ticking the boxes in the “Customer Checks” section.

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Switching between Grid view and Checkbox View

If you have started using Workbooks before Saturday 20th September 2014, you will see the checkboxes as shown above. If you have started using Workbooks after this date, you will see a grid view as described below. If you are already using Workbooks, you can switch to this new behaviour by clicking Start -> Configuration -> Database -> Other Settings:

From here, you change the picklist to the following:

  • Checkboxes
  • Grid (create new relationships without prompting) – Turns off the Relationship record prompt and simply creates the specified relationship between two records. The Relationship Status will automatically default to open.
  • Grid (prompt for details when creating new relationships) – You will prompted with a relationship record if you select this option. This allows you to populate any custom fields that you might have previously created.

If you are using the grid view, this can be customised to show any custom fields that exist on the Party Relationships record type in exactly the same way as Landing Pages and Line Item grid views.

NOTE: If you have created any custom Form Layouts on People or Organisations, you will need to review the positioning of fields after you have changed this setting to ensure the layout appears as you’d expect.

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Creating Relationships between Own Organisations

Finally, Workbooks allows you to create relationships between two Own Organisations. This is useful if you want to relate different branches together, for example My Organisation and My Organisation Australia.

To utilise this type of relationship, open up your Own Organisation record either by searching for your company or from the Configuration landing page (Start -> Configuration -> Accounting -> Own Organisation). Within the grid view on the main tab of the record, click “Add Relationship”. You’ll be presented with two standard options “Parent Company” and “Subsidiary”. You can add more values to this list if you wish from the configuration landing page as described here.

If you are creating a relationship between two Own Organisations, you’ll need to ensure that you have permission to access to both records. Your System Administrator can arrange this for you and more information is available here on how to achieve this.

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Removing Party Relationships – Own Organisations / Third Parties

If your System Administrator has configured your database to use the grid view of Party Relationships, you’ll need to click on the relationship to open it, then click “Delete”.

Alternatively, if your Workbooks database is configured to use the checkbox view, simply click in the checkbox to remove the tick then save your record. Removing a Customer relationship is slightly different.  You don't have to be granted the Relate Own Organisation as a Supplier Capability to remove this relationship but you also can't simply remove the tick from the checkbox. Instead open the Organisation tab on the record you want to change and locate the row that shows your Organisation as a supplier to that customer.  At the far right you will see a Delete button. Using this does not delete your Organisation record; It deletes the Customer-Supplier relationship between the two Organisations.