Zoho CRM – Track your inventory!

By CRM, Zoho, Zoho CRM

Did you know that you can use Zoho CRM to track your inventory?  Tracking your inventory involves the following modules:

  • Products
  • Quotes (optional)
  • Sales Orders (optional)
  • Invoices
  • Pricebooks (optional)
  • Vendors
  • Purchase Orders

The Products module has the following fields for inventory tracking:

  • Quantity in Stock
    • incremented by a delivered Purchase Order
    • decremented by invoice (on create)
  • Quantity Ordered
    • incremented by a created Purchase Order
    • decremented by a delivered Purchase Order
  • Quantity in Demand
    • incremented by a Created Sales Order
    • decremented by a converted Sales order
  • Re-order Level – set to receive re-order alerts

Details on how it works:

  • Initialize your Product records and enter your initial Quantity in Stock, and Pricing values
    • Create a Purchase Order and add a product as a line item with a quantity
      • zoho automatically adds the quantity listed in the purchase order to the Quantity Ordered field in the product record.
    • When the products are received, mark the Purchase Order as “Delivered”
      • zoho automatically subtracts the quantity form the Quantity Ordered field and adds it to the Quantity in Stock field
    • Set a Re-order level and get alerts when inventory dips below established levels.
    • Optional – Create a Quote Record, add the product(s) as line items with a quantity. (Quotes do NOT affect product inventory!)
    • Optional – Create a Sales Order Record (or convert a Quote to a Sales Order) with line items (products with prices and quantities)
      • zoho automatically increments the Quantity in Demand field by the quantity listed in the Sales Order for all products listed as line items in a Sales Order 
    • Create an invoice (or convert a Quote or Sales Order to an invoice)
      • zoho automatically decrements the Quantity in Stock field by the quantity listed in the invoice for all products listed as line items in Invoice

Using this part of Zoho CRM is a great compliment to Quickbooks Online (which does not have inventory tracking).  Simply push your invoices to Quickbooks online (through Zoho’s Quickbooks Connector) for billing and tracking.

Salesforce.com – working with custom user fields

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

I’m a huge fan of “My” style views.  However, what do you do if you have multiple user fields on a form.  Maybe a “outside rep, inside rep, engineer” type of situation?  Had a similar case with a client where we had multiple users on an opportunity.  Not just the owner, but OTHER users which we wanted to see these opportunities when on the “My Opportunities” type of view.  So, we created a formula checkbox which turns true when the user is listed in any one of the fields.  Here’s the code for the formula:

    IF(   Owner.Id   = $User.Id ||
     Salesrep__r.Id  = $User.Id ||
     Salesrep_Add_l__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     Sales_Rep_Additional_2__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     Engineer__r.Id = $User.Id ||
     $UserRole.Name = "Sales Manager"
    , TRUE, FALSE)

It’s long IF/THEN formula, but it’s basically evaluating if the current user is in the rep1, rep additional, the rep2 additional field, or engineer field.  I won’t go into how you make the formula field as that’s pretty straight forward.

Once you’ve got this, just change the “My Opportunities” view to be “All opportunities” but where the field is TRUE (in the image below, we just changed the “opportunities” module to “projects”, hence the difference).

Salesforce.com – Adding a Calendar or Activity Tab to the App

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

Got a client that didn’t like the existing calendars and activity lists on the home page.  So, what we did was add in a custom tab (at the top) that actually just loads the calendar page by itself.  It’s pretty easy to do actually – here’s how (we’re doing the “activities list” as the example here).

This one gets a bit above me, but we have to start with a visual force page.  Go to the setup area, search on “visual force” and choose “Visual force pages”.

Then click “New” at the top to create a new one.  Give it a label, a name, etc.  The markup is the kicker and that’s where we need to put this in here:

    <apex:page action="/00U/c">
    Please wait...

For calendar, use the code above, for activities, use this:

    <apex:page action="/007">
    Please wait...

Save it and we’re about half way there.  Now we need to find “tabs” under “create” in the setup tree.

Scroll to the “visualforce tabs” section near the bottom of the screen.  Click New.

Choose your page (the activity or calendar page), give it a name, etc.

Choose the visability rules on the next page couple of pages and you’re all set.

Salesforce.com – working with rollup fields

By CRM, Salesforce CRM

There are so many times where you need to do a count of child records to provide the sum total or count of those items at the parent record level.  For instance, maybe you want to do a sum total of all opportunities at a particular stage.  Here’s what it important – you can count or add up items based on a criteria or you can have the field count all records.  What it does NOT do is count things based on a date based formula, like “count of opportunities closing this month” for instance.  I’ve struggled a lot with these types of things but there’s a solution – see the end of this tip.

Here’s how to make one:

Go to setup as usual, go to your object and make a new field like normal.  However, in this case you’re going to choose a “roll up summary” and click Next.

Give it a label and name like normal and of course the optional description and click next.

On the next screen, you have to choose which item you want to have as the “summarized” object.  There are some obvious limitations, for instance I can only choose opportunities on the account object.  Where are contacts, custom objects, etc.?  Tell me about it…  (again, more on this later).

In the image above, not only did I choose the revenue to sum up, but I also chose which opportunities we want to sum up (you could do “won opportunities” for instance or multiple stages.

Click Next, address who sees it and what forms, like normal, etc.  That’s about all that is to it.  However, there are some MAJOR limitations like I said.  You’re only allowed 10 per object, you can’t do dates, formulas are hard, and only master-detail objects can be “rolled up” to other objects.  In my case, I do a “number of marketing contacts” on each account (I need to have AT LEAST one for my email blasts to work).  I always make sure that my customers have at least one, which I use a roll up to calculate.

So, there’s a great product called “Roll Up Helper” on the App Exchange.  I swear by it in that there’s a free version which is limited but can really solve most needs, then a pay version which really turns up the gas.  Check it out if you’re not finding what you need with the existing Saleforce.com roll up summary fields.

Dynamics 365 – Group by Views

By CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

As you are probably aware, Dynamics CRM is undergoing some changes and one of them is a new name, Dynamics 365. My blog posts this month will focus on some of the functionality updates available in v8.2 and our next meetup will review them in more detail. Be sure to sign up and join us!

Another cool, new feature is that you can group by fields directly from a view within CRM. You don’t have to create a report or export to Excel to group the data. In the customizations area, click on the name of the entity then open the Controls tab.


Then add a control and choose Editable Grid.


Finally, choose which devices you want to be able to use the editable grid control. Save and publish your changes.


Navigate to the entity and you will now see a box where you can specify how to group the records in the view. The options will be limited to the fields seen in the view. For example, if you want to group by State or Province you will need to add this field to the view first.

Dynamics 365 – Roll Up Custom Entity Activities

By CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

As you are probably aware, Dynamics CRM is undergoing some changes and one of them is a new name, Dynamics 365. My blog posts this month will focus on some of the functionality updates available in v8.2 and our next meetup will review them in more detail. Be sure to sign up and join us!

Historically, when you have activities associated with a custom entity, those activities do not roll up to the related account. This can be frustrating because you aren’t able to get the full picture from the account like you’d expect. Now you’re able to specify if activities roll up from custom entities. Open the relationship screen between the account and your custom entity. There will be an option to change the Rollup View from Cascade None to Cascade All. Save and publish your changes and you’re all set!

Dynamics 365 – Sorting Activities in the Social Pane

By CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

As you are probably aware, Dynamics CRM is undergoing some changes and one of them is a new name, Dynamics 365. My blog posts this month will focus on some of the functionality updates available in v8.2 and our next meetup will review them in more detail. Be sure to sign up and join us!

If your organization uses the activities entities (tasks, appointments, phone calls, etc.) then you are likely familiar with the social pane view that is available on the main entities. You may also know that the social pane is barely customizable so I’m very excited about this update. You can now determine how you want to sort activities in the social pane. By default, they are sorted by modified date and in most cases this might be fine but having the ability to change how the activities are sorted is very helpful.

Open the form editor and double click on the activities section to see the properties. Go to the Activity Wall to change how items are sorted.

You may also notice that one of the options is to sort by a field called Sort Date. This is a field that can be set in a workflow so each activity type can use a different sort date. For example, you may want to sort emails by their sent or received date while sorting appointments by their end date. If you set the sort date field accordingly, then you’re able to sort activities by the different dates.

GoldMine : Auto-Completing Mass Activities

By GoldMine CRM

Wow, just wow. It’s not every day that I get to learn something new about GoldMine. Check this out;

One of the biggest issue we see in the field involves the non-completion of scheduled items. This can lead to messy and loaded calendars, and worse; it leads to capturing no good history.

Did you know that you can mass-complete from within the Activity List? The way it works is this;

  1. Open your Activity List via Go To | Activities.
  2. Using the drop downs (User, Date, etc) get the list of Activities you want to auto-complete.
  3. Right-click within the list, select Options, then Auto-Update.

From here, you can Complete or Delete the list of Activities all at once. You can also use the Activity Types and Date Range checkboxes to further control what is actually Completed/Deleted.

I highly recommend backing up your GoldMine before doing this!



GoldMine : The Default Search Field

By GoldMine CRM

This is one of the best kept secrets of GoldMine. Want to change your default Search Field? Easy;

  1. Go to Tools | Options from the top level menu.
  2. Select the “Lookup” Tab.
  3. From here, you can select either Contact, Company or “Remember Lookup By”, which acts as you might expect; it remembers the last lookup field that you used.

But this is crap; almost everyone I know searches by LastName. So, how do we do that? It’s laughably easy.

Just double-click on whatever field name you want to search by directly from the Contact Record itself. Not in the field, but directly on the field name (or “label”). Want to search by last name, click on it! City, State, Zip, Address, click on it!

Pro Tip : Don’t forget you can use a percent sign (%) as a wildcard when searching!






GoldMine : Adding, Removing and Renaming Tabs

By GoldMine CRM

Did you know that you can customize the bottom “Tab Strip” of the Contact Record in GoldMine?

Within GoldMine,

  1. Select Tools | Options from the top-level menu.
  2. Click on the “Record” tab.
  3. Click the “Tabs” button.
  4. From here, you can manage the bottom tab strip.
  5. Use the “Customize Globally” checkbox to manage tabs for all GoldMine users at once. Otherwise, all changes are specific to the user currently logged in.
  6. Users will need to restart their GoldMine to get the change.

Pro Tip : You can manage this for any user via Tools | Users Settings | Preferences if you have MASTER rights.