Outside the Box Thinking with Out-of-the-Box Functionality
Posted on: November 14, 2016 | By: Craig Thompson | Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Authored by John Hinchy
Undergoing a Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation can be as simple or complex as a user wants to make it. Often times people have a preconceived notion that Microsoft Dynamics 365 needs to be set up a particular way; that there are a few set steps to complete and once finished, the user begins to navigate through the system in a standard, pre-packaged way. This is actually quite the opposite. Sure, there is certain terminology, like contacts, accounts, and opportunities, that Microsoft has put in place to help users get comfortable with the categorizing of their records. But really, Dynamics 365 is a shell or template for a user to get creative and envision a use of the system that fits perfectly for their organization. The great part about being able to make Dynamics 365 your own is that it can all be done Out-of-the-Box. There is no need for high level coding or development. As long as you have a basic understanding of the system, the possibilities are endless on what you can customize with your team and organization.
Personalize Your Records
The functionality and power of CRM will exist however you choose to customize and get creative with the system. For example, maybe your organization calls accounts ‘Records’ and contacts ‘People.’
With very little effort you have the ability to rename anything you want within the system. In the diagram I show an example of an updated account and contact entity. By renaming and creating records with labels that an organization understands and is familiar with, it also creates a feeling of ownership and increased buy-in of the system leading to enhanced productivity. Any out-of-the-box record will function the same way regardless of what it is called, so be as creative as possible without risk of affecting performance. Also, personalize records at any level of the system starting here with entities, all the way down to fields, views, and dropdown options.
Design the Fields and Functions to Suit Your Needs
Logan Consulting recently completed a Dynamics 365 where the client wanted to use Connections as a way of linking accounts and contacts and keeping relationships organized. They asked if they could use connections to move amongst records as opposed to contacts on their main Account form. Much of our consulting advice with this client was to encourage them to envision a form and system that best suited their needs. Because of this they completely redesigned their account form to fit their internal specifications. They added a connections sub-grid and even customized the connection roles within this grid to tailor Dynamics to their organization’s culture and practice. They then moved the connections sub-grid to the top of the account form above the Social Pane, and moved the contacts down to the bottom of the form to avoid confusion on what to look at first. This client also uses company information quite often so they took the native ‘Company Profile’ section and moved it to the top right of the form. CRM does have a list of best practices, but in cases like this, there is no rule that says primary contact has to be at the top right or that nothing can be above the social pane on the form.
As mentioned, the great thing about Dynamics is that even a novice user has the ability to get creative and customize the system in many ways. With system administrator privileges, or the help of a sys-admin
, moving around fields is as easy as dragging and dropping to another place on the form. Creating new fields can be done by simply clicking the new field button. And, with a little practice a user can create business rules to show and hide fields in different situations. However you decide to use Dynamics 365, remember the only constraint is how imaginative you can be.
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