The partners section is for saving and updating information on your partners such as suppliers, customers, part manufacturers and subcontractors. The partners section also has a PRM (Partner Relationship Management) system for recording and managing ad-hoc information such as meetings, telemarketing campaigns and telephone contacts.

The partner data includes the defaults for all normal business relationship data such as purchase terms, delivery methods etc. By correctly and completely entering data for your partners, it is possible to minimise data entry when making purchase and sales orders.

Each partner has a unique number and also a unique short name. The short name is used to identify the company on screen. The starting number of the partner numbers can be set in system settings to match your legacy system. The “short name” can be 80 characters (so it is not so short) but must be unique as it is used as the screen name. If entering orders for an ecommerce system, consider using the short name as the email address as many ecommerce systems use email addresses as the key to customer data.

Personnel

Together with basic contact information, each partner can have an unlimited number of personnel, one of whom is specified as the default contact. By specifying the email addresses of the contact personnel it is possible to automate delivery of documentation in the system.

Partner types

A company can have more than one address in the database. All these addresses are saved with a unique company ID, but they can be linked together when their type is different.

There are four possible partner types: ‘Main’, ‘Confirmation’, ‘Delivery’ and ‘Invoicing’.

Each company can have one main address but multiple delivery, confirmation and invoicing addresses. If a company has just one address in your database, the address type must be ’main’.

Partner families

Partners can also be members of the different types of ‘families’ which are user defined classifications of partner groups. The system contains families of type ‘customer’, ‘supplier’, ‘manufacturer’, ‘subcontractor’, ‘prospect’ and ‘other’. Creating families and allocating companies to them should be considered carefully to obtain full benefit from the system. For instance when customers are allocated to different customer families, this provides one of the criteria when analysing sales order history. If a certain company is not in any family then that company will not be listed by default in the search screens for that family type. In other words if a company is in any customer family, then that company will be listed by default when completing a sales order. However, this does not prevent any company being used in any address field throughout the system.

Inventory locations

Partner records are also used for inventory locations when transferring materials. If you need to have multiple stock locations inside your own factory, then create a separate partner record for each location.

Linking suppliers to manufacturers

It is possible to make a link between a supplier and the different manufacturers that the supplier represents. A supplier can also be the default supplier for a particular manufacturer. These are important features for the procurement automation system and quality control. If these links are correctly made then the system can be set up to automatically create purchase orders from the correct supplier for the correct materials. If the company parameters specify that only approved suppliers are allowed when making purchase orders, then setting up these links enforces your company’s quality policy.

The link between materials and manufacturers is made in the Item card, Manufacturers tab.

Granting your partner’s employees limited access to the system

You can give user accounts to the employees of your partners. In this case they can only access those particular work orders where their company has been marked as the contract manufacturer. Also they can receive purchase orders and deliver sales orders that are marked for delivery or dispatch by their company. The user Id of a partner is created in the same way as for a normal employee, but the name is specified as being linked to a partner.

Own address

One specific partner record is reserved for your own company’s contact information. This is the address information that appears on your company documents. This address is normally with ID number 1.