Contacts in NetSuite are pretty simple to understand. If we think about either a customer or a vendor, there are plenty of examples, where we have many contacts at a specific company. In NetSuite, contacts are separated into their own record, and are then attached to other records. So as an example, I may have a contact, Bill Smith, who works for Acme. Acme may be a customer of mine, so I would attach Bill’s contact record to Acme’s customer record. But maybe we also buy some things from Acme, and we work with Bill when we purchase these goods. In that case, I could attach Bill’s contact record to Acme’s vendor record as well. Same Bill Smith, same contact record. Doing things this way, we would not have to create and update multiple contact records if his contact information changed.
In another example, I might also have a single person that works for multiple companies. Here too, I could have a single contact record. If information about this person changed, I could update that in a single place. Most of the time, though not all, contacts are going to be people. There may be times though, when one may also be generic, such as for an accounts payable, or receiving department.
Now, let’s take a look at this inside the system. There are a couple of main ways we can create a contact, and we will take a look at both of them.
If I go to Lists, Relationships, Contacts, I can click New and begin creating my new contact. In the last video, we created a company record for the Colorado Rockies. Now, let’s create a contact record for Trevor Story, who is a player for the Rockies. You will notice that this Contact field is required. But, I am not going to fill this out. Rather, I am going to jump down to the Name field, and this is really first name, middle initial, and last name though it does not say it. I will enter his name, and we can see the contact field become populated automatically. We can overwrite the field if we want, but usually there is no need to do this.
We can enter as much, or as little information as we want to about Trevor, since by default the only required field is this contact field, and if you are in OneWorld, the subsidiary field. And, I’ll go ahead and enter a subsidiary. You may notice that even the company field is not required. So, Trevor, or anyone else, could just sit out there as a contact, but not be attached to another record. In this case, I do want to attach this record to the Colorado Rockies, so I will start entering that here, and select them when they come up. But, this brings up a really interesting point, and that is this. I said earlier that a contact could be attached to multiple records. But it looks like they can only be attached to one here. So, does this mean I was lying? Well, no. This is the primary company for the contact. If we want to attach this to other records we need to do it in a slightly different way. But, since I don’t need any other information, here, I will go ahead and save this now, and we will continue working with it in a different context.
Under my recent records, I am going to go ahead and open up our Colorado Rockies customer once again. Under relationships we see the contact we just created. We don’t have much information listed for him, so we could click edit, and this will pop up a new browser window where we can enter any more information we have. This form should look familiar, since it is the one we were just looking at. I will go ahead and enter an email and a phone number for him, so we have some information here, and I’ll save the record. We now see the email and phone numbers have updated.
We could also add another contact here, by clicking New Contact. This would bring up a similar form, and we could enter and save the contact.
I’m going to go ahead and open up another random customer here, by searching for them in our global search. If Trevor happened to also work for 3M, we could attach him to this customer. We can do this on the customer record, or we could go back to the contact record after it had been saved. Let’s do this here, this time. In the 3M customer, we could search for Trevor here in the Contact field. Once we have selected him, and you’ll notice that he is listed with his primary company name as well, we click attach. This attaches him to this customer. We could have also clicked Update Primary, and this would have updated the contact record for Trevor, so that 3M was his primary company. The Colorado Rockies would have still been a company for him as well, had we done this. It just would not have been the primary company. Because I was not in edit mode, I do not even need to save this. The changes have already been persisted in NetSuite.
If I go back and open Trevor’s record using my recent records menu, I can see that he is still attached to the Rockies as his primary company. We can also see that he is attached to 3M as well, if we look down here. We only looked at this in the customer context, but the steps are identical when dealing with leads, prospects, partners, vendors, as well as most other records you can attach contacts to.
Before we move on, I also want us to take a closer look at the contact record itself, since we kind of skimmed over it earlier. We can of course add things like a salutation, up here. We can add a Job Title and any Comments for the person if we want. This category field here is a little misleading, with the way I have NetSuite setup. Normally this would be a list of categories you could select from, however since I don’t have any, it looks like this is a text box; it’s not. These categories are under Setup, Sales and CRM Lists. If we want we can add an image here, and this image can be displayed on forms and can be printed out. Now I know you might think, where would this be useful? But, there was a company I know of, through a contact of mine, that was using this in a rather brilliant way. They provide services to consumers, and if the consumers provide a link to their Facebook profile through their website, they have a script that goes out and gets the image. This way, when they have a representative go onsite to meet with the person, they have a picture of who they are meeting with ahead of time. Now, to be honest, I don’t actually know how the back end for this works. I have not seen the scripts they wrote to make this work, but the concept seems pretty cool.
Down here, we can select a supervisor. This field pulls from a list of our contacts. This works kind of like how parent and child companies work. We can also select an assistant which works much the same way. And, we can put information about those people in here as well. Below all of this we could attach Trevor to another company if we wanted to.
Under communication, we can attach activities, and this is similar to what we looked at in the customer record. We can add one or more addresses for this contact by clicking the pencil icon, and entering the appropriate information. We can market to this contact, and we can also create support cases for him. Most of this is straight forward.
Now you should have a good understanding of contacts in the system, and most importantly, how they relate to other records.