Did you know that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is flexible enough to be used as vendor management software? It can help with the following areas:

  • Gain a 360 degree view of all vendors information, including: contacts and communications
  • Connect vendors to other customer-focused efforts such as, customer records, opportunities, orders, and projects
  • Connect vendors to marketing campaigns and other sales related activities

When managing vendor relationships in CRM, it is best practices to use the out-of-the-box Account record to store vendors rather than creating a separate vendors entity. The primary reason for this is Microsoft Dynamics CRM recognizes the Account as a company, and therefore has some inherent features including:

  • The relationship with Contacts who work at the company
  • Activity views roll-up from the Contact to the Account view
  • Only Leads, Accounts, and Contacts have the ability to be on a marketing list
  • Contacts sync to Outlook with the Parent Account name as the company name
  • You can convert leads to an Account

Even if these features are not planned as part of your use today, they may be needed in the future AND you never know what new features Microsoft will develop around that central and unique Account record. So, use the best practices!

Using the out of the box Account entity you can easily segment vendor records from other accounts by defining the Relationship type.

Vendor Management

System and Personal views can be used to provide quick snap shots to all Vendor Records

MSCRM Vendor Management

And depending on who is managing the vendors, role-based forms may also be used to display vendor fields and other vendor information. If the same users are managing vendors as well as customers and prospects in CRM, then JavaScript may be used to hide/display sections or specific fields depending on the relationship type.

Use JavaScript or tabs allow you to hide/display specific vendor related information

Now you see it!

CRM Vendor Management

Now you don’t!

These are just some of the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 you can use to effectively manage the relationship and specific processes with your vendors.

For more information on Role Based Forms:


For more information on JavaScript in Microsoft Dynamics CRM:


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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.