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Customer Relationships Are Moving On

 Starting with release 17.5 of Advantage, you can work with customers in an Accounts and Contacts mode (which parallels how structures customers).  You can move your customer maintenance view into this mode, search for Account customers and then view the contacts at an Account, displayed in a lower pane.

This replaces---and substantially improves---the Location Customer feature.  In that feature, Advantage automatically created a “location” customer, where now it creates an “Account” customer.  A “location” customer was identified by a special address code; now an Account customer is identified by the customer Account? field set to Y.

The Consolidated Overview by Location customer (which was difficult to access and did not include Access Management & Billing agreements) has been replaced (in release 17.6) by an Account-level Overview that is more complete and easily accessed.

The new Parent Hierarchy feature (available with release 17.7) allows you to link an Account customer to its Parent Account customer and then view the entire set of linked Account customers through a hierarchical display that you can navigate.

The Parent links and the Contact to Account links work through Customer Relationship records created in the background or done manually.  That is not changed.

If you are using the Location Customer feature, then on upgrade to release 17.5 or later, the Location customers will be changed into Account customers (Account? field set to Y) automatically and the existing relationship records will continue to work under the Accounts and Contacts feature.

With all these changes in the customer relationship area, we took the opportunity to tidy a few things up.  In release 17.7, the Customer Relationship table was changed so that it links customers instead of customer addresses.  The ability to synchronize addresses that are related is still available, but if you are using that feature with the Location Customer feature, discuss how this will work for you with your ACS representative before upgrading.  (To be complete, the Started and Ended dates on the relationship record were also removed.)

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