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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Unraveling the mystery about Products , Price Books and Assets

Any technology if its a hot cake is lapped up by job-seekers, people try to subvert the system to get into it.
Why subvert the system when all resources related to current hot-cake salesforce is online and the platform also freely available for developer to use and develop and acquire skills.
I believe in equal opportunity in its true sense , hence I keep blogging at regular intervals so that I may contribute in my very minuscule way in  making information available freely to all concerned.
Leaving behind the small talk lets concentrate on something which forms the very backbone of all business entities- Products.
In context of salesforce - Product is a pivotal piece in its implementation -popularly called the "Sales Cloud"
So what do products signify in slaesforce?

Product is some service or items that as an organization one may sell to people who may need them.
You may think that's fine , but are is there more to products - are they all same?
Do they have any categorization?
Are they grouped or categorized in any way?
Talking of classification or categorization - a term which rings a bell is "Product Family"
Now what is Product Family?
Say there is a home appliance manufacturer, they might make different types of appliances like:-
i. Kitchen appliances
ii. Bathroom appliances
You realize that products can be grouped into different categories based on some common characteristics- such a grouping is called "Product Family" in salesforce.
Generally whenever you shop online you try to find the Product list with the associated prices- such an compilation of products along with the associated prices is called a Price-book
Each Product -with its associated  Price is a Price-Book Entry or in short a price-book is a collection of PriceBook Entries
Every organization has at least one "Standard Price Book" which is the master list of all products with their associated standard price.

Now the question can we have price books which contain the selling price or also called the list price? Yes we can have more than one custom price books  each catering to a different market. For ex. most books have a cheaper Indian editions with economical prices and a International edition with prices at par with international market. So in this case one can create a Domestic Pricebook and an Overseas Pricebook .
P.S. Every product is always present in the standard pricebook and in one or more than one custom pricebook. Also an opportunity can contain only one pricebook.

Many times you might have created too many pricebooks and dont want to use them anymore , then what does one do ? You cant delete pricebooks with associated records. You can Archive them, but once archived but once archived they cannot be restored.

Organization wide / default Access on Pricebooks
1. Use Access - With this access all users of org can view pricebook and can add Price Books and products in price book to an opportunity
2. View Only- With this access all Users can view and report on Price book but not add them to opportunity. So in order people to add price book to opportunity you need to give people /users edit access to opportunity and give "use" access to the pricebooks you want them to use.
3. No Access- Users cannot see or add pricebooks to opportunity. We use this access when we want only specific users to use and view the pricebooks and the people whom you want to use pricebooks grant them "use" access if you want them to add pricebooks to opportunity or give "View only" access if you want them to view and report on pricebooks.
Another important aspect of Products is Scheduling. Its of 2 types :-
1. Revenue
2. Quantity

Enabling schedule from the Setup / Customize / Products/ Schedule Setup (refer to screenshot for clarity)

Enabling schedule adds a scheduling section to the Product page layout. More on Scheduling in later posts.
Enabling schedules also enables users to create reports on for tracking shipments, deliveries and payments using the report type Opportunity with products and schedules.

A product which is purchased by the customer is tracked in Asset. It may be a product purchased from you or your competitor - it may hold information about:-
1. Serial number
2. Expiration date
3. If it is competitor asset or not
Also asset can be tracked from Account, Contact and Product by adding it as a related list to these objects' layouts.
Also one can add a lookup to asset in cases and a case can be created linked to the asset purchased by the customer which will help the support and service folks.

Some questions about Products:-
1. Many times one faces queries like how do I add a check on restricting selection of a particular Pricebook for a particular profile or record type of opportunity?
Answer- You have to add validation rules at the Opportunity Product level and in case if its too complex one may have to write the validation rule logic in a trigger on Opportunity Product.
2. Can i add more that one pricebook to am opportunity?
Answer - No
3.How do I load data related to Products , Pricebooks , etc.?
Now that requires a dedicated post - may be next post will dwell on that.

1 comment:

  1. This concept is a good way to enhance the knowledge.thanks for sharing. please keep it up salesforce Online Training Bangalore