As I revised for the MB2-713 certification I’m publishing blog posts made up of my revision notes. Hopefully these may prove useful for anyone preparing for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Sales exam.
In this post I am going to continue to explain aspects of the product catalog by looking at product families and product properties.
Product families enable companies to group related products or product bundles together. A supermarket might group canned products, fresh products and such like together. This helps with sales analysis and definition of product properties across all products in the family. It is possible to create a hierarchy of product families. In my example of supermarket products, canned goods might be made up of further “child” families. Maybe canned vegetables, canned fish, canned soups etc.
A product property is used to describe any common quality / attribute of a product. Examples of product properties might include colour or size. In the case of canned goods, a property might be “Low Salt”, the number calories or the language used to label the product. When a property is created it is always defined at the product family level.
How are product properties used within CRM? As a product is added to an opportunity the user will have the ability to enter values for the whatever properties exist for this family of products. And as the opportunity progresses in the sales cycle into quote, order and invoice the property values can be maintained.
Product families need to be created BEFORE you create your products! When creating a product, it can be associated to a family but once created this field cannot be changed. Meaning you need to map out your product family structure before creating any products. Once set the product family cannot be changed.
Product families and properties are created in the products section of the product catalog. (The product catalog can be found under settings in CRM.)
Create a Product Family
Clicking “ADD FAMILY” will load a quick create form that allows the creation of a new product family. Notice that you can create a hierarchy of product families by giving the family a parent. And that product families, like products can have a valid from and to date.
As with products, product families start off with a draft status. It is important to remember to publish them to make them active.
When publishing, two options are available. You can publish the individual record or also use the publish hierarchy option.
Add Product Properties
Product properties are created from the product family record, via the sub grid on the product family main form. When I create a product property it is given a name and description. It is then possible to decide if the product property is read-only, required or hidden.
Next we can define the data type. Possible options include options set, decimal, floating point number, single line of text or whole number.
Below is an example of a product property. Notice I have said this property is required and that it is an option set. I have also defined a default value.
As my data type is an option set I can then add the options. In the case of low salt I have just two options. “Yes” it has low salt or “No” it doesn’t!
Below you can see that I have added a number of properties to my canned goods family. Including a text field, whole number and option set.
(And link to a family)
I covered creating products in a previous post so I won’t go into detail here. But notice that the product below has been assigned to a product family. Actually canned vegetables has a parent of canned goods, so I’ve assigned this product the family hierarchy.
The family field on the product form initially shows as parent product but having entered a product family the label name changes to “Family Hierarchy”. Notice that the field is read only, it cannot be changed.
Because I had predefined a number of product properties for the canned vegetable family, when the product is saved these properties are carried forward to the product properties of the newly created product.
A note on revising product properties might be appropriate at this point, if you need to add or change any product properties. You will need to revise the product family and then republish. When the family is published the property changes will be populated onto the products related to that family.
Products on the opportunity with properties
To recap the entire process …
- Create the product family. (or hierarchy of families)
- Add properties to the family.
- Publish (activate) the family or families.
- Created a product linked to the family.
- Publish the product.
- Assigned the product to a price list.
Once all these steps are complete you can add the product to an opportunity. (Or other transactional records such as quote, order and invoice.) Below you can see that I have added the product to an opportunity and the properties option has become enabled. (The green tick indicates that the required fields have been entered, if anything is missing I’d see a red cross.)
Clicking edit on the product properties gives me the following dialog allowing entry of the properties I defined against the product family. Notice that some of the fields are mandatory.
As preparation for the MB2-713 exam I encourage you to attempt this process in CRM 2016. As you can see there are quite a few steps and some must be done upfront as the product family details cannot be changed once assigned to a product.
Hopefully you will have found this post useful for your exam preparation. J