When adding a new customer CMS should display other customers that have a matching address
For example, if the system matches the zip code, last name, and first 4 digits in the address to a record that already exists, a window would pop up and tell you that so you don't add that customer again.
You're right, we do have this feature in the Contact Manager. CMS shows candidates based on name or company matches as they are being entered. here is a short video illustrating - http://screencast.com/t/BnlQqszYlZlm
I'll have to have a word with our Product Manager to see why he didn't tell me about this! :)
So, while matching is taking place on name, should there also be matching on address? This is possible but something we're not doing in Order Entry either, but could.
To come up with a list of candidates CMS would essentially ignore the name altogether and look at the elements of the address, probably numbers only between street (address line 3) and zip (5 digits only). Fwiw, this is how the credit card companies perform address verification (AVS) on your billing address, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address_Verification_System
I'll also reiterate a point from my previous comment regarding matching (displaying candidates) on email or phone as that also seems quite beneficial to solving this problem.
Agreed. Some of our customers are husband/wife and don't use one name exclusively when ordering. We end up having to merge their records, due to the name, even though the address is the same. Also, some last names change over time w/ marriage/divorce etc, but the customer doesn't notify us- ends up duplicating account.
MB Wright commented
Don't we already have this?
A really interesting idea and we already have the matching logic in place which is used for order importing...so I'd think it wouldn't be too hard to take the next step and check it during save in the Contact Manager for a new customer.
That said, I'd prefer to catch the match before the operator takes the time to enter all of that information and goes to save. For example, in Order Entry, when you enter customer information, CMS will display a list of "candidates" based on the contact or company name. In other words, we display possible matches while your entering the data so might be able to save you a fair amount of entry if we can establish the match during entry instead of after. I'd really like to see us employ a similar solution in the Contact Manager.
I think we can improve on this candidates solution by also looking for matches on email address or phone number and have proposed as much. It'd be interesting to see if we can employee your idea in Order Entry as well.
Either way, I don't think my solution precludes the one you've requested but instead supplements it (and yours is a lot easier to implement.)
I'd love to hear feedback from others to indicate if they agree with the proposed approach or how it could be better.