Using "People" as a currency in CRM

Author by Concurrency Blog

On a recent project, my customer tracked all their sales activities by how many people they impacted instead of how many dollars were generated. This is a standard xRM practice but in most cases, money still makes the world go round. Some may be asking, "What is xRM? And for a quick technical overview check out this link. Now back to capitalism, or lack-there-of. If your organization has a need to track things in a CRM fashion but do not use dollars or otherwise as your "currency," you have two options. The first is fairly common, create custom fields and custom entities to track all the items used as said currency. If this were a ranching xRM system, heads of cattle would be a field in many places within the system. The downfall to this method is that each usable part of CRM now has to be customized and configured in this new way to track the cattle. The other, not-so-common, way to achieve this is to use cattle (or people, or any non-monetary currency) as a currency. WARNING: This fundamentally changes CRM to track something other than money! You may be thinking, "Wow, why would I want to do this?" Or, "Wow, why haven't I thought of this before?" There are many companies and industries that need to organize and track data in CRM (or xRM) type fashion where monetary values don’t always make sense. Agriculture, for example, as there is a need to track livestock but the monetary exchange does not happen until much later, if ever. Or medical treatment centers, in any department other than billing, people are treated as the currency and are tracked as such. Finally, in marketing departments, people or impressions are usually tracked as the currency and the corresponding dollars are handled elsewhere. Disclaimer: Similar to setting the base language, you select your organization's base currency during the purchasing process for a subscription to CRM. After the base currency is set, you can’t change it. However, if your organization uses more than one currency to track financial transactions, you can add currencies. From <https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531140.aspx> Now let's get down to business, first the base currency has to be set to the unit needed for the xRM implementation (for the rest of this example we will use "People"). Obviously, the "People" PPL currency code was not there in the list of available CRM currency codes. In these scenarios, we can type the Currency Code (PPL), Currency Name (People) and Currency Symbol manually and proceed with Organization creation. For the Currency symbol, one can use any ANSII symbol. For People, the female () ANSII symbol works nicely. Finally, for the Currency precision, 0 is usually the best way to go as these will almost always be whole units. new org wizard Now, with the base currency changed to the needed unit of People, all CRM dashboards, reports, and fields that would normally involve Dollars or another currency will reflect People. There will be a few configurations needed here such as fields that would normally be named something relating to money (i.e. Estimated Revenue, etc.); but renaming these fields will end up being substantially less effort than re-creating every report, dashboard, and query in the system. Also, users would need to be trained (or restricted) to not use dollars or other currencies that are still be available in the system if they are in different physical locations as to stick with the base currency of People. In conclusion, if an organization will never use CRM to track monetary amounts, customizing the base currency is an option which allows the organization to leverage all of the out-of-the-box functionality normally tied to monetary fields!
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