Sixth Day of CRMas: Multi-Entity Process Flow and the Domino's Pizza Tracker App

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Welcome to Day 6 of our 12 Days of CRMas (Find Days 1-5 on The Customer Effective Blog). In this blog series, we are going to explore the best and brightest Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013's new features.  Today we'll take a look at the new business process flow feature.

imageA customer asked us recently to explain the value and use case of multi-entity process flows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  We walked through required process stages, labels, sales fulfillment, entity enablement and other minutia related to CRM Business Processes. The customer stopped and said, “Well that’s just like the Domino's Pizza Tracker App”. Huh? “Yeah; I stated the process by ordering a pizza and I’m going finish it by paying.  I’m not baking it, boxing it or delivering it, but it is my process and I’m going to watch it all the way through.”

Are you baking the pizza, or just ordering?

That’s exactly the case with multi-entity process flows in Microsoft Dynamics 2013.  You can initiate a process in one record and jump between entities, people, roles, sub-processes, and workflows before your process is finished.  If you design it correctly, the end user is none the wiser to the complexity in the background.  They are using an easy to follow, predefined process that is not going to require much thought on their part.  Just like a pizza tracker.


Example:  Lead to Quote to Opportunity Close

In this example, we’re going to start with a lead, qualify it, create the opportunity, create a quote and qualify the opportunity.  It is important to plan you process and keep in mind the following rules that can be  ‘gotchas’ to first timers.

  • Activate each entity for business processes.  Entities must be turned on for business processes.  Under Customization > Settings > (entity)> General Tab > Process > Business process flows
  • Make sure the entity is able to work with Business Processes.  Not all are.  Any custom entity is OK, and 25 system entities are as well.
  • Be certain where you are starting.  You will need to select a Primary Entity for a multi-entity process, and this cannot be changed.  Also, users will not be able to use this process unless they start with the Primary Entity.  In this example, a user could not pick up this process at Opportunity, even if it has progressed to that stage.
  • Be aware of field security.  If a required step contains any fields with field security, then only users with that security grant can complete the stage and keep it moving.


Once I open the Process Editor, I can add the Included Entities by hitting the “+/-“ button.  Then as I navigate through the related entities, I can edit the stages and steps as I see fit.  For this flow, we planned the following Stages for the following roles:

  • Lead – The lead is qualified by someone on our Marketing Support Team.  Once qualified, an opportunity and account or contact record are created and Sales is notified
  • Opportunity – An email alert is sent to the sales owner.  She is given a link to the Lead record, and when she opens it, she has access this LEAD to QUOTE process. This is important. If she tries to access this Opportunity record from Advanced Find or some other way, she will only be able to see the sales processes that have Opportunity as the primary entity.  Remember, this process has Lead as the primary entity.
  • Quote – Once the Opportunity moves past Develop stage, a task is sent to our Sales Technician to complete a Quote.  Same story here with regards to the system generated email link.  This is important to keep visibility of the designated process.

With a little planning and understanding the nuances, you can design your system and streamline complex process with the new Business Process Flow feature.  Hopefully, you’re users will think it’s as easy as ordering a pizza!

by Customer Effective

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