Single Company w/ Multiple locations, separate from contacts

MethodCall
Member

My business has many brick-and-mortar retailers that sell our products.  Some of these companies have more than one location.  Some of them have a different contact for each location, some have a single contact for all locations, and some are a mix of both.

Right now, the workaround is to create a company for each location (which doesn't work well in "single contact for multiple locations" scenarios).  Ideally, there would be a mechanism to attach some sort of "location object" to companies and, then, be able to attach one or more contacts to those location objects.  I can't really speak for anyone else but this sure seems like it would be a desirable behavior for many use cases beyond our own.

 

In a perfect CRM (much like perfect bookkeeping software) I think the ultimate goal is to have the structural components of the software be able to mirror the real world relationships as closely as possible.  Unlike object-oriented software design, abstraction is very much the enemy in this endeavor.  I would like to have one of my retailers (represented by a company) which operates one or more physical locations (represented by the proposed "location object") to which I can attach the people that we actually call on the phone (represented by contacts).  I think we can safely assume that every company has at least one location but a location could have any number of contacts (including zero contacts) and any contact could be our POC for any number of locations, potentially even locations across more than one company.  (This structure has the added benefit of allowing us to, for example, easily pull up a report of "everybody I need to contact to run some sort of promotional rate or in-store marketing campaign in Concord, CA, regardless of company or physical location of the contact.")

 

If the structure was implemented in this way, we would use companies only to represent actual companies, incorporated entities.  They could still have parent and children companies, as they do now.  We would add "locations" that would each be attached to a single company and then contacts would attach to one or more locations, instead of to a company, itself.  The attachment of a contact to a location is, itself, still a bit of an abstraction (as it could represent either "where that guy's desk is" or "what that guy is in charge of") but I don't think this particular abstraction is going to cost us anything in usability or efficacy.  If the ambiguity of that attachment proves troublesome, a boolean flag could be included with the attachment to indicate "contact's physical location" or something along those lines.  Again, this assumes that any contact can be attached to any number of locations, potentially across companies.

Imagine this scenario:  We have Company A with subsidiaries Company B and C.  (A is the parent company of B and C in HotSpot CRM, so far so good.)  Now imagine that I have a contact: an account manager who works for A (and is physically located at A's headquarters) but manages multiple retail locations for B and multiple retail locations for C.  Ok, it's already a ludicrous mess in HotSpot CRM.  How do I tell what address to use to ship something to the account manager, versus to one of the stores he reps?  Let's make it worse.  Imagine that I have another account manager that handles pilot store locations for B and C.  (HotSpot CRM is now actively working against my attempts to organize and describe these relationships.)  I need to talk to the account manager in charge of B's Fort Worth, TX pilot store (as opposed to B's (or C's) Fort Worth, TX mainline store).  This scenario illustrates a scenario where I would actually be better off keeping this information in a spreadsheet...all because the structure of the CRM is abstracted too far away from the real world relationships.

If you've kept reading this far, I thank you for your time.  Truly.  (This post has gone on way longer than I intended!)

12 Replies 12
RachelAppleman
HubSpot Employee

Hi there,

 

Thanks for reaching out to our HubSpot Community! I hope my response finds you well.

 

First of all, I want to thank you and let you know I appreciate the lengthy description and scenario you provided in your initial inquiry. It definitely helps myself understand better your overall goal, as well as provide insight into the many different ways our customers are utilizing the HubSpot CRM.

 

In regards to a possible resolution for you, there is a new feature in the HubSpot CRM for utilizing parent and child company records. You can read more about this feature here in this article from our HubSpot Academy.

 

Essentially, you will assign one company record in HubSpot to be the "parent" company, and then will be able to link those other child companies to the parent company on the record itself. This will help when addressing those contacts who are associated with a specific branch or location of the company record in question. 

 

Again, while this is the only current workaround offerered in the CRM, I highly recommend submitting this to our HubSpot Community Ideas Exchange. This is a great platform for communicating feature requests to our Product Team. It also allows other customers to vote on and comment on the idea. As a result, it helps us better prioritize features that are having the greatest impact on our customers. Here is an outline for best practices when submitting an idea to our Community.  

I'd encourage you to include as much detail as possible (as you already have!) in your post, the more Product knows about your idea – who it’s for, what the motivation is, and what the actual product/tool is, the more accurate Product be when it comes time to prioritise and scope it. Our Product Managers regularly review new ideas and engage with customers for their feedback. We appreciate the time and effort our customers put in to communicating product feedback to HubSpot. Our Product team will put every effort into implementing ideas that will benefit the majority of HubSpot's user base and fit in with our product roadmap.

 

All the best,
Rachel Appleman
HubSpot Customer Support

MethodCall
Member
In regards to a possible resolution for you, there is a new feature in the HubSpot CRM for utilizing parent and child company records. You can read more about this feature here in this article from our HubSpot Academy.

I have seen this workaround suggested before but, unfortunately, it does not provide the functionality required for my business (or any business like mine).

 

Companies and Contacts are currently too closely coupled (in the programming sense) to allow the kind of flexibility that is required.  In the real world, these things are loosely coupled (in the programming sense) and, as such, HubSpot CRM will have to also loosely couple these constructs in order to properly reflect real world relationships.

 

I tell ya what, though, if HubSpot CRM does implement this, you'll gain my business.  Other than this close coupling issue, I actually really like HubSpot CRM.  This issue is the only dealbreaker I've seen.

Maxahmus
Participant

I am in the same boat as you.. We service many multisite franchise locations and having the ability to have some sort of "Locations" option would be ideal.. For now I will work with the Parent Child thing - im honestly not certain on how this will impact me... Regardless I do appreciate your write up as it accurately describes my own business needs as well. 

0 Upvotes
Airlift
Participant

Any ideas for solving this other than creating a proliferation of companies?

 

0 Upvotes
nancyjanel
Participant

So succinctly said!  Thank you - I have the same scenarios and am completely baffled how to handle it (new user).  The "parent" company may not even be a true parent company, but just another location that are all equal, so that was throwing me off.  Are you going to submit to the product team as the HubSpot employee suggests?  If you don’t have time, I’ll use your message to send it to them.  Thank you again! 

RachelAppleman
HubSpot Employee

Hi Nancy,

 

If you write up the post to the Community Ideas Exchange, I will be sure to add my like/kudos as to further promote the idea to our Product team 🙂

 

Best,

Rachel

dschroed
Participant

Hi @RachelAppleman 

 

any update on this please - the Enhancement / Idea was shared in the right spot - and two years later, not even a response, neither acknowledgment. 

 

I find this frustrating, that Support and Community memebers divert to the idea forum, where no response follows! Not encouraging, to use the idea forum if this is the case! 

 

@MethodCall  thanks for posting it on the idea forum - added my comment, asking for a roadmap update and upvoted as well. 

0 Upvotes
MethodCall
Member

As requested, I have posted up a (slightly revised) version of this post in HubSpot Ideas.  Please vote!

 

It can be found here:

https://community.hubspot.com/t5/HubSpot-Ideas/Real-World-Relationships-Between-Companies-Contacts-a...

tghinc
Member

Looks like the request is falling upon deaf ears.  Sad.

Mark_J_Fellows
Participant
Hi
I agree with your requirements but have another complexity to add
We often have a contact, such as the IT guly but it could also be an accountant, who appears as a contact at several unconnected companies and locations.
mark_poyser
Participant

Hi All,

I concur with Method Calls description of requiremnts for the system and this rings true with other system that I have used in the past. Most companies deal with one or more other company either as a supplier or customer whereby there are multiple divisions involved that sit beneath the parent company. In many occasions the different divisions are in different countries, therefore have different addresses, different budgets and P & Ls, sometimes even different VAT numbers and Company Registation Numbers.

 

My company will sell products to both a parent company and its subsideries, all may have different addresses.

 

the best example of the functionality I believe is required is an Amazon account. There is the abilty to register multiple delivery addresses against one account. At the point of placing the order, you choose the correct delivery address from your list and place the order. This is what is required wthin Hubspot. Have the ability to register multiple addresses against a Company and then at the point of creating a quotation you can select the appropriate address from the list.

 

Would Parent and Child Companies work for this? and create the subsidery companies below a parent? What are the pros and cons for this?

 

I am unsure as at this point I do not know enough about that feature

0 Upvotes
Lucinda
Contributor

We have exactly the same problem. Would be great to see all our contacts for one company on one overarching company record and then be able to assign them office locations.  It's great to see Hubspot developing other areas of the product for B2B so this is the next logical downfall of the product to address - please.