Contact Relationship Options

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So far you have seen one technique for referencing people within the system – the use of the internal or external hierarchy to context a person to an organization.

This standard feature provides a basic method of describing a person’s relationship with a single organization, but will not be sufficient to reflect types of relationships that you may need to manage: their reporting relationship, their relationship with other organizations and their relationship with other people.

There are three additional techniques you can use to represent these types of relationships.

  • Organization Charts – this feature is useful when you need to show the reporting relationships between people in an organization (or even between organizations). Their reporting relationships as reflected in the organization chart is independent of their position in the organization structure so, for example, the “branch manager” in one branch would report to someone in a different part of the hierarchy. Within the system you can create an organization chart for any organization, internal or external, and link people between different organization charts.
  • Associates/Associations – this feature is used when you need to track a contact’s relationships with more than one organization. This feature allows the contact to be associated with any number of organizations.
  • People Relationships – this feature is used where you need to describe one person’s relationship with another person, independent of any organization or reporting structure. Using this feature you define the “types” or relationships such as “school friend”, “spouse”, ‘bridge partner” and then link contacts together through these relationship types.

In addition to these techniques, you can also create indirect relationships between people using many SmartSimple applications. For example, multiple contacts can be assigned to the same project within the Universal Tracking Application.