Create call center catalogs [AX 2012]

Updated: March 4, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

In a call center, you can use product catalogs to identify the products that you want to offer to customers. Call centers typically use printed catalogs. The design and production of a printed catalog is handled outside Microsoft Dynamics AX, but you can create and store a digital form of a catalog in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail by using the same forms that you use to set up online Retail catalogs.

Before you can create a catalog, you must set up product assortments and assign the assortments to a call center. You then add products to the catalog by selecting products from these assortments. After products have been added to the catalog, and the catalog is complete, you must validate the catalog to verify the data. You must then submit the catalog for review and approval. After the catalog is approved, it can be published.

When a call center catalog is created, you can take a snapshot of the catalog data at the time that the catalog is published. This snapshot functionality lets you access a particular version of the catalog even if the catalog is later changed and updated.

Call center catalogs can also be set up to include the following optional features:

  • Source codes – Codes that are used to track the customer response to particular catalog mailings.

  • Free products – Products that are included in a customer's order at no additional charge. These products are added to the order automatically when the source code for the catalog is entered into the order.

  • Scripts – Texts that a call center worker reads to a customer when a sales order is being created. Scripts can include greetings or purchase suggestions.

These options can be set up after the catalog is validated and approved, but before it is published.

The following table shows the prerequisites that must be in place before you start.

Category

Prerequisite

Related setup tasks

Set up products and product assortments:

Setting up retail products

Set up an assortment

Create a call center:

Set up a call center

Add the call center to an organization hierarchy:

Create or modify an organization hierarchy

You must first create a catalog, add products to the catalog, and then review and update the attributes for the products.

To create a catalog, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs.

  2. On the Action Pane, in the New group, click Catalog to create a new catalog.

    You can also create a new catalog by copying an existing catalog. To copy a catalog, on the Catalogs list page, select a catalog. Then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Copy.

  3. In the Create new catalog dialog box, enter a name and a description for the catalog.

  4. In the Catalogs form, on the General FastTab, select the catalog owner. Enter an effective date and expiration date for the catalog.

    The Expiration date field is optional. Leave this field blank if the catalog does not expire.

  5. Optional: If you want to save a version of the catalog as it exists at the time that it is published, select the Take snapshot check box.

    The snapshot captures information about products that are included in the catalog, and also about the price groups that are associated with the catalog.

  6. On the Retail channels FastTab, click Add.

  7. In the Choose organization nodes form, select the call centers that the catalog applies to, and then click Add >>. Close the form.

    NoteNote

    Before you can associate the catalog with a call center, the call center must be set up and added to an organization hierarchy. For information about how to set up a call center, see Set up a call center. For information about how to add a retail channel to an organization hierarchy, see Create or modify an organization hierarchy.

  8. On the Action Pane, click Price groups, and then click Add to add a price group to the catalog. For more information about price groups, see Setting up prices using price groups.

    NoteNote

    After a snapshot is created for a catalog, you must retract and republish the catalog if you change any of the price group information, such as trade agreement prices or retail discounts.

  9. Below the Action Pane, in the Category hierarchy field, select a category hierarchy that you want to use to organize products in the catalog. Then, on the Action Pane, in the Products group, click Add products.

    NoteNote

    To add products to a specific category, in the category navigation pane, select a category, and then, on the Products FastTab, click Add.

    NoteNote

    Product assortments must be set up before you can use the Add products form. This setup is part of the setup for retail products. For more information, see Assortments.

  10. In the Add products form, select the products to add to the catalog, and then click OK.

    NoteNote

    If you add a product master to the catalog, any variants that are defined for the product master are also automatically added. When the catalog is published, the product master and all its variants are made available to the call center.

    Products that are assigned to a category are automatically added to that category in the catalog. Products that are not assigned to a category are added to the Uncategorized category in the catalog. Products in the Uncategorized category must be manually assigned to the appropriate category in the catalog.

  11. To assign uncategorized products to an appropriate category in the catalog, follow these steps:

    1. In the category navigation pane, select the Uncategorized category.

    2. On the Products FastTab, select the products to categorize.

    3. Click Categorize products.

    4. Select the category to move the products to.

      You can select one or more products to move to single category at the same time. To move products to different categories, you must select them and move them one at a time.

  12. In the category navigation pane, select each category in the catalog, and then follow one or more of these steps:

    • To review the list of products, click the Products FastTab.

    • To add products to the selected category, click Add.

    • To remove products from the selected category, click Remove. You can delete products from a catalog category only if the catalog has not been published. If the catalog has been published, you can remove products from the catalog category, but the catalog must be republished before the change takes effect.

      NoteNote

      To remove products from the whole catalog, on the Action Pane, click Remove products, and then, in the Remove products dialog box, select the products to remove.

    • To open the Related products form, where you can view the list of products that are associated with the products, click Related products. You can select whether the catalog includes or excludes the related products.

  13. Click Attributes to view the attributes that are assigned to the products, and add or modify attribute values if changes are required.

    NoteNote

    You can update product attributes in bulk. For more information, see Bulk edit product attributes by using Excel.

After you have finished setting up the catalog, you must run the validation process. This process verifies that the data that is required for channel attributes and product attributes is complete and valid, and that the catalog can be published.

To validate a catalog, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, on the Action Pane, in the Publish group, click Validate catalog.

  3. In the Validate catalog form, on the Action Pane, click Validate catalog to run the validation process.

    If the validation process has never been run for the catalog, the fields in the form are blank. If the validation process has previously been run for the catalog, the results from the last validation are displayed in the form. You can run the validation process as many times as you require.

  4. In the Channel summary section, review any errors or warnings for the call center.

  5. In the Product summary section, in the Channel field, select the call centers that are assigned to the catalog, and then review any errors or warnings for the products.

  6. Correct any errors that are found by the validation process. Then repeat steps 2 through 5 until the catalog is valid and ready to be submitted for review.

After a catalog is validated, you can submit the catalog for review and approval. A catalog must be approved before it can be published. You can configure workflow so that catalogs either are automatically approved or require manual approval.

For information about how to configure workflow for retail product catalogs, see Set up workflow for retail catalogs.

To submit a catalog for review and approval, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, in the workflow message bar, click Submit.

    The catalog status is changed from Draft to Submitted for approval. When the catalog is approved, the catalog status is changed to Approved.

  3. If you are an approver, in the Catalogs form, in the workflow message bar, click Approve.

    When the catalog is approved, the catalog status is changed to Approved.

Catalog source codes, free products, and scripts can be added to a call center catalog at any time before publication. These options don't have to be validated and approved.

To add source codes, follow the procedures in Set up catalog source codes.

After you have a source code set up, you can add free products to the catalog. To add free products, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, click Edit.

  2. On the Action Pane, in the Call center group, click Free products.

  3. Click New, select the product to add, and then click Add. Repeat this step to add more free products, and then click OK.

To add scripts, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, click Edit.

  2. Click the Scripts FastTab.

  3. Click Add to add a new line.

  4. In the Script name field, select a script. Set the other fields in the list to the values that you require.

  5. If you want the script to be displayed at order time, select the Active check box.

By publishing a catalog for a call center, you finalize the product information in the catalog. Publication also indicates that the catalog is ready for additional actions that you want to perform, such as creating a printed catalog. You can publish your catalogs manually, or you can use a batch process to publish according to a schedule. Before you can publish a catalog, the catalog must be validated and approved. To change the catalog after it is published, you can retract the catalog and then republish it.

To publish a catalog, follow these steps.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, on the Action Pane, in the Publish group, click Publish.

  3. In the Publish catalog form, in the Publish field, select one of the following options:

    • Only products that have changed – Select this option to publish only the changes that have been made to the catalog since it was last published.

    • All products – Select this option if the catalog is being published for the first time, or if you want to republish the whole catalog.

  4. Click OK to start the publication process.

If you don't have access to the pages that are used to complete this task, contact your system administrator and provide the information that is shown in the following table.

Category

Prerequisite

Configuration keys

Retail Headquarters configuration key

Call center configuration key

Source code configuration key (if you set up source codes and free products)

Security roles

Retail catalog manager


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