Manage your Products and Services in Business Contact Manager

You can use Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010 to help you keep track of the product and service items that you use in your business. You can also store descriptions of the item, unit costs, and your prices for each item.

You can import a list of product and service items from another program, or you can add products or services individually. When you add products and service items to Opportunity records, you can also change the item information, such as default quantities or prices, for each specific customer.

This article describes how to import a list of products and services, how to edit your list or a single item on the list, how to delete items from the list, and how to change the currency settings used by the list.

What do you want to do?

Create and import a list of products and services

Add a product or service to the list

Edit a product or service item

Delete a product or service item

Add a product or service to an Opportunity record

Modify product and service items in an Opportunity record

Change the currency used in your items list

Create and import a list of products and services

To import a products and services list into Business Contact Manager for Outlook, create a list of the items and save it as a comma separated values file (.csv). The first row or line of your .csv file must be the column headings of your list, so you should ensure that the first row of your list consists of column headings.

To successfully import a list of products and service items in the .csv file format, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must create a separate line in the file for each item that you are importing.

  • Each item record must contain these three fields: Item Name, Item Description, and Unit Price.

  • The fields must be separated by commas, with no spaces before or after the commas.

In your .csv file, you can use one of several column arrangements.

Three-column arrangement

Item NameDescriptionUnit Price

Type the item name, description and unit price as you normally would, with spaces, but do not put spaces between the column headings. Here's an example of how the information should look:

Item Name 1,Item Description 1,Unit Price 1

Item Name 2,Item Description 2,Unit Price 2

You can also add an optional fourth field for Item Quantity and a fifth field for Unit Cost.

Four-column arrangement

Item NameDescriptionUnit PriceQuantity

Type the item name, description and unit price as you normally would, with spaces, but do not put spaces between the column headings. Here's an example of how the information should look:

Item Name 1,Item Description 1,Unit Price 1,Quantity 1

Five-column arrangement

Item NameDescriptionUnit PriceQuantity Unit Cost

Type the item name, description and unit price as you normally would, with spaces, but do not put spaces between the column headings. Here's an example of how the information should look:

Item Name 1,Item Description 1,Unit Price 1,Quantity 1,Unit Cost 1

Example for Excel

Here's how a two-item list might appear in Excel. It consists of a heading row followed by a row for each item.

Item Name

Description

Unit Price

Bicycle chain

Titanium 48"

56.50

Water bottle

Crystal clear blue

11.75

Example for Notepad

If you're editing the file in a text editor such as Notepad, create a separate line in the file for each item that you are importing, and separate the items in each line by commas, with no spaces before or after the commas. Remember that the first line is assumed to be heading text.

Item Name,Description,Unit Price
Bicycle chain,Titanium 48",56.50
Water bottle,Crystal clear blue,11.75

Punctuation and monetary guidelines

The product prices and quantities cannot include currency symbols or internal punctuation. The only exception is that you can use a decimal point for currency. For example:

  • For an amount in whole numbers, type 10000, to represent an amount of ten thousand.

  • For an amount that includes a fraction, such as prices, include the decimal point. Type 10.50 to represent a price of ten dollars and fifty cents.

Import your products and services list

Once you have prepared your .csv file, you can import it. During the import you can choose either to add the new items to your existing list of products and services, or to replace your existing list with the new list.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Customize group, click Products and Services.

  3. In the Products and Services dialog box, click Import, and then follow the instructions in the Import Product and Service Items wizard.

    Note:  If an error message in the log file says that items are already in Business Contact Manager for Outlook, and you want the items in your file to overwrite the existing items, start the import again, and click the Replace existing list with items in this file in the Import Products and Service Items dialog box.

    For more information about how to import a .csv file into Business Contact Manager for Outlook, see Import your data into Business Contact Manager.

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Add a product or service to the list

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Customize group, click Products and Services.

  3. In the Products and Services dialog box, click Add.

  4. In the Add Product or Service dialog box, type the Item Name, Description, Default Quantity, Unit Cost, and Unit Price.

    The Markup field is calculated automatically.

    More information about details you can add to products or service items in the Add Product or Service dialog box

    Field

    Description

    Item name

    Type the name of the product or service item.

    Description

    Type a description of the product or service.

    Default Quantity

    Type the number of products or services that you typically sell at one time. The default quantity is 1.

    Unit cost

    Type the cost of a single unit of the product or service.

    Markup

    The difference between the cost and price of a unit is automatically calculated, and is displayed in the Markup field.

    Unit Price

    Type the price of a single unit of the product or service.

    Tax

    Select Taxable to indicate that tax is required for an item.

  5. If taxes are assessed on the product or service, select the Taxable check box.

    Tip:  Many states, counties, and cities have sales taxes that must be added to the price of goods and services sold. Refer to your state's department of revenue Web site to find out what taxes are applicable in your area.

  6. Do one of the following:

    • Click Add Next to save the item to the list and add another product or service item.

    • Click Save to add the item to the list and close the dialog box.

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Edit a product or service item

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Customize group, click Products and Services.

  3. In the Product and Services dialog box, click the item, and then click Edit.

  4. In the Edit Product or Service dialog box, change any of the following information: Item Name, Description, Default Quantity, Unit cost, or Unit Price.

    For more information about the fields you can update in the Add Product or Service dialog box, see Add a product or service to the list

  5. Click Save.

  6. Click OK to close the Products and Services dialog box, or click another item in the list, and then click Edit to edit it.

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Delete a product or service item

Deleting products and services will permanently remove them from your database.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Customize group, click Products and Services.

  3. In the Product and Services dialog box, click an item in the list, and then click Delete.

  4. When prompted, click Yes to delete the item.

  5. Click OK to close the Product and Services dialog box, or click another item in the list, and then click Delete to delete it.

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Add a product or service to an Opportunity record

To help you keep track of which of your products or services the contact for an Opportunity is interested in, you can associate products and services with an Opportunity record. Add the product or service from your existing products and services list, or add a new product or service item altogether.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Opportunities tab double-click the record that you want to open.

  3. In the Products and services information section, click Add.

  4. Do one of the following in the Item name box:

    • Click the item that you want to add from the product and service items list.

      The rest of the information is automatically added to the form. Change the information as needed. The changes apply only to items that you add to the selected Opportunity record.

    • Type a name for the new item that you want to create and add to the Opportunity record.

      Note:  New items that you create directly in an Opportunity record are not added to your Product and Services List. They are added to the selected Opportunity record only.

    • Click Edit this list to add a new item to the Product and Service Items List.

      1. In the Products and Services dialog box, click Add.

      2. Complete the information in the dialog box, and then click OK.

      3. In the Add Product or Service dialog box, click the item that you just added, and then click OK. The item information is automatically added to the Opportunity form.

  5. In the Add Products or Services dialog box, type the information in the Description, Default Quantity, Unit Cost, Unit Price, and Discount boxes. The Markup and Line Total (Before Discount) and Line Total fields are calculated automatically. If you collect and pay a sales tax or other tax on the product or service, select the Taxable check box.

More information about details you can add to an Opportunity record in the Add Product or Service dialog box.

Field

Description

Item name

Type the name of the product or service.

Description

Type a description of the product or service.

Quantity

Type the number of products or services for this Opportunity.

Unit cost

Type the cost of a single unit of the product or service.

Markup

The difference between the cost and price of a unit is automatically calculated, and is displayed in the Markup field.

Unit Price

Type the price of a single unit of the product or service.

Line Total (Before Discount)

Total price of the quantity of items. This number is calculated automatically.

Discount (%)

If you offer a discount, type the percentage by which you are reducing the price of the item.

Line Total

Total price of the quantity of items after the discount is applied. This number is calculated automatically.

Tax

Select Taxable to indicate that tax is required for an item.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Click Add Next to save the item to the list and add another product or service item.

    • Click OK to add the item to the list and close the dialog box.

    • Click Cancel to close the Add Product or Service dialog box.

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Modify product and service items in an Opportunity record

When you give a quote to someone, you may offer a discount, add a product or service that you don't usually offer, or even eliminate one of your usual products or services. To keep track of these modifications, you can add, edit, or delete items directly from any Opportunity record. The changes you make will apply only to the selected Opportunity record, and will not affect the products and services list in the Business Contact Manager database.

In the Products and services section of the Opportunity record you're editing, click Add, or select an item in the list and then click Edit, or Remove.

  • If you clicked Add:

    1. In the Add Product or Service dialog box, type the Item Name, Description, Quantity, Unit Cost, and Unit Price. Add a Discount percentage, if desired.

    2. Update any other fields that you want to update, as described in Add a product or service to an Opportunity record.

    3. Click OK to close the Add Product or Service dialog box, or click Add Next to add another item.

  • If you clicked Edit:

    1. In the Edit Product or Service dialog box, type the Item Name, Description, Quantity, Unit Cost and Unit Price, and then include a Discount percentage, if desired.

    2. Click OK to close the Edit Product or Service dialog box.

  • If you clicked Remove, click Yes.

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Change the currency used in your items list

The currency on which you base the cost and price of your product and service items is determined by the regional settings on your computer. You cannot use currency from multiple regions in Business Contact Manager for Outlook.

Change the regional settings on the computer running Business Contact Manager for Outlook

Microsoft Windows XP

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options.

    • In Category View, click Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options, and then click Regional and Language Options.

  3. On the Regional Options tab, click Customize.

  4. Click the Currency tab, and then from the Currency symbol list, click the symbol that you want.

    Windows Vista

  5. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  6. In Classic View. double-click Regional and Language Options.

  7. On the Formats tab, click Customize this format.

  8. Click the Currency tab, and then from the Currency symbol list, click the symbol you want.

    Windows 7

    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

    2. Double-click Clock, Language and Region.

    3. Under Region and Language, click Change the date, time, or number format.

    4. In the Region and Language dialog box, in the Format list, click the country with the format that you want to use, and then click Additional Options.

    5. In the Customize Format dialog box, click the Currency tab, and then from the Currency symbol list, click the symbol that you want to use.

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