Using something other than Company name for Account Name field - Answers - Salesforce Trailblazer Community
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Kristi FoldenKristi Folden 

Using something other than Company name for Account Name field

My small company sells scientific instruments almost exclusively to individual professors in academic institutions.   We do not want to use Person Accounts because of the lack of capabilities.  It does not seem to make sense for us to use the University name as the Account Name because all contacts at the dozens of University of California's (for example) would be thrown into one Account.  This would be hundreds of potential clients all who have their own product interests, revenue generating events (govt grants), own their own assets, submit their own tech support cases, etc.  Our preference is to set up the Professor's laboratory unit as the Account and have multiple contacts from the lab related to the Account (students, technicians, etc.) so we can keep track of our staff's dealings with all of the lab personnel, not just the Professor.  This means we had to create a custom Company field to keep track of the University name which has caused all sorts of issues with things like mail merge (although I was able to fix that one), AppExchange packages (QuoteWerks, ExactTarget), and searching for all contacts at a particular university is somewhat problematic (not for me, but for my boss). 

I am in charge of deciding whether we stay with this Account name designation or change to the standard Salesforce method.  I have found work-arounds for most of the issues, but I am afraid there may be other negative implications I am not aware of, yet.  Does anyone out there use something other than the Company name in the Account Name field?  If so, can you tell me about any other issues that you have encountered and how you dealt with those?

I am incredibly appreciative for any advice you have to offer!  Thanks

Venkat PolisettiVenkat Polisetti
You can use the standard Name field of the Account object to store the name of the Department within the University. I have a couple of items here for you though.

Did you consider using the Account hierarchy. You can use one account for the University (which you never directly sell to) and another account for the Department (which you sell to) within the Univerisity. You set the parent field of the Department account to to University Account. This way you are still selling to the department and also know that the department belongs to the said University. You maintain your contacts at the department level.

Venkat Polisetti