The topic of our Lunch and Learn session this week was Merging Customers. Merging is the process of combining two customer records within the LMS software into a single record. There are several scenarios under which a merge should (or should NOT) be used:
- If a single customer or entity exists on multiple portfolios within the core accounting system, then multiple records will be imported into the Suntell LMS database through the nightly download. For example, customer John Smith might exist under Portfolio number 12345 and also under Portfolio number 67890. That is exactly when the merge function should be used: to combine those duplicate customer records within the LMS.
- The merge should NOT be used to combine related customers that may exist on the same portfolio. For example, John Smith may exist on portfolio 12345 with Nameline 1 and Mary Smith may exist on the same portfolio with Nameline 2. Those would import into Suntell as 12345.1 and 12345.2 respectively. In this case, John Smith and Mary Smith are Related Interests, not duplicates of the same customer. The merge should NOT be used in this case.
- Sometimes duplicates may occur when a user accidentally adds a new record for a customer, for a new proposed loan, and an existing record already existed. In this case, cleanup is the better way to handle the duplication, rather than the merge functionality.