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I am not currently using Compiere to manage my customer database for one reason -- I sell direct to consumers and my existing database has fields for both first name and last name. I feel like I would loose potentially valuable information by merging the name fields into Compiere's single business partner "name" field. For example, it would be more difficult to match my customer records with other mailing lists if I loose the Last Name/First Name separation.
It seems like this would be a common issue for anybody involved in direct-customer sales (as opposed to B2B).
How have you dealt with this?
Yes, it doesn't really fit for B2C. We decided to add a column in Contacts for first name. So we go:
BPName is Lastname and Firstname together
ContactName has separated Lastname and Firstname fields.
During Business Partner Import you'll have to come back afterwards with SQL to populate the Firstname field.
By the way it's not 100% certain that combining the two is *not* a good thing. Seems to me the main thing you lose is ability to generate personalised form letters (who wants to write to "Dear Mr Joe Bloggs,"?) Other than that, though, putting them together is kind of interesting. But still, for now we're trying with them separated, as above. Good luck!