CRM Icon not available in Add-on Tab during Mail Merge

Mail Merge Functionality is one of the great features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and is usually very easy to set up.  However, recently, while creating a mail merge template for a customer that has IFD (Internet Facing Deployment) of CRM, the CRM icon that normally appears during a Mail Merge process in the Add-Ons Tab in Word was not available.  This meant that I could not select the fields /or records from CRM to create the mail merge.

Dynamics CRM Toolbar

Searches on the internet, provided clues that might be missing from my Microsoft Word template.  The template is normally present when you are using CRM for Outlook Add-on for mail merges.  In this case, I was not using the CRM for Outlook client but instead was using the web IFD interface.

To resolve the issue:

  1. Open Word Document (Word 2010)
  2. Go to File|Options|Add-ons
  3. Confirm that is not present in the list of Add-ons
  4. Search your computer for and CRMtemplate.dotm  (it should be present in a Microsoft folder)
  5. Go File|Options|Add-ons|Manage (Select Templates from drop down menu)
  6. Click on Go
  7. Navigate to the location where the .dot and dotm templates are stored and add them
  8. Try to do the mail merge again and the CRM icon should be available in the Add –Ons tab in Word.

Dynamics CRM Add-Ins Window

Dynamics CRM Templates and Add-ins


This post was written by Var Galpchian, CRM Application Consultant for Tridea Partners, a Microsoft Dynamics partner serving the Southern California and Salt Lake City regions.




Craft Brewers – How to Perfectly Match Supply with Demand

Whether you sell your beer direct to the customer or through distributors, keeping supply even with demand is an ongoing struggle for any craft brewer.  For example, you might have that specialty brew that you want to allocate to only your best customers, yet you have no controls over how much of this brew a customer receives from your sale team giving it all away to the wrong customer.  Furthermore, how do you take sales forecasts from 200 different customers, then consolidate those forecasts to analyze how much of that style of beer (maybe that specialty beer) you’ll need next month, or in 6 months.  Of course, you need someone to sense-check those forecasts that the salesperson has entered to calibrate their optimism for how much they believe they’re going to sell.  This forecast can then drive your brewery schedule and raw materials and packaging purchasing.  You need to make sure you have enough raw hops and malt to meet this demand, then the right packaging to finish the sellable product.  There is a shelf-life to your quality beer, so a delicate balance of brewing just enough beer to meet your demand is ever so important to your industry.  Also, how do I net the forecast to what has already been ordered and what has been produced.  These are important problems to solve and it takes the right business management system and industry knowledge to address the challenges of supply and demand for the craft brewers industry.

Demand Drives Supply: Sales Forecast > Sales Forecast Approval > Consolidated Forecasts > Forecast and Sales Orders (sales team / distributors / customers) > Production Scheduling (Brewering) > Production Execution > Purchasing


Written by Andy Collins, Partner at Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a gold certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner serving the Southern California and Salt Lake City regions.

Clinical Trials Cost Management in Accounting Software

When it comes to clinical trials costs management in a financial or accounting system, we see many different approaches depending on the type of trials, existing business processes, and the financial executives’ ideals. The approach usually fallls into one of the following three different methods.

At the simplest of approaches, we see that life science companies put a segment into their chart of accounts the represents a clinical trial, and many times a sub-trial or task related to that trial. This approach can be very simple and effective as they can then sort and report on that particular segment on their chat of accounts, as well as allocate the appropriate expense or revenue activity to that segment. However, there are a couple of challenges associated with this approach, including those trials that might span multiple fiscal years; because of the desire to track a budget specifically to that trial (or sub-trial, task and other dimension). A typical GL budget can only be associated to one fiscal year. Also, if there are a lot of trials coming and going, you increase your chart of accounts exponentially.

A second approach we see it that a company uses a “project accounting” type system to track costs against a “project.” this is a very effective approach if a company wants employees to enter time and allocate that time to different clinical trials (and sub-trials, tasks, etc). This method can also be effective if they want to allocate material to inventory to a clinical trial. However, there is a lot of system management, software costs and implementation costs that go with maintaining such project accounting systems.

Lastly, we see the life science companies using another means to track their activity associated with clinical trials, and that’s by creating a separate “cost bucket”or “dimension” that can sit outside the GL account code structure. These dimensions can have sub-dimensions or tasks associated to it, along with its own budget and filtered reporting on the trial. This budget can then span multiple fiscal years, unlike a GL budget. With this “cost bucket” also off the GL account code it is easy for them to come and go without affecting your overall size of the chart of accounts. This last method is becoming the most popular method for clinical trials costs management amongst our life science clients.

Written by Andy Collins, Partner at Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a Microsoft Dynamics Partner located in Southern California specializing in Life Sciences.



SmartList in Dynamics GP

SmartList is a powerful querying tool that comes with Microsoft Dynamics GP.  It allows you to view and search through all of your system’s raw data, which GP also conveniently organizes by module in folders and subfolders.  You can choose to set search for data from a wide selection of parameters as well as add additional fields to your SmartList view.  You can create custom reports and set them as reminders to your home page.  So, for example, you could have notifications of any negative customer balances or a certain number of orders past due.  Here are some of the benefits and highlights of SmartList.

User friendly and comes with prebuilt reports

 SmartList organizes all your hard data into folders and subfolders based on which module it originates: General Ledger, Sales/Receivables, Purchasing/Payables, Inventory.  You’ll notice these folders in the left content pane of SmartList.  This makes it easy to filter by module to obtain the data you are searching for.  Within each subfolder, Dynamics GP comes with canned reports.  Some examples of this are views for: posted past due customers, open sales orders and items shipped today.  The benefit of having these prebuilt reports is that it saves users the time of having to create their own from scratch.  Or, if you need a more advanced report, you can use the canned report as a basis to create your view –thereby saving you a bit of time, since GP has done some of the legwork for you.

SmartList in Dynamics GP

Personalize SmartList reports by adding Columns and search criteria

If you click on the Columns button and then Add, you can add additional header fields to your view.  GP provides a long list of fields to select from and you can choose to add an unlimited number of fields to your view.  This makes SmartList very versatile in terms of customizing views for each user and company department’s needs.

One useful header worth pointing out is “Void Status” (Yes or No) for Payables and Receivables.  This field is especially helpful because it allows you to set a restriction that ensures you are searching for only data that is valid.  Often times, users may be viewing incorrect subtotals if they forget to exclude the range of transactions that have been voided.

Personalize GP SmartList reports

If you click on the Search button, you are given a total of four search parameters.  You can use any field as a search criteria and set a wide variety of filters, including but not limited to: date ranges, greater than/less than/equal to rules, contains certain character(s).

GP SmartList search fields

Create Favorites and Reminders on your Home Page

If there is a view that you frequently use, you can set that SmartList as a “Favorite” by clicking on the Favorites button at the top menu bar of SmartList.  Your SmartList will then appear in the folders as a saved view.  You can also set this Favorite as a Reminder.  For example, if you wanted a reminder whenever a new vendor is created, you could set a search parameter of “Number of Records > 0” and set that as a Favorite and Reminder.  Any time this parameter holds true, you’ll see a reminder on your home page.

GP SmartList Custom Reminder

Export to Excel to share reports and for further data manipulation

You can click the Excel button to export your SmartList directly to Excel.  From there, you have the ability to share reports and further organize your data to your company’s needs and liking.

GP SmartList export to Excel

These are just a few of the many features of SmartList.  SmartList’s flexibility and customizability makes it extremely helpful when it comes to things such as, month-end close, cross-checking balances, investigating any reconciliation discrepancies, and troubleshooting your general support issues. For more information on SmartList, please contact Tridea Partners at

Written by Renee Leung, GP Application Consultant for Tridea Partners, a San Diego based Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics Partner.

Dynamics AX provides solution to Stone Brewing Co.

San Diego craft brewery, Stone Brewing Co. (Stone), outgrew their current Dynamics GP system as they rapidly became one of the top 10 craft breweries in the US. Considering Stone’s significant increase in production, upgrading to Dynamics AX was naturally the next step to support this success. The decision to upgrade to Dynamics AX came in late 2012. By utilizing Dynamics AX, Stone is able to manage more business processes in a single ERP system, eliminating several disparate systems, automating manual processes and increasing operational efficiencies. The WinWire below highlights Stone’s business challenges and the solutions offered by Tridea Partners and Microsoft Dynamics AX.

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