Can I do this with SugarCRM?


I’ve never used SuiteCRM buit I have general knolegdge about Drupal and other CMS. I also installed and used many other CRM suites, and I’m trying to find the right one for one project.

I need to create a system to track services provided by one or more technicians. It’s for a company that has about 10 clients, every one with several locations. The clients need the technicians at specific times and days, and they book those hours in advance. The company needs a separate calendar for every technician, one for every client, and one for every location. Those calendars must be accessible to the related technicians and clients.

Every technician has to work an especified number of hours every month, and the managers must be able to organize the calendars for every technician (decide who to send for every request). It’s also important to send notifications to the techcnicians when they get a job assigned, and It would be wonderfull being able to export their appointments to iCal. Exporting to Excel or another worksheet software would ge also great. At the end of the month every client must recieve a bill with the list of services, hours spent on each one, and price. And to make it even harder, the work hours have different prices for every client, and some of the clients have contracts setting a minimum of hours that should be enforced.

I’ve got a similar utility made with Drupal but every time I want to add a new function I need to spend too much time on it. I would prefer starting from scratch with a CRM that already includes billing and other functions like that, because if the system grows it will became hard and traumatic to change.

Do you think it’s possible to develop a similar system with SuiteCRM? I will be very gratefull if you are honest about it, it’s no need to convince me about anything, I’m just asking for advice. I also would appreciate any advice regarding existing modules, similar examples and general recommendations that can be useful. I’ve just started to develop my first SuiteCRM module to give it a try and I think I should stop and ask for advice first.

Thanks a lot!

Many of the things you say, SuiteCRM can do out of the box, and the rest can be custom programmed (it’s open source!).

But there’s a learning curve, if you can start with some outside help to get you going, it will save you a lot of hassle, and make sure the design is good from the start.

I don’t advise starting new modules for everything. In SuiteCRM it’s usually best ot examine the existing modules and make them work for you. This brings in a ton of functionality that is already there.

An example of this design mindset is in the beginning of this article

although then it gets too technical, too exhaustive, and you don’t need to read it all.

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That’s awsome advice, thanks a lot. I’m going to read not only this article but as many as I can from this blog. It’s been really helpful, there are many articles about architecture and general advice. Obviusly I’ve stopped my module development and I am re-thinking it all.

You’ve pointed I’ll be able to do many things out of the box but I willl need to program some others. Do you know wich of the functionalities I’ve described will need programming? I’m trying to decide on how to carry on.

Thanks again!!

It’s hard to say, because business processes often depend on small details being appropriate, and often you have to try a dozen things (managing calendars, for example) until you make sure your people can work with it in the way you want.

So it’s a matter of trying out things. As I said, often it helps to get someone experienced with SuiteCRM to try things with you, or for you.