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I am working for a media company and they provide advertising sales for the clients. We are trying to implement the quotes, contracts and orders. I see that there is no option for contract line items in our org. I think thats available for service contracts.

We have line items on our quotes and want someway to include the lineitems on the contracts as well. Line items are something like providing x no of clicks on certain channel between start and end date.

I dont think this kind of products would catergorize as service contracts, or do they? if it does what is the way to activate the service contracts.

When should one use contracts and service contracts?

Or is it good to have custom object with master detail with contracts for contract line items

Any pointers would be of great help

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Service Contracts represent (per the doc) customer support agreements (warranties, subscriptions, Service level agreements)

Service Contracts typically surface within Service Cloud interactions.

Contracts are more like a B2B contract between you and a customer. They surface more in connection with closed won Opportunities in Sales Cloud. In one of my orgs, Contract is used to track fixed versus auto-renew agreements and is the parent of various approval, base agreement, amendment PDFs as Attachments or ContentVersion (sort of a homegrown Apptus)

You are correct, Contracts do not have line items, but confusingly, the ContractLineItem object applies only to ServiceContract

The ContractLineItem can directly relate to products quoted on Quotes, forecasted on Opportunities or present on Orders as the ContractLineItem has a link to a pricebookEntry and hence a link to a price and product/SKU.

It is hard to generalize here but if you're using both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and want to manage your installed base of customers 100% through SFDC, Service Contracts are very useful. If your installed base management is handled outside of SFDC (e.g. in an ERP system), then Service Contracts are not so useful.

I will also say that in years of reading/contributing to SFSE, that I would surmise that Service Contracts are a little-used feature of SFDC as there are very few examples where that object features in a question.

Notes

There is a Known Issue on VF and Service Contracts that may bedevil you, requiring a custom related list component as a workaround

  • Thanks for the detailed info. Lets say i sign a contract and i have linked it up Quotes. Now after the contract is signed the client comes back with a need of an amendment in one of the line items. How do we handle it? Do we cancel the contract and recreate the whole quote , contract and orders – Prady Feb 29 '16 at 7:36
  • Prady - this is kind of a big topic and ties into your opportunity forecasting (such as - are you using oppo scheduling). If the contract revenue is recognized over time, then you need a way to cancel out all future revenue on the current contract/oppo and replace it with new planned revenue on a new oppo. Or, you could leave the old Oppo in place and create a new Oppo that is only net changes (including negative numbers), then flow that new oppo line items into a merged service contract – cropredy Feb 29 '16 at 15:42

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