CRM Software for Economic Development Organizations
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How do I create a new center record?

Before populating your database with clients and client activity records, you must first create center records. In addition to storing general information for each center in your program, center records also store important settings that are associated with each center.

Only users with administrative privileges in Neoserra have the ability to create a new center record. Center records can be created by entering administrator-mode and selecting View|Centers. Once you are in the Centers view, click the New link to create a new center record.

The Main Center Record

Any field with an asterisk next to the title of that field is a required field and must be filled in. Since many of this page's fields are self-explanatory, only the ones requiring comment or explanation are discussed next.

Center ID

The Center ID field is where you enter the center ID and can contain up to 12 alpha or numeric characters. For example, the Pismo Beach SBDC might be the name of the center, specified in the Center Name field, but in the Center ID field we might enter PISMO as the Center ID. Each center in your program must be assigned a unique Center ID.

Center Type

From the Type field's picklist, select the center type. There are six pre-defined types to choose from: PTAC, SBDC, VBOC, WBC, Dual-funded, or Other.

It is important to accurately assign a center type in this field. Many of Neoserra' defaults, warnings, and messages are triggered based upon center type. For example, if you select "SBDC" as a center's center type, you will not receive warning or informational messages relating to Neoserra bid match features when editing records that belong to that center.

Centers that are marked as "SBDC", "WBC", "VBOC" or "DUAL" centers (meaning they are SBA and DLA funded) will see the following SBA-related behavior:

Centers that are marked as "PTAC" or "DUAL" centers will see the following PTAC-related behavior (assuming a corresponding OutreachSystems mailbox and password have also been configured, see below):


When creating a new center record, the Status field defaults to "Active." If your program is running eCenter Direct and you want this center's information to be visible from eCenter, set the status to "Public." In the event that a center becomes inactive, you may want to make it unavailable for picklist selection via Neoserra' other forms by selecting "Inactive" from the Status field's picklist.

For more information on how this field impact's eCenter Direct's behavior, view the FAQ titled How do I customize the "Contact Us" listing on eCenter Direct?.


You may want to assign center records to regions. This can be done by simply entering a region into the Region field. When entering the same region into multiple center records, make sure the region is entered identically each time or Neoserra will consider them to be different regions.

All regions entered into the Region field are compiled by Neoserra and made available for selection when selecting centers for the purpose of running reports or filtering data. For example, as shown in the following illustration, the Centers picklist found on the Client/Pre-Client Subset screen displays any regions entered into the Centers form. If you select a region from this field's picklist, Neoserra will automatically select all centers whose center records have been assigned to that region.

Location Code

In the Location Code field, enter the center's unique PIMS code, if applicable. This is an SBA-assigned code that must be used by SBDCs that report to EDMIS. Centers that do not have a PIMS code entered in the "Location Code" filed cannot be uploaded to EDMIS.

Point of Contact/Phone/Email

The person's name, phone and email information entered in the Center contact fields will be considered the center's point of contact. The following substitution variables can be used in the email templates that refer to these fields:


The [CENTER_EMAIL] variable is often used in the email templates, including the template that notifies you when a new client has signed up via eCenter Direct. You can modify the templates as discussed in this FAQ if you wish to use a different email address. Keep in mind that new clients signing up will need to be assigned to a specific counselor before you can use their counselor's email information.

OutreachSystems Account

In the OutreachSystems Account field, enter the center's OutreachSystems account number. OutreachSystems assigns account numbers to every mailbox we set up on our system for your program. It is imperative that every center record appropriately reflect the mailbox they are using. This field especially plays an important role in OutreachSystems' Bid Match program. Similarly, the corresponding password must be entered.

Client/Conference ID Format

In the Client ID Format and Conference ID Format fields, enter the formats you would like the auto-IDs for new client and conference records owned by the center to follow. The client ID format can contain up to eight characters and the conference ID format can contain up to 10 characters. Each can consist of a prefix, suffix, and must have at least three pound signs (#). The pound signs are placeholders for numeric digits. For example, entering "SB####" as an ID format will produce IDs that begin with the letters "SB" and end with four digits. If you will have multiple center records in your Neoserra database, then it is strongly recommended that you establish different formats per center (e.g. a different alpha prefix) to ensure that record IDs remain unique.

Next (Client/Conference) Number

The Next Client Number and Next Conference Number fields display the next numbers that Neoserra will use in place of the pound signs. Continuing with the previous example, entering a "1" into the Next Client Number field will produce "SB0001" as the next client ID. Because the pound signs dictate that the ID consist of six total characters, three zeros automaticially precede the "1." Neoserra will continue in this fashion for each new client auto-ID for the center, with the next ID being "SB0002," then "SB0003," and so on.

Default Counselor

The Default Counselor field's picklist is populated by names of active counselors that currently exist in the database. Only those counselors who are associated with the current center record will appear in this picklist. When sending email correspondence using the email templates, you can often choose to include the default counselor name and phone number for a center. The counselor selected here would be the default counselor for the center.

eCenter Information

You can customize the information that is displayed for each center on the eCenter Direct web site for your program, by editing the fields here:

Banner Logo/Banner Background Image

If you are part of a program with multiple centers and each center has their own unique logo, then you can use these fields to specify your specific logo. The logo must be accessible from anywhere on the internet and thus have a public address. If you don't have a logo publicly available, then you can send OutreachSystems a copy of your logo and we can place it in our library to be accessed from eCenter Direct. Along with the logo, you may also have a specific background color that you wish to display. If so, you will need to provide the background image to OutreachSystems along with your logo. And then depending upon the color of your background image, that may dictate the "Banner Text Color" to be used on eCenter Direct.

eCenter Contact Name/Email Address/Phone

Some programs may prefer not to advertise their program manager's or state director's name, email and phone number on the eCenter Direct web site. You can use the fields provided here to identify the person whose name will be included on the eCenter Direct web site.

Allow contacts to update their own name/address info?

On a per center-by-center basis you can decide whether clients will be able to update their own information on eCenter direct as discussed in the FAQ titled: Can my clients updated their own information on eCenter Direct?

Event registration information required

This field is employed by eCenter Direct, and allows each center to decide whether they want to capture solely contact data or also company data with each online training registration. Generally speaking it is recommended that PTAC centers set this field to "Client + Agreement." By setting this field to "Client + Agreement" the PTAC center can be assured that they will get credit for all training attendees on their DLA 1806-T scorecard.

Default eCenter Training Event Payee

If you anticipate setting up an online payment system as discussed in this FAQ then you can configure the default system for each center, using this field.

Social Media

In addition to your program's main Web site, the center record allows you to add three additional Web sites that represent various social media accounts. As discussed in the FAQ titled How do I customize the "Contact Us" listing on eCenter Direct?, these additional Web sites are advertised on eCenter Direct if the center is public.

Address Information

The address information for the center is entered in the right hand column of the screen, as shown in the graphics below.

And while these fields might seem self-explanatory, it is worth noting that if this center is public on eCenter, the address information entered in these fields will be listed on eCenter in the Contact Us listing, as discussed in the FAQ titled How do I customize the "Contact Us" listing on eCenter Direct?.


The More menu allows you to edit the center's specific email templates and eCenter interface text. Additionally, clicking on the "Calendar" link here will provide you with a calendar view of all users belonging to this center.

Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.