Product Definition

The following commentary identifies a number of features that, hopefully, provides a sufficient degree of information for you to identify whether this free resource might be worthy of investigation. If you have any queries that you would like an answer to please send an email and you will receive a response.

New Product: One fundamental decision that is most likely dictated by any existing software or business tools used in your business is the approach taken to the identification of a "new" product. The principle that any change to form, fit or function of an existing component part is confirmation that a "new" part needs to be defined is most usually implemented in this respect. Users are able to "clone" an existing product including any related bill-of-material and/or manufacturing process instructions.

Unit-Of-Measure: This could be referred to in some sectors as pack size and this version has adopted an arbitrary limit of a maximum of ten different identifiers that may be linked to a single product. This version enables relatively simple as well as complex conversion between product related unit-of-measure and whilst this may be viewed as a relatively unambiguous feature it is worthy of some initial discussion. If this feature is in use there is a need to identify "default" values that relate to sales, purchase and inventory activities. An internal conversion engine facilitates an ability to automatically adjust supply chain, inventory management and sales related values using embedded "logic" to identify a multi-step, complex conversion value if necessary.

Identification: A matrix of customer and supplier product identifiers assists the clear communication of information between your business and those other parties.

Pricing: Linked to associated unit-of-measure with users able to denote a stated price relative to an associated quantity that is identified internally using the Roman characters I, V, X, L, C and M to denote their numeric values of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 or 1,000. This expands the degree of precision associated with product pricing from four to seven decimal places, although this is a level of accuracy that is rarely encountered.

BOM Engine: The ability to define a multi-level bill-of-material (often referred to as product build or structure) is incorporated into an entirely new module, unique to this version, that consolidates all developments in this area. There is an ability to incorporate what might be referred to as features and options that often reflect aesthetic choices that are available. For businesses involved in manufacturing this feature provides the ability to review any number of disparate multi-product production plans and review current inventory and the purchasing required to complete them. At a more focused level the inventory position for any discrete unit of production may be immediately reviewed by users.

Process Definition: Step-by-step instructions that define the product activities required to build, assemmble or manufacture a part are maintained with user version control. Combined with bill-of-material details production paperwork may be produced that can act as either a physical or digital document that forms a basis for production order reporting, scrap recording and quality control.

Quality Control: Product links to suitably designed workbooks provides a flexible mechanism for the recording of relevant product checks and measurements.

Product Costing: Utilising bill-of-material and process timings it is possible to calculate and roll-up a consolidated cost for any level of build in an bill-of-material with some degree of refinement in relation to a defined step in the relevant process(subject to the level of detail provided for the latter).

Paperless: A flexible user defined "linking" feature permits any number of external files (PDF, workbooks, Word documents) to be associated with a product. Examples might include product data sheet, technical specification, detailed drawing, performance evaluation and in fact any relevant paper based information that might be digitised.

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