Example 2: Using a Contract Manufacturer to Assemble a Completed Product (Food)


I use a contract manufacturer to assemble a completed product from the raw materials I provide them with. They charge a base fee + a fee per completed unit.
How can I include (capitalise) this fee in production? The raw materials I supply include cane sugar, citric acid, lime juice, bottles and labels. The contract packer takes the ingredients and bottles them into a beverage. They charge a $225 flat right plus $0.167 per completed beverage unit.


This can be handled using the Finished Goods Assembly feature. 

NOTE: For goods where it is not required to trace the raw ingredient batches, there is a faster method. See Example 1: Using a Contract Manufacturer to Assemble a Completed Product

We assume:

  • You know exactly every time what inventory you sent to the contract packer.
  • At the time when you send the raw materials to the contract packer, you know the individual cost of all ingredients.

In this example, we will assume each batch of raw ingredients sent to the contract manufacturer produces 1500 beverages on average. 

The batch sent consists of:

  • 3kg sugar
  • 1kg citric acid
  • 30L lime juice
  • 1500 bottles
  • 1500 labels.

On average, each batch of raw ingredients sent to the contract manufacturer produces 1500 beverages. 

All costs are examples and not intended to be representative of real-world manufacturing costs. 


  • Create stock items for sugar, citric acid, lime juice, bottle and label in DEAR.
  • Create service items for cost per bottle and contract packer fee. 
  • Create a specific location in DEAR for raw ingredients sent to the contract manufacturer.  

The first step is to create an item for the finished beverage which includes a Bill of Materials

  1. Navigate to Inventory -> New -> Product and fill in the mandatory fields. 
  2. Check Bill of Materials. This will enable the Bill of Materials tab below.

  3. In the Bill of Materials tab, fill in the product section with the quantities of raw ingredients that are sent to the manufacturer. In the Quantity to Produce field, specify the average quantity produced. It is not a problem if the quantity varies – quantities of raw ingredients and quantities produced can be manually changed during the assembly process. NOTE: Auto-assembly does not support editing assembly quantities. 
  4. Save the item to finish.

When components and raw ingredients are sent to the Contract Manufacturer, perform a Stock Transfer to the contract manufacturer location to take them out of your main inventory. 

When the finished beverages and actual quantities are received, this can be input using the Assembly feature. Following our example, the quantity of the raw ingredients actually made 1580 bottles instead of 1500. 

  1. Navigate to Production -> New -> Assembly.
  2. Select the beverage finished good and make sure to select the Contract Manufacturer location for the raw materials. 
  3. Specify the actual number of finished beverages in the Quantity field. 
  4. Click Load BOM to load up the stock and service components. The Assembly Order will automatically adjust the quantity of components to reflect the Quantity of goods to assemble, however, we will change this to reflect the actual quantities or raw ingredients in the next step. Service items (such as the contract fee and cost per bottle) can be added/deleted/edited on the Assembly Order tab, stock items can be added/deleted/edited on the Assembly Order and Pick tab. Check that the flat packing fee is the correct value before moving on to the next step. 
    • NOTE: Contract packer fee can also be added as a Manual Journal cost instead of a line of the Assembly. This can be added after the assembly process is completed. 
  5. Authorise the Assembly Order.

  6. On the Pick tab, click Auto-Pick to load the stock items from the previous tab. You can now edit the Total Quantity field to reflect what was actually used. 
  7. Click Allocate to remove the raw ingredients from the stock in the contract manufacturer location.

  8. Click Complete to finish the assembly. 
  9. On the Assemblies list, you can now see the unit cost for this batch of beverages – the costs have been split between all of the units.

NOTE: The finished goods will be assembled at the contract manufacturer location. You can perform a stock transfer to move the finished goods back to your selling location. 

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