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Product families are used to group together products with similar characteristics but different options, for example colour and size of clothing. Depending on the number of options, there can be a large number of product family variations. Manufacturing a product family requires each variation to have a production BOM, but adding these one by one is inefficient. 


Product family production BOMs creates a general production BOM for the family (e.g. shirt) but allows other product family variations to be used as components (e.g. fabric). Production BOMs for each variation are auto-generated from the general BOM and the mapping values, saving our users lots of time when preparing production BOMs for many variations at once. 


Product family BOMs match each parent family to component or child families. For more control of customisation during production, please see Customisable products - Make to Order.


Prerequisites


Table of Contents


Add a production BOM to a product family

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Add a production BOM to a product family by navigating to Inventory → Product Families and creating a product family, or opening an existing product family to view its details. Simply change the Bill of Materials field from No BOM to Production BOM (Assembly BOM is not supported for product family). 


This will generate a Production BOM tab for the product family. Next, we will define the general production BOM for the product family. 


Define general production BOM for the product family

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The next step is to define the general production BOM for the product family. As product families group together a number of similar products, the production BOM will be similar for each variation. The general production BOM will be used as the base to auto-generate a production BOM for each variation. 


Production BOM features such as intermediate products, co-manufacturing, parallel/non-parallel operations, multiple finished products in one BOM etc. can be included in a product family BOM.


NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with Production BOM steps such as adding operations, operation types, buffer%, (Manufacturing, Setup, etc.), entry types (Resource, Component, Input, Output, etc.), or any other feature, we recommend referring to the Production BOM article for detailed information.


Product family BOMs use a special entry type, Variation, to define a component that will change (e.g. different colours of fabric). Variation components must be a product family without a production BOM – nested product family BOMs are not supported. 

  1. Go to the Production BOM tab of the product family. 
  2. Enter the Quantity to Produce for your production BOM and start entering operations, components, and resources. This article assume you are already familiar with production BOMs in DEAR.
  3. Add Variation components to use variations of a product family during production. In this example, we are cutting fabric for a shirt.
  4. The quantity of product used in production may depend on the product family variation. For example, a size S shirt requires less fabric than the size L. Clicking the Quantity field for a variation entry opens up a popup window where you can select if quantity varies with the parent product family options. 
  5. Available options are:
    • Quantity is the same for all options
    • Quantity depends on [option 1]
    • Quantity depends on [option 2]
    • Quantity depends on [option 3]
  6. Options 1, 2, and 3 will be filled in with the options of the parent product family. In this case, the quantity of fabric will depend on the size.
  7. Fill in the quantities for each option. Click Save to go back to the Production BOM.
  8. Our next operation involves sewing the shirt together and adding buttons. Buttons can be different colours depending on the fabric colour of the shirt, so we use a Variation entry and add the buttons product family.
  9. Buttons do not vary in quantity for different variations of shirt. When we enter the Quantity, we select Quantity is the same for all options. Save to return to the production BOM.
  10. Continue adding operations to the production BOM until it is finished. As soon as a Variation entry is added, the Map Variations tab will be visible. Continue to Map variations for the next step. 


Variation component characteristics

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Variation entries of a production BOM have some special features and limitations. 

  • Can only be added to a product family production BOM.
  • Must be a single product family.
  • Must not have a production BOM.
  • Can be added to production operations of type:
    • Manufacturing
    • Quality assurance
    • Co-manufacturing (parent product family can be added as a finished product if finished product is required by the co-manufacturing operation. Please take care to select the product family, not a product family variation). 
  • Parent product family can be defined as a finished product if production BOM produces multiple finished products. Please take care to select the product family, not a product family variation. 

Map variations and generate BOM

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In this stage, we map the variations of the parent product family to variations of the child product family. This will be used to auto-generate the production BOM for the parent product family variations. As soon as a Variation entry is added to the production BOM, the Map Variations tab will be visible. 


It is recommended to map all options of the parent product family to components, but BOMs can be generated at any stage for mapped variations, even if all variations have not been mapped yet. Each parent variation must map to only one child variation component. 

  1. On the Map Variations tab, select a child product family to map to the parent product family. In our example, we will first look at fabric. 
  2. Quantity can be specified for each size. This is taken from the quantity specified on the production BOM tab, but can be edited here if necessary. 
  3. Next we can map our shirt Colour and Material to the fabric product family. Fabric colours (Blue, White) are mapped to shirt colour, and fabric type (Poplin, Twill, Stretch) are mapped to the shirt material. Some variations of the fabric product family are not needed for production of the shirt product family, so no mapping value is selected. 
  4. Save your changes. If all parent product family variations are mapped, you will see a green check mark next to the entry on the left hand side. If you see a red error message, you will need to resolve the error before continuing.
  5. Clicking the Copy to All icon next to an entry copies this value to all of the fields in this column.
  6. Next we will map our second variation, the shirt buttons. We want to select blue buttons for the blue shirts, and white buttons for the white shirts. Button variation does not change with the shirt material or size. 
  7. Our button family comes in multiple colours and sizes. We map the colour values of button and shirt, then select All for the other shirt options. In this example, the selected white buttons will be used for All sizes and all materials of white shirt, All sizes and all materials of blue shirt will use the same blue buttons.
  8. Save your changes and look for the green validation mark, correcting any errors if necessary. Continue until all variation entries of the production BOM have been mapped. Next, we will automatically generate production BOMs for the parent product family from this mapping. 


Generate BOM for variations

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Once variation entries of the production BOM have been mapped to the parent product family variations, we can automatically generate production BOMs for each variation. 


Once a BOM has been generated for a product family variation, this BOM becomes independent from the Product Family BOM. The variation BOM can then be edited without influencing the product family BOM. 


NOTE: Check your Map Variations tab – all variations should have the green validation check mark in order to generate BOMs correctly for all variations.


At the top of the screen, click Generate BOM. This will populate the Used In tab.


Next, we will go to the Used In tab. If there were any errors during BOM generation, you can see the error details here and also see which variations if any have unfinished mapping. This tab will display the following information:

  • Product: The product family variation. This is a clickable link that you can follow to see the variation details, including the newly generated production BOM. 
  • Production BOM generated: Whether a production BOM has been generated for this variation yet. 
  • Used as default version: The generated Production BOM is used as the default version for this variation's Production BOM.
  • Mapping is finished: Whether the parent product family variations have been fully mapped to components. Mapping must be finished in order for production BOMs to be auto-generated correctly. 


Click a product family variation to see more details, including the newly generated production BOM. Here you can now make changes to the production BOM if required, create new versions, or any other DEAR BOM feature. 


In this example, we can see that variation Slim Fit Oxford Shirt Blue L Poplin has a production BOM where Variation: Fabric has been replaced with 1.8m of Cotton Blue Poplin and Variation: Buttons has been replaced with Round 2 hole button Blue 8mm.


Update a product family BOM

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Once a BOM has been generated for a product family variation, this BOM becomes independent from the Product Family BOM. The variation BOM can then be edited without influencing the product family BOM. 


If you want to edit a product family BOM, and then propagate those updates to all the family variations, you will need to click Generate BOM again.


When a product family is re-generated, manually updated BOMs will not be overwritten. Any variations with manually edited BOMs will have the updated product family BOM added as a separate BOM version



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