Product configuration

in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Product configuration in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Industrialisation methods have made it possible to make premium, multi-functional products at affordable prices. Cost degression in production processes facilitates the manufacture of products for everyday use and industrial applications, which are very well received in the target market.

In order to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible, many products have to be serially produced. Manufacturers still wish to provide customers with a high level of product individualisation. They will usually respond to this challenge by making variants of each product.

A careful analysis of the product range is key to success, as is looking for patterns in product functions and processes. The aim is to identify generic components that can be created from the same resources and used in any variant.

The new product configurator in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations has a user interface, including a visual overview of the product configuration model structure, and a declarative constraint syntax that does not have to be compiled.

As described in the following sections, a product designer no longer needs support from a developer to create a product configuration model, to test and approve it for sales organisation.

Create a product configuration model

Users can choose from several types in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations to create a product configuration model. One possible option is to follow a sequential procedure by first generating all reference data, such as product master data, clearly identifiable products and operational resources.

This master can then be included in components, parts lists (BOM) positions, work plan operations and other elements of the product configuration model. Alternatively, you can select a step-by-step approach by first generating the model and then adding reference data as required.

Components

A product configuration model consists of one or several components that are linked together by sub-component relationships. Components are first defined, and can then be used many times in at least one product configuration model. The components are the most important building blocks in a product configuration model. Almost all information on the model is correlated to the components.

 

Attributes

Each component contains one or more attributes identifying its features. Attributes are what users select during the configuration process. Attributes control inter-component and intra-component relationships by integrating them into constraints or calculations. By applying conditions necessary for parts lists, attributes can be used to ascertain which physical parts will comprise the configured product. An attribute can also control the feature of a parts list position by way of an assignment mechanism. Similar functions exist for work plan operations with respect to the integration and properties settings.

 

Product configuration

Product configuration can be carried out from the following positions:

  • Order position
  • Sales quotation position
  • Purchase order position
  • Product order position
  • Article demand position (project)

The aim of the configuration is to create a diverging product variant, corresponding to customer preferences. A distinct variant ID is created for each new configuration.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations product configurator provides you with the configuration agility you need. Due to standardisation measures in Dynamics 365, related functions such as scheduling or pre- or post-calculation can be executed smoothly and with no loss of data.

Are you interested in this topic? I would be pleased to answer any queries you have.

Peter Wahl

peter.wahl@!ambit-group.com
+43 7229 78 877 0