3 Understanding Kits and Configurator

This chapter contains the following topics:

3.1 Kits and Configurator Tools

Kits and configurator are tools that can be used to support the order entry, manufacture, and shipment of configured items. Each tool has a niche in the manufacturing and distribution model. Having a basic understanding of these tools helps you know which tool is most appropriate to use in a given business situation.

A kit is a collection of inventory items, called components, that are associated with a parent item. The components are stocked inventory items but are sold collectively as a parent item. Kit processing assists order entry personnel in completing an accurate customer order. Kits are used in pick-to-order environments and can even be used for simple products in an assemble-to-order environment. Computers and stereo systems are examples of items that use kit processing for order entry.

The configurator is used in the pick-to-order (if relationships exist between components), assemble-to-order, and make-to-order environments. Computers and garage doors are examples of items that use the configurator for order entry.

The configuration comparison chart highlights some of the main features and differences in functionality between kits and configured items.

3.2 Kits and Configurator Feature Comparison

This table describes the features available in the kits and configurator tools:

Feature Kits Configurator
Product structure Single level Multiple configured levels

Note: Product structure refers to the levels, like levels of a bill of material or the configuration tree structure, and if the items within the structure are configured.

End item identification Single item number Unique configuration ID

Note: End item identification refers to the identification of the final parent end item.

Order entry method Heads-down data entry Heads-down data entry
Order entry user interface Static grid Static or dynamic format
Configuration validation No cross-reference checking performed Boolean (If-Then-Else) logic and tables used to perform cross- reference checking

Note: Configuration validation refers to the cross-checking of components, assemblies, and configured item selections to ensure a valid configuration of the final parent end item.

Graphic confirmation Static media object by sales order line item Static media object by item or option
Configuration-specific calculations No calculations Calculations during the entry process
Work order hierarchy Parent only; no child work orders Multiple, multilevel work orders (parent/child relationship)
Bill of material and parts list Defined by bill of material Defined by assembly inclusion rules
Routing Basic routing for the parent item Configured routing