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Understanding Configurable Item Templates

Setting up new items is a critical implementation task for any supply chain management system. During the item definition process, you want to define default values for many item attributes so that these values can be applied to your business transactions. Users can enter business transactions quickly and efficiently when less input is required. For example, if a particular item (such as aerosol cans) should always be shipped by ground transportation, then the item definition should include the value of Ground for the Ship Via field (item attribute). This default value populates any material stock request, so that the user is saved a data-entry step and does not need to remember this detail about aerosol cans. While it is helpful for your business transactions to have many default values for your item attributes, it can result in a time-consuming item setup process. There are many item attributes for an item ID assigned at both the setID level and the business unit level. Configurable item templates help streamline the process of adding new items.

Configurable item templates provide a flexible way to assign default values to item attributes when you are setting up new items. The configurable template enables you to decide which attributes are populated, both at the setID level and at the business unit level. Configurable templates can be used to add items:

Setting Up Configurable Item Templates

To add new items using configurable item templates, you enter a template list ID for the new items. A template list is a list of template groups joined together to define item attributes (fields) and their default values. The template groups can be mixed and matched on different template lists to efficiently provide different combinations for different types of items. A template list is created using a three-step process:

  1. Create field group templates to identify the item attributes (fields) to be used and the rules for their use.

  2. Create value group templates to enter the default values for the item attributes defined in an item template field group.

  3. Define an item template list to build a template for adding a type of item by combining various field group templates and value group templates.

Once you have created the template list, you can use the template list ID when adding new items individually or in batch. The default values and rules for data entry are enforced by the configurable item template.

Template Groups

The PeopleSoft system uses items in many different products within Supply Chain Management, including; PeopleSoft Inventory, PeopleSoft Manufacturing, PeopleSoft Purchasing, and PeopleSoft Engineering. Since the item definition is used in so many applications, the item attributes are grouped into logical categories at the setID level and the business unit level. Both the item template field groups and item template value groups include the following groups:

Level

Group

Description

SetID

Master Item

This group contains the initial and critical field definitions for a new item. It is required for all template lists because you cannot add a new item without some of these attributes. This group includes basic item setup attributes, item codes, unit of measure setup, and substitute item information. Not all attributes in this group are required.

SetID

Purchasing Item Attributes

This group contains attributes needed to set up a purchased item within PeopleSoft Purchasing. The purchasing item attributes group includes basic purchasing item setup, ChartField definitions, asset information, and item specifications.

SetID

Product Item Attributes

This group contains attributes needed to define items as products within PeopleSoft Order Management and Enterprise Pricer. The product item attributes group includes basic product setup, attributes by unit of measure, and product margin data.

SetID

Manufacturer's Item Attributes

This group contains attributes needed to define a manufactured item for PeopleSoft Manufacturing.

SetID

Item Supplier Attributes

This group contains attributes needed to define supplier information for a purchased item.

Business Unit

Business Unit Item

This group contains attributes needed to define an item within one or more PeopleSoft Inventory business units. The business unit item group includes attributes for basic item business unit setup, cost elements, configuration data, item dimensions, utilization codes, and planning attributes.

Business Unit

Inventory Management

This group contains attributes needed to run the day-to-day management of an inventory location, such as a warehouse. These attributes are defined at the PeopleSoft Inventory business unit and include picking zones, putaway zones, fixed picking locations, default putaway locations, and putaway rules.

Business Unit

Inventory Fulfillment

This group contains attributes needed to complete order fulfillment within one or more PeopleSoft Inventory business units. These attributes include fulfillment setup fields and automatic serial numbering setup.

Example of a Configurable Item Template

In this topic, we use an example to illustrate how the configurable item templates are used. Let's assume that in our work environment we frequently stock and sell spray paint in many colors. We frequently add aerosol spray paint cans as new items to our system and want our end-users to efficiently and correctly add the new items. We want to make sure that aerosol cans are stored in a cool, dry warehouse location and that they are shipped by ground transportation. We carry two sizes of cans, large and small. The paint color varies for each new item added, so we want the user to see the color field and populate it. We set up configurable item templates to prevent user-error and to efficiently add items both individually and in batch.

The following diagram illustrates how to setup configurable item templates. In this example, we are setting up two template lists; one for small aerosol spray cans and one for large aerosol spray cans. First, the field group templates are defined to include attributes important to the type of item to be added. Next, the value group templates are added to identify the default values that we want to use for aerosol cans. In the third step the template lists are created by combining different item templates for field groups and value groups. In the final column, we show how the Item Add component would use the template list ID to efficiently add a new item in the aerosol can group.

Image: Example of Configurable Item Templates

Example of Configurable Item Templates

Example of Configurable Item Templates

The setup steps are:

  1. Define the field group templates. We are using field group templates to define the item attributes that are important to the order-entry of a new aerosol can. Item template field groups are divided into categories, in this case, we are using two categories, master item and inventory management.

    • The item master field group enables us to define the fields important for aerosol cans including shipping method (Ship Via), storage rule, item size, and item color. We create the master item field group template named Aerosol with these fields defined. Of course, other fields would also be defined here to create a complete item. Notice that the Color field is defined in the field group template but not in the corresponding value group templates. We want end-users to populate the Color field when the item is added but we do not want a default value. This is accomplished by defining the rules for the field on the field group template as follows: Required check box is selected, Modifiable check box is selected, and Display on Template check box is deselected.

    • The inventory management field group enables us to define how pressurized gas is handled within the warehouse. We want the fields for default putaway location and fixed picking location to have default values. This insures that the spray cans are placed and retrieved from the correct material storage locations within the PeopleSoft Inventory business unit. Note that the name of the inventory management field group template is Pressurized Gas as it applied to all pressurized gas and could be reused when defining helium containers or other types of pressurized gas.

  2. Define the value group templates. We are setting up three value group templates.

    1. A master item value group template named Small contains the default values for small aerosol cans and was built using the item master field group template named Aerosol.

    2. A master item value group template named Large contains the default values for large aerosol cans and was also built using the item master field group template named Aerosol. Note that the default values differ between large and small cans so there are two different value group templates that refer to the same field group template. This design efficiently uses a common field group template with different default settings. In addition, we can reduce the template setup by using the copy function to copy field group templates and value group templates.

    3. An inventory management value group template named Cans contains the material storage locations for the default putaway location and the fixed picking location. These are the areas of the warehouse where we store pressurized gas. This value group template was built using the field group template named Pressurized Gas.

  3. Define the item template lists. We defined two template lists, one for small spray paint cans and one for large spray paint cans. Notice that we used different master item value group templates to reflect the different defaults for large versus small. Also notice that we used the same inventory management field group template and inventory management value group template for both template lists. We can reuse field group templates and value group templates for different combinations of template lists.

After setting up configurable item templates, we can efficiently add new items by entering the template list ID. Configurable item templates can be used when adding items:

  • Using the Item Add component to manually add items one at a time.

  • Using the Item Loader process to load a batch of new items.

In the preceding illustration, the last column demonstrates how the Item Add component can be used to add new items using the template list ID for small cans and for large cans. Notice that the setID, item ID, and item description are entered by the user. In addition, we designed the templates so that the user must also enter the item color.