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Background information

Each piece of furniture is stored by the system as a piece of furniture without any specific fabrics assigned ("white piece of furniture / solid")

Illustration 1. "White" furniture. No fabric assigned to a model.


All product changeable features are defined separately, as variants, without specifying details. For example, backrest or seat fabric, legs, foam and decorative pillows can be upholstered furniture variants whereas front, legs, glass, varnish, lighting can be box furniture variants. Sometimes it is said that all furniture elements that are be chosen by final customer can be defined as variants.

V1 | SEAT;   W2 | BACK;   V3 | DECORATIVE CUSHIONS;   V4 | ARMREST;    V5 | LEGS

Illustration 2. A furniture has been divided into variants.


These variants are joined into groups of variants. The same variant can be part of several groups of variants. Groups, in turn, are assigned to articles (finished products and semi-finished products). Those articles become variant articles.

Therefore, instead of storing several dozen identical solids of the same finished product, differing only with one variable e.g. foam or pillow colour, Saturn stores only one solid and its variants.


The variants have their realizations, i.e. fabrics and other materials from which they are made and which can change depending on the needs.

Articles that are used as variants realizations are defined without a direct connection to the model and variant. Instead, they are merged into groups of articles and those groups are synchronised with the variants. One group of articles can be synchronised with several variants, e.g. all fabrics combined into a group can be assigned to the variant upholstery fabric of the backrest, cushions and other fabric variants. It is also possible to manually add individual realizations to the variant.

Illustration 3. Furniture variants and their realizations.

The architecture of variant product is used in many places in the system, e.g. when placing an order, creating customer price lists or in fabric standards.

Variant element in variant finished product

Variant finished product may consist of elements, which are also have their variants.

Firstly, we define final product variants and combine them into a group, which concerns this finished product, e.g. variants of the wardrobe are: the colour of the rim, the colour of the door, the colour of the feet, etc.

We know that a rim, which is an element of this wardrobe, has also a variant, its colour. Then we create a new group of variants containing only this one variant (the colour of the rim) and assign it to the element.

It should be remembered that the variant of the element must also be a variant of the finished product. Element variants must be "inherited" from a finished product.

Variant definition

  1. Start Saturn GG.
  2. Select Articles - Dictionaries - Variants - Variants.
    1. This option is used both to preview and define variants.


      Illustration 4. Variants option.


      Illustration 5. Variant definition window.

  3. Press F3 to add new variant. A window for variant defining is displayed.
  4. Insert variant code and description.
  5. Select goup of articles. This group will be synchronised with wariant in the next step. 
  6. Press F6 to save variant header.
  7. Then, you can decide on variant realsations. Currently, the addition of realizations is solved in two ways.
    1. Manual addition of individual realizations. In order to do this, go to the window Realizations, select F3, then indicate the realization (an article which will serve as an realization) and save it by selecting F6. The operation should be repeated for all potential realizations of a given variant. This is a solution usually used by box furniture manufacturers.
    2. Synchronization of a whole group of articles with a given variant. Then all articles from this group will become realizations of this variant. This solution is usually used by upholstered furniture manufacturers. In this case there is no need to manually add a realization to the variant.

Synchronisation of an article group with a variant

It is possible provided that a group of articles has been identified in the variant definition.

  1. Start Saturn GG.
  2. Select Articles - Dictionaries - Variants - Variants.
  3. Click to select a variant and then select F6.
  4. You will be asked: Do you want to generate realizations? Confirm the operation.

  5. After synchronisation, you can open the Wariant window by selecting it and pressing F4. If you check Realizations section, you will see all realizations. They are articles from the synchronized articles group.

Variants group definition

The individual variants are grouped together and only then are they assigned to articles.

  1. Select the option Articles - Dictionaries - Variants - Variants groups.
    1. This option is used both to preview and define variants groups.
  2. Press F3 to add a new variant group.
  3. Enter the Group code and Description (required fields).
  4. Specify the components of the description. The components define the way the grup is described in printouts made for a finished product. The scope of information is coded. The method of description and its content are used on product labels, order confirmations, loading list and warehouse documents, invoices. The coding method is described in detail in a bellow section.
    1. Component 1 is defined for the customer's needs, usually it is a full description.
    2. Component 2 usuly serves for the production, usually it is a brief description.

  5. Add a predefined article code to the realization (checkbox) - The predefined system code is added to the realization of the finished product. You can see it in the column of the collected name, in the overview of order items.
    1. It is used in the system in situations where there was no ID of predefined articles. The system combines realization with predef => good information on prints and labels.
  6. Press F6 to save Variant group header. Then you can start adding variants to a group and set their order.

Adding variants to a group

  1. Having oper a variant group window, press F3 to add a variant to the group.
  2. Select a variant (after F2, ENTER).
  3. Determine the impact of a variant on the price of a product. The following options are available:
    1. group has an impact on price - the price group of the variant realization has an impact on price; then when building price lists we use whole price groups; e.g. furniture has a price variant upholstery fabric - when creating a price list we determine the price for this furniture in different groups of fabrics, (in velour fabrics, leather, etc). 
    2. realization has an impact on the price - the realization of the variant has an impact on the price; when building the price list we use specific fabrics, not their price groups. We determine the price for this piece of furniture in single fabrics, e.g. velour grey, black, blue, etc.
    3. variant has no impact on price - the realization of the variant has no impact on price. When creating the price list, we will not see this variant at all.

  4. Determine the impact of a variant on a purchase.
  5. Determine the impact of a variant on a fabric norm by checking the checkbox. This option applies only to fabric variants, i.e. fabrics and leather. Only variants with the checkbox marked will be seen when creating a fabric standard.
    1. It is best practice to define the above  "impacts" when creating articles groups. Then there is no need to correct the groups at the stage of creating price lists and norms.

  6. Set the variant sequence in a group by adding a sequence number. A good practice is to use dozens (10, 20, 30 ...). It this case it is easy to manage a sequence by inserting records in between.
  7. Select F6 to save the variant group.
  8. Repeat the steps from points 7 - 12 for all variants of a given group.

Illustration 6 Variants group definition window.

Variant descriptions coding

The components of the variants description can be coded in two fields. The upper one is used to describe as fully as possible variants group (defined usually for customers' needs), the lower one - to briefly describe the variants used in the production process inside. Codes are built using numbers:
1 - Variant code
2 - Variant description
3 - Variant realization code
4 - Variant realization description
9 - Move to the next variant. Number 9 is also placed before the description.

Between the coding numbers we can insert any characters, e.g:

: ; / \ | . _ ^ #

For example, we have a group of variants consisting of three variants (two fabric variants and feet). The table gives examples of descriptions.

Illustration 7 Exemplary variant group.

Code

Description

Variant 1

Variant 2

Variant 3

 

91:4

/91:4

/91:4

Variant code: Variant realization description/ Variant code: Variant realization description /Variant code: Variant realization description

91:4

/91:4

9

Variant code: Variant realization description/ Variant code: Variant realization description

LEGS Variant code and its realization have been removed from description

91:4

/9

91:4

Variant code: Variant realization description/Variant code: Variant realization description

Number 9 in the middle "moved" one of the variants without selecting the realization

92:3

|92:3

|92:3

Variant description: Variant realization code|Variant description: Variant realization code |Variant description: Variant realization code

Assigning variants group to an article

A group of articles is assigned to articles, usually finished products, less often semi-finished products, e.g. skeletons or covers. You can assign a group when creating a new article or editing a header of an existing article. You should go to Variants group field and choose the right one.

Illustration 8 Assigning variants group to an article