Introduction to Components

Components can be really useful for situations where an in-process material is created as a batch before being used up between a number of products. A Component is a special type of Project that, when manufactured, increases the stock of a material rather than the stock of a product for sale.

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This tutorial should take approximately 25 minutes to complete.

What are Components?

A component (otherwise known as a sub-assembly) increases the stock of a material rather than the stock of a product when it is manufactured. Components can be really useful for situations where a material is created as a batch before being used up between a number of products.

When should you use Components?

If you create a material as a sub-process and later use this new material in more than one product, then you should definitely consider creating a component to handle this.

A very simple example is "Buttercream": essentially, butter, sugar, and milk are blended together to produce a new ingredient used as a filling or icing on cakes. Typically, to save time, a baker would produce a batch of Buttercream to be used for all cakes baked that day, so this fits the criteria for a component.

Creating the Buttercream as a component has two main advantages:

1. For each cake, only the Buttercream amount must be added to the product recipe. Otherwise, the exact amount of Butter and Sugar used in the buttercream would need to be calculated and added separately to each recipe.

2. The extra hidden labor cost of producing the component can be automatically factored into your pricing and labor costs.

How to create a Component

When you create a Component, two parts are linked together: the component and the material. It is helpful to think of the component as the "factory" that produces more of the material when manufactured, and the material tracks its stock on hand and unit pricing.

Adding components is very similar to adding a product. This is configured on the Add Component page, so let's go there now.

You must set the unit of measurement of the component material you will be producing. For our buttercream example, we will set this to "gram."

Once you are happy with the information you have added, click the button to submit the details. Once saved, you'll be taken to your component page.

You'll see that the page is very similar to your product, but there are some minor differences: as components cannot be sold, you'll see only the Manufactures and Adjustments tabs along the top.

Also, you'll see a link to your Component Material listed in the summary section like so:

Now, click on the link under the label Component Material. Again, this page is very similar to regular material, but you'll notice that there are some missing tabs and extra information.

The Purchases tab is not available here because a component can not be purchased - it is only ever manufactured via the component. A note also appears to indicate it is a component material, along with a link back to the linked product. You'll also see that instead of unit cost, we have Manufacture Cost displayed: this will be 0.00 as we haven't told the system about what goes in the component yet.

Manufacturing Components

Let's return to the component by clicking the component link. We'll now add a recipe for the component. This process is identical to the one you use to create a regular product, so we'll skip through this quickly.

Let's say that we produce 500 grams of buttercream per batch. We'll enter 500 in the Manufacture Batch Quantity and 15 minutes in the Estimated Batch Manufacture Time. We'll then add the butter, sugar, and milk as materials and click the button.

Back on the component page, we can now see our complete recipe with the total manufacture cost. Now, let's make some Buttercream and see what happens!

Click the Manufactures tab, then click the Add Manufacture button. After the form loads, click the Save Manufacture button; we'll leave everything as the default for this manufacture.

If you navigate to your Component Material, you'll see we have 500 ounces in stock. The manufacturer has increased your stock of the material on hand and decreased your stock of the materials in your recipe.

Using Components in Product Recipes

Now that we have made some buttercream, let's use some of it in another product.

Create a new Product called "Buttercream Cake." Add the buttercream material and a couple of other regular materials to the recipe and then save. Looking at the recipe list on the cake product's page, you should be able to see that the proportioned materials AND labor costs for the buttercream are displayed and tallied as part of your total manufacturing cost.

Finally, adding a Manufacture for your Buttercream Cake will decrease your stock on hand of the component material in exactly the same way as all other materials used in the recipe.

Have some questions?

If you have any additional questions, please contact us; we'll be happy to help. 

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