Subproducts (Multiple Options)

by admin, August 17, 2010

Subproducts (Multiple Options like Size, Color etc.)

Channergy includes a special Subproducts feature. Typically this is used for entering Size and Color (for clothing, personal items etc.), Make, Model and Year (for auto parts) or any other descriptors for your products. Subproducts can also be uploaded to Channergy Web so your customers can order online.

Using Subproducts
If you sell clothing, or other items that are essentially identical except for their size, color and other descriptors (e.g., brand, flavor, pattern, auto make, model and year, etc.) you can use the Subproducts feature to make managing your inventory, and entering orders easier.

This utility makes entering these Subproducts faster and easier. With it you can specify an unlimited number of variations for a single product then create all of them with a single click. Before committing them to your inventory you can delete any combinations that you do not sell.

Note: Click the Tables tab on the Company Database to locate the link to open the SubProducts feature.

  1. Open the SubProducts dialog by clicking the SubProducts link under the Setup tab on the Main Menu.
  2. Enter the following fields as described below:
    • Master Code – Enter the alphanumeric code you wish to use to group your SubProducts. This code will be used on the Order screen to lookup products. You should enter this field in UPPERCASE letters.
    • Product Prefix – The code you enter here will be used as the prefix for each of the created SubProducts (e.g., a prefix of 123 will create Product Numbers of 123-00001, 123-00002 etc.). Use as short a code as possible. This is usually the same as the Master Code. You should enter this field in UPPERCASE letters.
    • Note: Make sure your Prefix and Suffix are no longer than 15 characters.
    • Suffix Width – Specify the number of characters that will follow the Product Prefix.
  3. Optionally enter as much product information as you wish. These fields are identical to the fields found on the main Product screen as described in the Add a Product help topic.The following fields are recommended as the minimum to be entered:
    • Description – Enter up to 30 characters to help you identify this product when viewing your inventory.
    • Retail Price – This is the amount that will be charged to customers with a Pricing Level of Retail (or none) when taking an order. You may override this price on the order entry form for any item by simply typing the new price.
    • In Stock – Enter the current number of items you have on hand.

    or

    • Non Inventory Item – Check this field if you do not track stock levels for this product. This will also prevent backorders during order entry.
    • Supplier – Select a vendor from the Supplier field pull down list to associate the product with its supplier. If you have not added the supplier yet, you can make the association later by editing the product.
  4. Clear Fields – Click this button to enter a new SubProduct entry. Or, you can simply alter the fields for the next entry.
  5. Next, click the SubProduct Options tab to enter your product options and their variations. The following dialog will open.
  6. Options – Enter Options by typing each one and pressing the Enter key to drop to the next line (Note: you can also type an Option then press the Tab key to type its Values. Use the mouse or Shift-Tab to return to the Options column to add more options.)
  7. Values – For each Option you can add an unlimited number of Values. Highlight any option then press the Tab key to move to the Value column. Enter as many values as are appropriate (e.g., for an Option of Color, enter values of Blue, Red, Yellow etc.).
  8. Save List – You can click this button to save your list of Options and Values. In the dialog that opens type a name for the list and click OK. This is useful if you have products with similar options. You can create a SubProduct in the Product Info tab then use the Open List button to load the Options from the similar product.
  9. Create Products – Click this button to create a Preview of all the possible combinations of this SubProduct. Note: The products will not be created in Channergy at this step. You can view them in the Preview tab and make changes and/or delete items before committing them to your inventory list.
  10. Next, click the Preview tab. The following screen will appear.
  11. All the items you created in the previous steps are listed here. You can make changes to any field by simply typing your changes. You can also delete entries you do not need by holding Ctrl and pressing Delete while the entry is highlighted.Note: You can drag column headers to different positions. The column order you create will be saved automatically. This is useful if you consistently edit the same fields.
  12. – Click this button to open a dialog for the currently selected entry where you can change product information.
  13. – When you are done making changes click this button to add the items in Preview to Channergy. Once added they may be edited, deleted etc. from the Products table.
  14. When entering orders you can lookup Subproducts by their options. This makes locating items easy and intuitive. For more details on this feature see the help topic: Lookup Subproducts.

Testing Your SubProducts

After you have created the SubProduct clones for a particular product you can select them on new orders.

  1. Enter a new order (see the Take an Order help topic for instructions on entering new orders). Click on, or tab to the Product column in the Product Grid in the center of the order screen. Click the button to open the Product Lookup dialog.
  2. In the Product Lookup dialog your products are sorted by Product #. In most cases this works fine, but you want your SubProducts to be listed together. Click the Search By field (or press Alt-B) and change ProductNo to Serial (Serial is the field assigned to SubProducts in Channergy).
  3. In the Search Characters field at the top of the dialog start typing the SubProduct code you assigned to your product (e.g., T-SHIRT). The cursor in the grid will jump to the first SubProduct you have set up. It will be followed by the other SubProducts you created so you can browse through them and select the item you want to add to the order.Complete the order if you wish, and save it (Note: When you add a product to this order it cannot be exited without saving it. You can, however, use the button to mark the order canceled if you wish. This ensures an unbroken sequence of order numbers. See the Take an Order help topic for more details on this feature).

Summary
Following are the key points covered and the benefits of using this feature.

  • You created several similar products quickly using the Clone As feature.
  • Each product was assigned the same SubProduct code (e.g., T-SHIRT). This allows you to group the items in the Order screen Product Lookup. You should use a SubProduct that describes the product so you can look it up easily (e.g., Channergy Tshirt). You can also continue to look up the item by Product # so you could swipe a bar code or type the codes you are used to now.
  • Each product was assigned its own unique Product # that was independent of the SubProduct (this feature enables the use of bar codes, use of your existing product numbers etc.). Other programs require you use your Product # field for their SubProduct code thus usurping the ability to use your own numbers or bar codes.)
  • You also can assign a Product Type which can be used in reports to group products. This works well for the T-shirt example. A Clothing Product Type of CL can be applied to all clothing items (Tshirts, shoes, bathing suits).

Now that you know how to use SubProducts you can apply the procedures above to group products by more than size and color. For example you can create:

  • Auto Parts – Enter a SubProduct for the Make of each car. Enter the Model Year in the beginning of the Description. On the order screen Product Lookup this will group your parts by Make then list each Model Year. Or, reverse the fields to sort by Model Year then Make. Both options are shown in the example below.

Note: You could further define the Toyota example to separate Toyota Corolla, Toyota Supra etc.

  • Consumables – Create food items with different flavors (Beef Jerky – plain, peppered, teriyaki), Cigars with different tobacco contents, Vitamins for different age groups etc.
Note: You can drag column headers to different positions. The column order you create will be saved automatically. This is useful if you consistently edit the same fields.