Customisable products, or Make to Order, allows your customers to select different configuration options that will ultimately select the final product. For example, a ring could be customised with different metals, ring size, different gemstones, or a custom engraving.
As customisable products are not kept in stock, DEAR's Make to Order feature generates production orders from authorised sale orders for customisable products. The quantity produced will always be the quantity required in the sale order, regardless of production process settings.
The production process (operations, their sequence, cycle time, work centres, resources, etc.) are the same, but the BOM components vary according to the customisation options selected by the customer.
NOTE: Production BOMs and Production Orders are an advanced manufacturing feature. You will need to add the advanced manufacturing module to your DEAR base subscription to use this feature. See Getting Started with the Advanced Manufacturing module for more information.
- Product and Service Management (required)
- Getting Started with Advanced Manufacturing Module(required)
- Users will need the Production Bill of Materials permission to use this feature.
- Users will need the Inventory - Products & Families setting to edit product details and set base prices.
Table of Contents
- Create a make-to-order product
- Set a base price for your product
- Add custom options to the make-to-order Product View
- Make-to-order BOM Configuration
- Clone make-to-order production BOM
- Sell make-to-order products
- Create production order (make-to-stock)
Create a make to order product
Customisable or make to order products are created using the Inventory module. You will need to create/setup your component products, resources, and work centres before they can be used in a Make to Order BOM.
- Go to Inventory → New → Product to create a new product.
- Costing Method: FIFO is not allowed for Make to Order products.
- Make to Order BOM can be added to Stock type products only.
- Minimum before reorder and Reorder quantity are not applicable to make to order products.
- Suppliers, Reorder levels, and Additional Units of Measure can not be added to make to order products.
- Select Make to Order BOM from the Bill of Materials dropdown field and enter the other mandatory fields.
- This will take you to the Make to Order BOM tab for configuration.
- The Make to Order BOM is another type of Production BOM. Production BOM features such as intermediate products, parallel/non-parallel operations, multiple finished products in one BOM etc. can be included in a Make to Order BOM.
- NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with Production BOM steps such as adding operations, operation types, buffer%, (Manufacturing, Setup, etc.), entry types (Resource, Component, Input, Output, etc.), or any other feature, we recommend referring to the Production BOM KB article for detailed information.
- NOTE: Co-manufacturing can not be included in a Make to Order BOM.
- Enter the product output quantity and press the +Operation button to start. Make to Order BOMs must contain at least one operation. Enter an operation name and define the operation type, cycle time, units per cycle, and work centre.
- Next, add entries to the operation. Operations must contain at least one resource, component, input, output, or template entry. Entries can be of type:
- Notes have a limit of 200 characters.
- Attachments have a limit of 32 MB.
- Component can be a simple product, an assembly product or a production product.
- Resource (e.g. tools, machines, people) must be defined in order to be selected.
- Finished product is added to a Production BOM as an output of a production operation. A Production BOM can contain one or more finished products. If the production BOM is for a single product, it is not necessary to define finished products in the BOM. If the production BOM is for multiple products, each finished product must be defined explicitly in the operation that produces it.
- Input/Output is used to define intermediate or semi-finished products that are produced in one operation and then consumed in another operation of the same BOM. This allows for greater transparency and tracking of wastage during production.
- Template is used to define a line that will be substituted by a custom option. This entry type is only available for Make to Order BOM.
- In our example below our custom ring has four template entries to define our custom options: Ring metal, ring size, ring stone and additional ring stones. Define the Quantity - the quantity for template entries is optional, it can either be set from the Make to Order BOM or it can be set during configuration of the product for template.
- Save your changes.
Set a base price for your custom product
The price for a make to order product is made from two elements:
- Basic price
- Price delta for the option.
Basic price for each price tier is set in the Prices tab of the product.
Sales will use the Price Tier that has been assigned to the customer. The Price Tier for users accessing the portal as a guest can be set from Integrations → DEAR B2B → [select portal] → General under General Settings.
Price delta for custom options are applied in the next section.
Add custom options to the Make to Order Product View
Use the Make to Order Product View tab to configure menu items and choices, and preview how they will appear to your customers.
Each menu item can have multiple sub-items. Sub-items can be of type Menu Item (with their own sub-items), Choice (no sub-items), or Product Family (product family variations can be selected as choices, no sub-items).
Each menu item can have two levels of sub-items. Multiple choice is not supported within the same menu item.
A positive or negative Price Delta can be added to each Choice, which will be applied to the base price of the product.
Option type Custom Element is used to add a custom design element, e.g. embroidery on a t-shirt, text on a card, or image on a cake, etc. The customer will be able to enter text or upload an image for this option.
Menu item: Select Metal has three Choices: Gold, Rose Gold, and Sterling Silver. A negative price delta has been applied to the sterling silver option. The base price is $1000, the sterling silver ring choice has a price delta of -$100, so the final price will be $900.
Menu item: Select Metal has three sub-items: Menu item: Gold, Menu item: Rose Gold, and Choice: Sterling Silver. The Gold and Rose Gold menu items have two Choices>: 18K and 14K. The base price is $1000, the 18K gold ring choice has a price delta of +$200, so the final price will be $1200.
Menu item: Select shirt has sub-item Product Family: Slim Fit Oxford Shirt. Sub-items cannot be added to a product family choice. Price Delta will be applied to every variation in the product family.
An additional Custom Element menu item allows the customer to get a customise their shirt with a monogram. The customer will be able to select any variation of shirt in the product family to add their customisation.
Menu items can be Optional or Required.
- Selecting a metal is Required for a ring. e.g. Gold, Silver, Rose Gold. One sub-item must be set as default. The default option will be selected during the sale unless the customer changes the option.
- Selecting additional stones is Optional for a ring. If the customer does not make a selection, nothing is added to the order.
- If a required menu item has a product family sub-item, the first variation of the product family is automatically made the default option.
Add images and descriptions
Add descriptions and images to the custom options which will be visible to customers.
Click Description next to a choice to open a pop-up window and enter the description and Save your changes. Descriptions can have a maximum of 256 characters. Product family choices are displayed with the description added to the Product → Short Description for each variations.
Click the image icons next to a menu item or choice to open an upload window where you can select your image from local files on your device. An image thumbnail will then be displayed. Image icons on the left will be displayed as menu choices in the customer customisation view, while images to the right will be the preview image for that product choice.
Product Family choices are displayed with default images uploaded into each variation (DEAR Inventory → Inventory → Product → Images and attachments). Preview image and menu image will use the same image. Images are limited to 32 Mb.
Make customisation options conditional
Make to Order allows hiding some customisation options from the selection display depending on what other choices have already been picked. For example, our made to order product is a meal selection pack. We want to hide options from the customer depending on the dietary requirements they have selected.
Clicking the Visibility icon for a menu item or choice opens the visibility configuration window. Current choice can either be shown or hidden under any or all of the selected or not selected conditions. Simply click New Condition to select a configuration item and condition, then Save your changes.
Preview customisation menu
At any time you can see what the customisation menu will look like to your B2B customers by clicking Preview on the Make to Order Product View tab.
This will open the custom options view that the customer will see, so you can check how images, descriptions, and conditional options will look.
Make to Order BOM Configuration
The next step is to configure the Make to Order BOM, matching the required components to the options available for customer selection. We will return to our engagement ring example.
Our Make to Order Product View looks like this, with options to select the ring metal, centre stone, and add optional additional stones and engraving.
Our Make to Order BOM looks like this, with template placeholder items for ring metal, centre stones, and additional stones.
Using the Make to Order Configuration tab, we will connect the two.
- On the Make to Order Configuration tab, click +Add Configuration. You will need at least one configuration per template entry of your Make to Order BOM.
- Start by connecting a Template with a Menu Item using the dropdown menus.
- Next, assign production components to each menu item choice. Click in the Product field to select an item from your inventory that matches up to the choice, where it will be displayed with its unit of measure.
- You can add additional entries per production component per choice by clicking +BOM component. For example, you may have an option where customer selects the type of wood for a box. This will be a BOM component, but you may also need to add supplementary components like nails or glue.
- Next, setup production quantity. Some menu items will require a different quantity of stock from your inventory depending on the chosen selection. In this case, the amount of metal is the same regardless of the choice (in a moment we will take a look at an example when this is not the case).
- For a menu item where the chosen selection DOES NOT affect the stock quantity, leave Which menu items define quantity for products? blank, and simply click Generate quantity variants.
- You will now be able to enter the required quantity of stock required to produce each choice.
- Our next option, selecting the centre stone, is similar. BOM Template: Ring Stone is connected with Menu Item: Centre Stone from the Make to Order Product View.
- Products from the inventory are connected to each choice.
- The other choices do not affect the quantity the stock quantity required for production. We leave Which menu items define quantity for products? blank, click Generate quantity variants, and enter the required quantity of stock to produce each choice.
- Click the Copy icon next to a quantity variant to copy the field to all variants. Columns of the quantity variants grid can be sorted in ascending/descending order or filtered by clicking the Filter icon next to each column heading.
- Our third configuration looks at whether the customer wants additional stones in the setting, and what those stones should be. The components required will depend on two menu items, Additional Stones setting and Select additional stones.
- BOM Template: Additional Stones is connected with Menu Item: Select additional stones. This gives the customer the option of choosing Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald.
- Next, we assign product components. Depending on what the customer selects in the next option, the ring can require medium or small stones to complete the setting. We use + BOM component to add an additional line for each type of stone, and connect the medium and small stones from the inventory to the choices.
- We select Additional Stones setting for Which menu items define quantity for products? and click Generate quantity variants. This generates 4 x 4 variants, a total of 16. Enter the required quantity of stock to produce each variant - in this case, halo settings require 16 small stones, pavé bands require 18 small stones, and three stone settings require 2 medium stones.
- Save your changes when you have finished configuring your template.
Import component quantities via CSV
Once you have generated quantity variants, you can Export the variant data in CSV format, fill in quantity data, then import it back into DEAR. This can save time when you have a lot of quantity variants to enter data for.
Users can clone make-to-order production BOMs for a new product to make it easier to reproduce BOMs of similar finished products. Make-to-order production BOMs can be cloned with or without configuration.
Go to Inventory → New Product, or select an existing product to add a production BOM. Enter/change the product details and select Bill of Materials: Make to Order BOM.
On the Make to Order BOM tab, select a make to order BOM product from the dropdown menu and select Clone BOM.
You will be asked if you want to clone the BOM with or without configuration.
Cloning a make to order BOM with configuration will keep everything the same, including the Custom Options View tab and Make to Order Configuration tab. Configuration can be manually edited before saving if required.
Cloning a make to order BOM without configuration will reproduce the Production BOM exactly, including template lines, but Custom Options View and Make to Order Configuration tab will be left blank. These will need to be manually added by the user.
Sell Make to Order products
Make to Order products can be sold through the DEAR web portal or through DEAR B2B portal. Authorising a sale order for a make to order product generates a production order for that product. Depending on your production order settings, this can also trigger automatic generation of purchase and transfer orders for out-of-stock BOM components.
NOTE: Although it is possible to list make to order products on sales channels such as Shopify, DEAR POS, it will not be possible to configure available options.
Through DEAR web portal
Selling make to order products through the DEAR web portal follows the same process outlined in Processing a Sale.
- Create a new sale and enter the sale and customer details into the document header.
- Add a make to order product to a sale quote or sale order.
- Click Configuration to see the product's current configuration and make changes.
- This will open a pop up showing the current configuration. Click Customise to change the selected configuration.
- This will open the custom options menu that was set up in previous steps. Select the required custom configuration. Save your changes when you are finished to return to the sale screen.
- Clicking Configuration now will show the updated options that have just been selected. Close the popup to continue with the sale.
- Authorise the sale order to generate a production order for the make to order product. The quantity produced will always be the quantity required in the sale order, regardless of production process settings.
Through DEAR B2B portal
Customers will be able to customise a make to order product when adding it to their cart from your B2B portal. You will need to list the make to order product on your portal for it to be visible to the customer. See Getting Started with DEAR B2B for detailed information on setting up your DEAR B2B portal.
NOTE: The Portal Location (set from Integrations → DEAR B2B → [select portal] → General under General Settings) must be the same as the Demand of a logistics path in order to trigger a production order at that logistic path's shopfloor.
- From the B2B portal, select a Make to Order product. Make to Order products will have a Customisable tag.
- Click the product to see its details, then click Customise.
- This will open the custom options menu that was set up in previous steps. Select the required custom configuration.
- When you are finished, Confirm your order to return to the B2B portal and add the item to your shopping cart.
- Continue shopping or Checkout. Once you have completed the check out, a production order will be generated in DEAR for the make to order product. The quantity produced will always be the quantity required in the sale order, regardless of production process settings.
Create production order (make-to-stock)
While most make-to-order products are generated from sales, Core also allows vendors to create make-to-order products directly from production orders selecting the configuration options, as make-to-stock. Make-to-order products can only be created manually from production orders, and cannot be created from production orders using sale, purchase, smart reordering or MRP features.
- Create a new production order and fill in the document header details. Select a make-to-order product for the product name.
- Two choices are displayed: Default configuration or Configure.
- Default configuration will load the BOM using the default make-to-order configuration.
- Configure will allow the user to select the required configuration options, using the same editor as during a sale. The BOM will be loaded using the selected configuration options.
- When the production order is saved, authorized, or released, the configuration is saved and displayed as in a regular production order.
- Configuration options can be changed while the production order is in draft or planning status. Once an order has been released, configuration options can no longer be edited.