Saturday, 11 August 2012

General tips on Configure to Order


This document briefs about some of the important tips and techniques to leverage the best of Configure to Order features introduced in R12. It will be updated on regular basis.

Choose Match or Not:

Match to existing configurations is an excellent feature of Configure to order. In R12, this profile offered more flexibility as you can make this setting at Model item level instead of restricted only at Profile level. When set for matching, the Autocreate configured items program looks first for an existing configured item with the same options of model selected in CANNED table. In case it doesnt exist, the relevant selection data of newly created item  also moves to CANNED table. So, when same options are selected next time, the program picks up the existing configred item instead of creating new item. You need to choose based your priorities and business requirements on whether to have match or not.

Match ON

1. With match on, you can have good track on how each combination of your ATO Options are selected by customers. You can easily figure out the most popular combinations and may plan for them as pre-configured items.

2. Your Business Intelligence reports provide the data on how each combination performed based on various KPI's

3. You can avoid Overheads of toomany Configured items and BOM's getting created.

Match OFF

1. With Match On, the Autocreate configured items do not create the item and matches to the existing configured items whenever the configurations match. This can create some disadvantages such as:

a. newly offered discounts or other pricing will not apply because that price calculations happen on the basis of selected options in the sales order lines.

b. In the same way, any modifications in the lead times, will not reflect as leadtime rollup is bypassed due to matching and no creation of new item

c. Any updated costs at component level are rolled up to the newly created configured item but if the match happens to the existing item, the same cost of the item remain

2. Invoicing of matched configured items, will not be displaying the options selected in the sales order line.  Many customer would like to see the Invoice with the details of subassemblies/ options that they selected. for example, when a computer is bought, the invoicing if shows the price of memory and CD drives, it may be more appealing to some section of customers.

Choose the Item Attribute "Create Configured item, BOM and Routing"

R12 provided the feature of choosing the Autocreate COnfigured item based on this attribute. According to the setting to one of the 3 values for this attribute, the program creates as follows:

1- Based on Sourcing: Item and BOM are created only in the organizations in Sourcing chain defined for the ATO Model

2- Item Based on Model, BOM, Routing based on Sourcing: Configured item is created in all organization to which Model is assigned and BOM is created in organizations which lie in the Sourcing Chain from shipping warehouse of Sales order.

3- Based on Model- Both Item and BOM are created in all organizations to which the ATO model is assigned

Choose 2 in any of the below conditions

If the item involves in inter org transfers that involves organizations which are not in sourcing chain of the configured item or if the item is invoiced in org which is not in sourcing chain
If you have a practice of  return the configured items for repair in to a Non-Manufacturing organizations (This is to make sure the returned items are not picked up by Planning for other fulfillments)
Choose 3 in any of the below conditions

If the item involves in inter org transfers that involves organizations which are not in sourcing chain of the configured item or if the item is invoiced in org which is not in sourcing chain
If you have a practice of  return the configured items for repair in to a Non-Manufacturing organizations (This is to make sure the returned items are not picked up by Planning for other fulfillments)
You need Global Order Promising Features (Like suggesting the best ship from org based on the Sourcing definitions and Option Specific Sourcing setup, validating the shipfrom warehouse)
If your ATO Model has multiple sources such as Customer based, Category based etc.
If in your transactions you quite often change the warehouse after configured item is created.
Limitations : If you make the choice of 3 for an ATO Model, you need to ensure all ATO Models that are child Models to this Parent Models must also be set for choice 3. There is no business justification to this restriction but it is a technical limitation as not having child models in some organizations create inconsistency.

In case you make any changes to the Attribute Create Configured Item, BOM and routing, you need to make sure you run the program "Update Existing configurations" to get all the earlier created items are corrected with the changed settings.

Finetuning: Making the choice 3, provides many advantages as mentioned above but also creates overheads of BOM Creation in all the organization especially if there are a few organizations where you may not need BOM. In such cases you can effectively set the BOM Parameter "Create Config Allowed".

for example, in OM Validations Organization where if you do not manufacture items, the BOM may not be required. You may set the parameter to NO in this organization.

Model design is critical

While you design the Model, you must be very careful in decision making. You need to be clear on how your organization wants to do business and the dynamics of business as well as the pattern of transactions such as sales, returns ,frequency of changes the way item is sourced and delivered and repaired.

Make the configuration userfriendly:

You need to make sure the user spend optimum time with ease while configuring the models in order entry, irrespective of the complexity.

Try to use the existing features to the best effect. Implicit rules Optional, Sales Basis and Mutually Exclusive in BOM settings help ensure  you offer the only options that you make or assemble. For example, Mutually exclusive makes sure the user doesnt select two options together when you give any one of them.
You can also restrict the quantity per, in a range that is offered by you. When u know only 1 is allowed to choose as quantity U can set it in BOM definition for that component.

2. Use configurator rules to default the selections (including the quantities) based on the popularity that you might be knowing to make sure the user changes only a few and completes the configuration. Define Guided selling to avoid loading all multi-level options in one shot and direct to the right options based on progressive selection.
3. Prevent  issues by proper setup well in advance. For example if the user needs to select the Decimal quantities, set the profiles in OM (OM Indivisible) and CZ (CZ: Allow decimal Quantities) to allow decimal quantities.
4. Depending on the kind of requirements that you have, decide on OM Options Window Vs Configurator as Performance is better when you use OM Options windows while there are lots of features in Configurator.
Preconfiguration Settings

Model BOM Options Population: You can do preconfiguration from BOM using the Base Model set for  the ATO Item. And depending on the profile setting, the configurator picks up the  BOM from OM Validation organization or from the BOM Organization. Please be aware of this profile to ensure the outcome is in line with the preferences. Other important profile for preconfiguration is BOM: Configurator URL to make sure you call the configurator from within BOM.

Sourcing Rules and OSS Setups: The Sourcing definitions and Option Specific Sourcing setup impacts the Preconfigured BOM Creation. If you try to preconfigure an item based on a model that is sourced entirely from another organization, you will receive an error asking you to go to the source organization to configure the item.

Preconfigured BOM Creation: Autocreate Configured items program while creating the Configured item also performs the  weight and volume calculations, lead time calculations, cost rollup, list price and purchase price rollup for the configuration items. However in case of Preconfigured BOM Creations you need to perform the individual concurrent programs. Please also be aware that you cant pre-configure alternate BOM.

If a routing already exists for an ATO Item having a base model, and then the user preconfigures the bill for the ATO Item, the BOM Creation doesnt override the existing Routing.

Also make a note the Weight and Volume calculations do not happen during the Preconfiguration. You need to run the Batch program to get this calculation done.

Configuration Effective Dates


You need to be very cautious about the way, the effectivity of the Optional and included components of the Model and Option classes are considered by various programs and tools.
Configurator populates the optional items in the Configurator UI based on the effectivity dates Site level parameter (Configuration Effectivity Dates). The value of this parameter can be Model Line Creations, System date till booking, System date till pick released. The system date is compared with the effective and expiry dates of each component and populates only the items whose Model Creation date or system date falls between them (according to the value set to the parameter).


However the complexity is in the way, the configured BOM is validated. Autocreate Configured items program created the BOM and includes the components for which the scheduled date of the order line falls between the effective and expiry dates. The effectivity of the selected options and included items might have changed between the day the configured item options are selected and the day when the configured item and BOM are created. the system flashes warning and even apply hold to the sales order line depending on the settings. Apart from this, the program also looks at sourcing rules and if the options are expired or not available in the Model BOM of Sourcing org, there will be inconsistency.

Use Advanced Features but with Caution

R12 offers Option Specific Sourcing and also adopted to Global Order Promising of Planning.But you need to make sure you setup carefully to make sure the features give all good, without any conflicts.

Weight and Volume Calculations

Once again make a note that the weight and volume calculations happen differently based on whether you create the configured items from Progress order of Sales order, Concurrent Program or through preconfigured item.

Also the weights and volumes are picked up for calculations from the values of items in the OM Validation organization but the calculated values are copied to all Organization items.

The calculations can fail if the UOM conversions between Weight UOM of components and parent is not maintained. At any level if the calculation doesnt happen further roll up doesnt happen and hence the configured item will not have weight and volume.

Make sure you set the right volume and weight to the items in OM Validation Organization.

Lead Time Calculation

Lead time calculation can be misleading if the setup is not done properly

When Configured items are created from Sales Order Pad through Progress Order, the lead time can be calculated based on the Profile setting on whether to do Lead time calculation or not. When you do not have option dependent routing steps, it is better to set the Lead time calculation to No. In such case,  the lead time for configured item is picked up from the lead time value set for the ATO Model.

If Concurrent program is run to create configured items, the profile setting is defaulted but you can override to do or not to do the calculation.

The accuracy of Lead time as what you want, also depends on the BOM parameter 'Include Model and Option Class in Lead Time Rollup'. If you set to Yes, the lead time and Model and Option Class are included in the Roll up along with the lead times of selected options.

You will set this value to No, when you have appropriate numbers for the optional items.

Autocreate Configurations through Batch Program Vs Progress Order

You need to know subtle differences between the configured item creation process when run from Sales order vs the outcome of the Concurrent process "Autocreate Configured Items".

Certain validations do not happen when the process is run from the Sales order pad.

1. All Profile setting defauts are referred while executing Leadtime calculations, Cost Rollup and Price Rollup when you create configured item through Progress order from Sales order pad. Where as in case of Concurrent program profile settings are defaulted but you can override them.

2. Basis settings in the BOM are honored by the concurrent program

3. You cant set the Release offset days

1 comment:

  1. Regards
    Sridevi Koduru (Senior Oracle Apps Trainer Oracleappstechnical.com)
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