This blog is written for partners and people interested in the Elfsquad functionalities and best practices. With this article, we dive further into the details of setting up a product structure in Elfsquad, which will be ERP proof.
A configurator for complex products can increase its usability by integrating with ERP. The product has many variations and the Bill of Materials (BOMs) could always be different based on the configuration that is made for, or by the customer. Therefore, it is important to create a product structure with a Bill of Materials in it already. In this blog, we will dive further into setting up an ERP-proof product structure.
In Elfsquad your product structure is built in the form of Features. Features can be articles from your ERP, elements used to structure and extra explanation of elements for the user. Basically, everything you need in a product structure is a Feature. Every Feature has its own characteristics, like descriptions, extended descriptions, prices, codes and images. How the Feature behaves depends on how you set up your structure. If your configurator is (end-)user focused, you will have a list of questions that the user has to answer in order to configure the whole product. With simple products like a car, the chosen Features can already be an article from ERP. If the configuration results in an order, then this article will be part of the Bill of Materials.
However, in many cases it isn’t so straightforward. For example by configuring a table. A (end-) user fills in the dimensions of one’s preferred table and choses the material of the table surface. For your BOMs you want to know what kind of materials and how much of this material you need.
In Elfsquad I would recommend creating a separate “section” that is called ERP Bill of Materials. All materials that are needed for the configuration are listed here. For example, a sheet of wood. This is an article in ERP with a price per square meter. The configuration tells me how many square meters are needed and what it will cost.
Besides the Material article, a Feature for the Length and Width should be created under the same parent. With this, a whole “package” for a Bill of Materials row in ERP is created. Based on the information of the Elfsquad quote, the correct mapping of the package sheet of woods with the right dimensions is created in ERP.
We experience that partners who have the knowledge about setting up product structures in a clear and understanding way are the most successful in implementing Elfsquad CPQ fully on their own. This is great because both parties can focus on how to successfully utilize a CPQ solution, instead of making inefficient and time-consuming choices when it comes to creating product structures.
The main advantages of creating a separate Bill of Materials part in your product structure are:
When you look at the following example, you gain a better understanding of why it’s necessary for a company to build product structures in an ERP-friendly way. A company produces a parametric product, for example, a conveyor. Due to the fact that all possible lengths are in millimeters, every time a different Bill of Materials is created. However, by implementing Elfsquad CPQ, companies are able to generate a dynamic Bill of Materials, instead of pre-defining every Bill of Materials upfront. A huge time saver and less data pollution!
The best way to set this up within Elfsquad is to secure all the logic about what and how many materials are needed within the product structure of the Elfsquad model. Nonetheless, this will work up to a certain level. The bolts and nuts can be in ERP only. By sending article ABC to ERP, the materials within this article which are not affected by the configuration should stay in ERP. In this way, you keep the structure clean.
Other subjects implemented within the Bill of Material sections: