The item classification functionality is a powerful tool to help you identify and create all of your items for your industry. It may also be viewed as a complement to Item templates but with many more bells and whistles. Where item templates are useful during item creation to handle data that is constant for an item, Item classification is extremely beneficial for data that varies from item to item. A lot of the data established via Item Classification can also be used as search criteria when looking up items.
Item classification can be divided into the following three main areas:
The bulk of Item classification is in the set up. The fundamentals for taking advantage of this functionality is to classify your items by grouping structures, characteristics and values to ensure the creation of a unique entity when creating your items and thus allow the end-user to accurately search for items.
Simply put, each item, grouped under a grouping structure, shares the same set of characteristics but not the same values. Items will inherit all linked characteristics in the grouping structure and at the same time a specific value per characteristic can be defined per item. It is possible to control the item identity, thus making it as unique or as general as required within the grouping structure. This is set up at DIS control file level. The grouping structure is as follows:
- Main group
- Profile 1
- Profile 2
Note: The names for the grouping structure outlined above are just concepts within Item classification. The naming is user-definable and is dictated by what Item related key has been chosen to represent the entity during set-up, (e.g., Item sector, Item group, Item category 5, etc). Since the description and panel lead text for the applicable keys can also be user-defined, the actual naming of this grouping structure will depend on what has been set-up in the DIS control keys table.
The characteristics and associated values are linked to the different grouping structures when you define/build the Item classification definition. The Item classification definition file is the hub where the entire set up process comes together. At that time you can, optionally, choose to:
- Design layout definitions which are used to dynamically build the applicable description(s)/code based on characteristics and other available values declared within the layout. The information that you can automatically generate includes the Item code, Item description, Extended item description, Internal item description and Item foreign description.
- Define the unit(s) applicable for any item that belong to the group structure, and (if applicable) use formulas to calculate unit information that varies from item to item, such as weight, volume and conversion factors. (Several units can be generated for one item). Note: Units and Item code/Description(s) are applied/generated when an item is created.
- Define base sales and purchase prices to be applied upon any item grouped within the applicable grouping structure (i.e. Item classification definition). In addition, it allows you to use characteristics and items to define pricing exceptions where, depending on the entered criteria, items might receive a different base purchase / sales price than the one defined as the standard for any item belonging to the applicable grouping structure.
Note: Unlike the unit and item code/description generation, prices are generated and applied AFTER item creation from the applicable item classification definition. This is because the pricing routine requires the item to be completely created before any pricing calculation can be applied.
The generation/creation of the item and its associated information (depending on what was defined during the set-up process) is a simple procedure. To be able to access the panel from which everything takes place, certain stipulations must be met. See Applying Item Classification definitions to create items for more information and instructions.
When you click Add to add the item, you access the Apply item classification definition panel where you make your grouping structure and value selections for the listed characteristics. When you click Apply, the item classification definition will be applied on the item together with all automatically generated data. You will be taken to the Item basic data panel as in the standard item creation. From that stage, the item creation continues as standard.
The end-user can search for items generated via the Item classification functionality by utilizing a separate/designated search mode in the Select item routine. This gives the end-user the possibility to easily and accurately look up items using the grouping structure parameters, characteristics and the characteristic values. There are also other item search possibilities available in the system. Click the link under Related Topics for information.