IM Size&Color

How to improve size and color management in MS Business Central with IM Size&Color

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An effective size and color management software offers many business opportunities by streamlining implementation and reducing the complexity of marketing items with differing sizes and colors.

Business Central and variants

Microsoft Business Central offers as standard the possibility of managing sizes and colors with its variant functionality. However, working with variants requires extra configuration by the Business Central administrator and for the user. How can you manage variant sizes and colors?

  1. Variant configuration: To configure products with variants, a list of variants associated with each product must be created. In this list, each combination of size and color will be a separate variant. Registered variants are unique for each product combination, therefore the process must be rigorous and disciplined. If it is not done correctly, you can end up having different variants coded within the same reference, or different references indicating the same combination of size and color, making operations difficult when dealing with inquiries about stock, sales, shopping, etc.
  2. Identification of variants: Operationally, in Business Central, in order to use a variant as a reference, it is necessary to use the cross references associated with the products.
  3. Stock valuation: When evaluating inventory, if different versions or variants of an item are used, the cost associated with that particular item is derived from the different costs of the different variants. To track costs in detail for each version and variant of an item, it is necessary to use the storage units linked to those items. This involves performing additional configurations and keeping data up to date in Business Central. However, there is a risk that, on a day-to-day basis, these steps may be overlooked.
  4. Inventory: Stock queries for variants of a reference are not direct, but must be carried out through explicit queries configured within each product. This makes it difficult for the user to have a global view of the stock for a specific size or color, regardless of the reference.
    When carrying out any movement of warehouse stock, in addition to updating the reference, the variant must be updated, which means more work for the user with tasks that not only involve more steps but are reliant on the configuration in point 1 above having been done rigorously.
  5. Sales, prices and discounts: As with managing inventory, variants must be taken into account in sales as well. When creating prices and sales discounts, variants must be considered to avoid registering a price or discount for a specific variant. Since there is no matrix visualization, this makes management even more difficult.
  6. Purchases, prices and discounts: Just as with sales, the same issues apply to purchases.

 

Variants and their limitations

Although the option to work with variants partially solves the issues around managing items with differing sizes and colors, there are also limitations, additional work and risks to take into account:

Complexity in the initial configuration: Setting up and maintaining variant management can be complex, especially if you have a wide range of products with numerous options for sizes, colors and other attributes. This can require significant time and effort in initial setup and ongoing work.

  1. Accurate inventory data requirements: To manage variants effectively, it is essential to maintain accurate inventory data for each size and color combination. Inventory discrepancies can lead to availability issues and delivery delays.
  2. Need for staff training: Employees using Business Central to manage variants must be adequately trained to perform this task effectively. Lack of training can lead to errors in variant configuration and management.
  3.  Price and promotion management: Managing prices and promotions for variants can be complicated, especially if you want to establish specific pricing strategies for each size and color combination.
  4. Continuous review and update: Variant management is not static; the process of reviewing and updating is continuous as preferences change.
  5. Online store integration: Using Business Central to manage an online store brings the additional challenge of precise integration of variants into an e-commerce platform. This requires constant attention and maintenance and linking Business Central with an e-commerce platform represents an additional cost.
  6. Associated costs: The configuration and maintenance of a variant management system in Business Central can entail a considerable extra workload. It is not possible to control costs at the variant level. Business Central only records the costs associated with the main product and not the variant.
  7. Scalability: As the business grows, variant management can become more complex. Inventory control is not especially intuitive. It requires extra work, applying FlowFilter fields to obtain the variant stock on many screens.

Why IM Size&Color is the definitive solution?

IM Size&Color is a Microsoft-certified extension from IM Projects, available in the Business Central app marketplace. What is IM Size&Color, and why is it the definitive solution for size and color management?

IM Size&Color saves time and increases control of all the tasks necessary to design, maintain and manage items with size and color variations in MS Dynamics 365 Business Central, as follows:

  1. All size and color variants treated as a standard Business Central item: Create and maintain size and color variants using the ‘parent product’ means each size and color combination is set up and registered as a final product. This brings the benefit of being able to access and use all of Business Central’s standard article management capabilities. Configure the parent product, define its sizes and colors, and the application will automatically generate as many ‘child products’ or variants as there are combinations, automatically adding the size and color to the description of each item.
  2. Agile management of all combinations: Manage all items from the parent product with a matrix that facilitates the complete modification of all variants.
  3. A display for efficient and fast order management: Manage sales orders, purchase orders or transfer orders with a matrix that greatly speeds up the entry of all variants in these orders.
  4. Materials: Manage lists of materials from the parent product, automatically updating all variant or child items. Any increases in material (and cost) per size can be easily applied.
  5. Document templates: Reduce wasted project time by developing templates necessary for good visualization of sizes and colors in documents by including in the extension a model applicable to all documents.
  6. Costs and inventory valuation: Eliminate all variant limitations with each combination in IM Size&Color treated as a single, unique reference. This enables users to take advantage of the power of standard costs and valuations offered by Business Central.
  7. Stock control: Control stock at the parent level and see the variant stocks in the matrix. IM Size&Color can also be used to configure stock planning (replenishment directives).

If you want to know more, contact us.

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