Due to product complexity in manufacturing, a huge range of material variants are built up over time and greatly impact quoting decisions to provide the best offer to your customer(s).
Assistive selling in Material variant helps the user(s) to start with a few key configurations, which filter the list of possible variant options. This can then be used to compare features of up to 5 variants and eventually be able to select the best options in the quoting process.
This feature dynamically proposes ALL material variants that are matching the current configuration specification from the current sales item – a configurable material – with the existing variant materials.
Preview of Material Variants
As for the above-mentioned reason, the material variant finder allows the user to have a closer look by clicking on the Preview button. Click on the preview button to navigate to the material's specification.
As mostly used in the manufacturing world, the data sheets are an essential view of products and their specifications. Hence the format is closely aligned to the datasheet type of visualization. Below is an example workflow using the Preview and Replace Action.
Logic to filter Variants by parent KMAT relationship
If you have maintained the relationship between Variant and KMAT (using the KMAT field on Product Header as shown in the image below).
You can turn ON the Boolean flag "Allow variant matching by relationship" to only search within variants that are related to the parent KMAT.
If this Boolean flag is turned OFF, any product which matches the dynamic attribute will show up in the result even if it's not related to parent KMAT.
Comparison of Material Variants
The product variant finder searches all possible and available variants during the configuration process based on the existing configurable material and its current configuration. When such suggested material variants can be previewed before selecting or using those for the underlying quote, resp., the material configuration enables to speed up the entire process. Alternatively, the Rep can copy configuration from the closest variant and then make the remaining adjustments to the configuration.
The product variant comparison allows to compare up to 5 product variants and shows all configurations side-by-side. Already configured characteristics are highlighted and obvious to the user.
Having reviewed the variants, any actions can be selected to continue the work. The actions provided, are:
- Add product variant material to the quote (in the background)
- Replace product variant with the existing configurable material (KMAT)
- Copy product variant characteristics into the underlying configurable material (KMAT) and continue configuration based on customer requirements
- Close the product variant comparison
There are two launch areas of the above command selection, one on the side panel itself, the other within the product comparison view:
Figure 7: Deciding which action to take within the product variant comparison
Figure 8: Selection next action from finder tool directly
Exemplary Workflow: Comparison material variants
Figure 9: Exemplary workflow comparing 4 products and copying values into configuration
- User assistance to highlight what values are already configured.
- Fast one-click action to continue configuration work.
Configuration and Set-Up
A business administrator can hide or show the product variant finder tool for selected users conveniently. Select 'Administration' > 'User Management' > 'Users' > 'Mass edit user(s) preferences'.
The variant finder tool can be configured to hide or show the variant finder tool. Select 'User Profile' > 'Preferences'.
Customize Variant linked to KMAT
When a classified product is linked to a KMAT, the user(s) will see a "Configure" button in the Product Catalog. This button, adds the linked KMAT and copies the values from the classified product, and allows the user to change or customize any of the values.
This feature provides a helpful starting point to begin configuration while ensuring that requests are kept close to standard variants.
'Quotes' > (select an open quote) > click on the + icon to add line item
The user(s) will be directed to the product catalog page where they will be able to add a product into the line item or click 'Configure' to make a few amendments to the product based on their preferences.
For instance, clicking on a product closest to the user(s) preference provides a faster time to value as the product(s) have been prefilled. An example below shows the configuration is 83% completed where the user(s) may only need to configure a few items instead of configuring from scratch or 0%.
Often the configuration starts with a configurable material, that is sooner or later exchanged with a matching variant.
All sales item relevant information e.g., manually add price conditions, partners, sales item texts, and attachments that were compiled for the configurable remain intact even after replacing with matching variant.
Users, while working on the configurable line item, manually add price conditions, partner details like ship-, bill-to, etc. parties, sales item texts, specific attachments, and other line items specific information. The key users can decide whether for the companies business scenario and processes those data entries shall persist when a replacement takes place.
As part of variant matching and if this option is enabled, users could at any point replacing KMAT with a variant, with the expectation and the result that manually added information is not lost.
The following image shows the Line Item Header Attributes:
The following image shows the Line Item Manual Price Conditions:
The following image shows the Line Item Details :
The following image shows the Line Item Header Sales Text:
The following image shows the Line Item Partner Details:
The following image shows the Attachments:
alternatively, the same information is found in the side panel 'Help' in the line item's configuration workspace:
Key users configure first of all to set the 'Administration' -> 'Master Data Management' -> 'Setting String' -> 'Setting Enable Copy SalesItem Data On SalesItem Replacement' to TRUE if the entered data shall be kept at line item replacement.