Recipes are the tools m-power users to calculate costs and manage workflows. The recipe structure is shown below. We supply products to our clients. A product is a collection of product variations. Each variation has a recipe that includes all the information on how to make the products. The recipe allows us to calculate the cost of making the product and also allows us to schedule and track the workflow through manufacturing.
- Products are what we sell to our clients. Products can be customer-specific (a particular part # you make for them) or generic products you sell to all clients.
- A Product is a collection of one or more Product Variations. For example, a variation to a product might relate to how the product looks, how long it lasts, or how it is made. If there is more than one product variation, you will be asked to select from a list of variations as the second dropdown list after you select a product.
- Each product variation may be linked to a Recipe that documents how the product is made and what materials are needed to make it. Suppose we don't have a predetermined price for a product variation. In that case, the recipe acts as a 'calculator' to work out the variation's cost based on the cost of the materials and the time needed to manufacture. Recipes are made of materials and operations, and each line in a recipe can present the user with options and questions which guide the user through configuring the recipe. The list of options and questions is called a 'wizard.'
- The recipe contains the list of Materials that are used in the job. Materials include the raw materials but also costs you pay to third parties for outwork, freight, machinery hire and other direct costs.
- The list of Operations needed to manufacture the product is called its 'Workflow'. Each operation requires time to perform. Scheduling is how we assign operations to people or machines called 'Resources'.
- We can assign Options to each Material or Operation. In the case of materials, Options let you choose from a limited selection of materials that might be best suited for the job. For Operations, an option might be a selection of printing settings and a list of artwork difficulty. Options make it easier to apply settings to a process or material, making it easier to calculate the final price.
- Questions allow us to update one row in a recipe (a specific material or process) with information that better explains the cost. For example, for materials, the Question might be the cost of outwork, the quote number for outwork or the number of components needed (like eyelets). For operations, a question might be an estimate of the time required or the number of times the process must be repeated.