Improving Partial Shipments on Large Assemblies (multiple truckloads)?

I’d like to improve how we handle shipping our large building assemblies. A customer orders a custom building. The ordered part number is an assembly with one operation of Op10 “Ship”. The BOM has all the detail parts/assemblies (up to 9 levels deep). The building takes multiple truck loads to deliver, and is shipped over the course of several weeks as assemblies are manufactured.

Since it’s a single part number on the Epicor order, the Epicor shipment (pack slip) can’t be entered until the final shipment is done, possibly a month later. It’s a very manual process to track which BOM details got shipped and finally enter the shipment in Epicor (which also delays invoicing and overstates inventory value).

There has to be a better way. Kits? Projects?

@Banderson?

We created a process outside of Epicor, as Epicor didn’t have anything that did that. We bought Ipods and scanners (linea pro) and had a local company develop an app to run on it. The app wrote to some UD tables and we created a structure in there of lifts(pallets) and trucks that went to jobs. Overall it costs about $150K + label printer hardware. But for us, the traceability has saved us in a lot of customer service cases. We take pictures with the IPODs and that helps immensely.

I did all of the Epicor side of the customization with dashboards and tools, some C# here and there, but most of it was with the tools that were provided from Epicor. It wasn’t a trivial project, but it was a lot of fun, and we gained quite a bit from it.

Edit: I want to add one thing. If you do something like this, do everything you can to NOT use apple products. Apple might be great for consumers, but for enterprise it is a huge pain. We didn’t know how bad it was when we started, and we originally went with apple because there is hardware/scanners out that works with it due to such a standard form. However, the accounts you have to use and fees you have to pay and messing around with all of the stuff that Apple requires for you so simply use a piece of their hardware is a huge pain, and if I were to do it all over again, I would look a lot harder at different hardware so that we didn’t have to use Apple.

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Brandon - Thanks! We’ve got handhelds and scanners already with Epicor, so hopefully additional hardware wouldn’t be needed. Does your company use Insite Manifest?

Thinking out loud - If we used a kit as the top level part instead of an assembly, we could ship the kit detail lines (next level down assembly). We’d be OK invoicing at final shipment, since the customers have put deposits down already.

Would kits change how jobs get scheduled vs assemblies that are make direct?

I found this thread: Partial shipping of Kit in parent pricing mode. @Rick_Bird @BoostERP

we do not.

I have not used kits so I can’t comment on whether or not it’s a valid solution.

The sales kit option might work for you. You have to pick whether to price and ship components or parents.

You cannot mix and match these two, so you cannot price at parent level and ship at the component level.

Component shipping lets you do what you are asking to do.

Phantom pack might be a second thing to look at.

FYI

Brad

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@askulte what did you end up doing?

@utaylor - AFAIK, we’re doing Misc shipments to capture at least something in the system (even though no inventory transactions get recorded), then saving it all up for a single Customer Shipment when the final part ships.

As we discuss this issue internally every few months, we’re now wanting to manufacture and then ship via truckload in the order of field assembly. It’s yet one more wrinkle when the customer sales order has a single part number, but flows down into a several jobs that span weekly truckload shipments over a month of manufacturing.

Once we get Project Management & Billing implemented, we’ll see how much more traceability that gives. I don’t think PCID will help in our case… Brandon’s solution seems solid too.

@askulte thanks for your reply. I will have to look into misc shipments to see if it would help us out. I believe I looked into it a while back. PCID, AFAIK, will not help us… yet. Every year at insights they are doing more and more with it so maybe it will fit our needs sooner or later.

In the current incarnation of the Projects module, there is no way to track shipments from inventory against a project. This is a VERY popular request among the other Project users in the last Project Product Advisory Group. If you want the Projects PM’s (Patricia Aparicio) email so you can add your company to the list - you could probably figure it out (first.last at epicor dot com). :wink:

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Mark - Thanks! Our large buildings are make to order. We’ll have to experiment. I think the next try will be breaking up the single line order for “Building” into a line for each truck. It’s going to be a nightmare determining what parts go on each truck. Maybe we could use excel (Noooo!!! Not another spreadsheet!!!) and export the BOM, and add a column for truck num, and then re-sort by truck, and paste into the order as zero dollar lines (which has it’s own issues). Thinking out loud…

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UD tables.

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I am going to try this as soon as I get time. We have needed it for so long. As a work around we ship components from jobs by making UOMs that are fractions of EA (the order line UOM). In this way we can pack 50 components in customer shipment entry but select our custom UOM for the component so it equates to half the shipment. Then on the other side of the plant they pack the other components and use the custom uom for their components. In this way we get two pack IDs that equate each to half of the order line and together add up to the whole order line. It allows us to identify the number of packs we have, but gets scary when we have 3 separate components or other weird fractions like that.

Maybe I should do a presentation at insights on what we did? (that’s kind of a longs ways away though)

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You should try it. I spoke to the guy who won the RUG cup a couple years ago and he told me he built one heck of a customization that did what we are talking about. It sounded pretty intricate. I am glad that we aren’t the only company that ships job assemblies that assemble into one line item and struggle with a way to do so using built in Epicor shipment functionality.

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I’m planning on doing a presentation (or two), I just have to figure out what I should talk about. I have couple good projects, but an hour isn’t a lot of time to explain some of the stuff.

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It never is.