We have already covered what engineering change management is and how it can help in the process of launching, changing, and evolvement of a product here. Now, let’s switch gears and dive into terminology and concepts which you will be using while working with the ECM module in Dynamics 365 for SCM.
Engineering vs. Operational
The very first concept we have is the engineering organization vs the operational company.
Organizations can create and designate one of the legal entities in the system as an engineering organization to ensure that the master data of a product is centrally created and maintained. It owns the engineering products and their relevant engineering data.
Then, engineering products and data will be released to operational companies under USMF and USSI.
The engineering organization’s purpose is to manage engineering products. Hence, it is not recommended to do any transactions. Once products are released to the operational companies, they can be transacted against.
When you decide on your engineering company, you need to decide whether it’s going to be one of your logistical companies and whether you need a separate one for easier data management. Make decisions according to your needs, as it cannot be changed later.
Engineering Product, Variant, and Version
Another important concept to understand is engineering product, variant, and version.
Engineering product evolves during its lifecycle and may be changed:
- To improve product serviceability;
- Due to changes within supplier (supplier may not offer it anymore);
- Responding to new insights or fix mistakes in the initial design.
Suppliers may offer the same products in different configurations or colors to meet consumer’s demands & respond to a new trend, which can be tracked through new product variants.
Engineering versions ensures that the various states of a product and its data are kept current and clear so they can be visualized in the system.
Typically, the form feed function rule determines whether a change requires a new product, version, or updated version.
Engineering Product Category
The engineering product categories provide the basis for creating engineering products and help ensure products are created as per the company’s business rules. Each category establishes the default behavior of the engineering products that are created based on that category.
The engineering product category will define:
- What should be a product type – if it is an item or a service;
- What should be a product subtype – whether it would be a product master or a product;
- What should be a product dimension and ConfigVersion.