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By: Cybrosys Technologies

Why Choose ERP for Product Variant Management?


What is the product variant?

A product variant can be defined as a variant of the same product when the product has different attributes. In other words, we can say that if the product can be considered as a parent, then the variants can be termed as children.
The variation can be caused by the size, color, or other elements. All major businesses, especially product-oriented businesses require managing product variants.
For example, a company named XYZ is selling T-shirts. They may be manufacturing T-Shirts in different sizes and colors.
Here, the company may be selling T-Shirts in different sizes. The size may include, extra small (XS),  small, medium, and large, or Extra Large. We refer to the sizes like XS, S, M, L, XL. 
XYZ may be selling T-Shirts in different colors including blue, green, yellow, black, white, etc.
Here, we can examine this example by choosing black as the color of the T-Shirt.
Then a buyer will have the option to purchase a small, Blue T-Shirt, Medium Blue T-Shirt, Large Blue T-shirt, XL Blue T Shirt, or XS Blue T-Shirt.
The user may use any of the variants
Based on
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Colors: blue, green, yellow, black, white
If we are considering the above example where there are five colors and five sizes available the total number of product variants available for sale will be 5*5=25. Sometimes, these products may have different inventories.
From this set of options, the buyer may be requiring a specific product from a set of available options. For example, a buyer may want a small, black T-Shirt.
As the price for different variants may vary, the manufacturer or the POS may also require a specific system to manage product variants.

When should we use product variants?

We can use product variants for different purposes. Here, we can go through why we require variants?
• eCommerce: Ecommerce is a major sector that has been growing over the years. With the emergence of e-commerce platforms, online stores are selling different variants of the same product in different ways. Online shops are a virtual space where the buyer will get only a template for the product. This will help the buyer to choose the product. Whenever a customer clicks on the product, the customer will get different options to choose the most suitable variant. The variants will be displayed based on the availability of size or colors
 • Manufacturing: Manufacturing, as we know, is the process of making products from materials. To ensure an effective manufacturing process we need a bill of material. Bill of material for product defines the attributes of the product and the variants. For Example, in the clothing manufacturing industry, the user may require different colors of clothes for preparing T-Shirts in different colors. Then we will add the color of the material in the attribute line. In the same way, the size of the product may also differ based on the variant as the quantity of material used may differ.
• Pricing: The price of a product depends on many factors. An ERP tool can help calculate the default price of a product based on the rules set in the ERP system. An efficient ERP tool can help the user to manage the price of the product as well as product variants. It can be of use when an extra amount is charged on some attributes. The size of footwear or the color of a mobile phone may decide the price. As the user can easily set the prices for every attribute, the price calculation becomes a simple process when you are depending on an efficient ERP platform.

How can ERP help to manage product variants?

ERP usually offers comprehensive support for managing the different needs of a business firm. In the same way, it offers support to manage product variants. This can be done at the inventory level with the help of Inventory management tools. The importance of product variants has increased with the emergence of the E-Commerce business. In the online platform, the product attributes are used to manage sales. Whenever a buyer chooses the color and size of the T-shirt, then the ERP tool will automatically locate the inventory and trace product availability and the price details.
A product variant can be managed with the help of a barcode. The barcode for each variant will be different as it will help the sale activities.
The price of a product variant may also differ from the price of another product. Especially, the price of some sought-after colors, maybe limited editions, and may be different from the price of other variants.
The availability check can also be based on the inventory where the product is located. The demand for inventory checks becomes more important if the product is sold online. The inventory location of different variants may be different and the system automatically traces the location when the buyer chooses the color and size.
The ERP may also help you to manage the image of the product based on the buyer’s choice of the variant. The same product may have different images and the images will appear to be dependent on the choice of color.
An ERP can also help to update the buyer about the taxes and other charges for each variant.

Why choose Odoo?

Odoo being an open-source solution has the capacity to manage the different needs of a client with efficiency. Having separate modules for inventory and manufacturing modules, Odoo can efficiently and effortlessly handle the product variants. Odoo can support the user be it a vendor or a manufacturer to manage product variants.
It will also help the user to manage the price of the products based on their attributes. Price management which can otherwise be a herculean task gets automated and quick to calculate once you embrace Odoo.
In this blog, we have gone through the importance of ERP for Product variant management. We can go deep into the use of Odoo for Product Variant in the next blog.
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