Parts Variance Analyser

Parts Variance Analyser


The constantly changing requirements in the markets lead to a constant adaptation and expansion of the own product range (external variance). In addition, the company's own engineering and production also contributes to changes in the parts used (internal variance). This external and internal variance often leads to a constant growth of the own parts base and can lead to increasing difficulties to configure the own products customer-specific and error-free.

Carefully constructed parts classes or other ontologies can help to keep an overview and order in the parts master, but they usually cannot prevent the parts master from growing per se. Also missing is the definition of a configuration logic for the own products.

By introducing sustainable variant management, the growth of the parts master can be slowed down sustainably, which automatically leads to an increased overview, improved order in the parts master and overall to improved efficiency in the production process. On the other hand, the necessary configuration logic for one's own product range results almost in parallel.

For this purpose, it is first necessary to find "similar" parts in the part master, i.e. to find and structure groups of parts in such a way that the individual members of a group can only be unambiguously described by different versions of one and the same set of characteristics. The attribute scale itself is determined by the group and is therefore valid for all members (parts) of the group.

For each group of parts, a so-called variant part with its specific characteristics is then created. The parts of the group are then assigned to the variant part as so-called sub-parts, whereby the characteristics list is defined for each of these sub-parts according to the characteristics of the sub-part. The sub-parts assigned to a variant part clearly show the differences between these sub-parts with regard to the characteristic values of the features.

Here it can often already be established that sub-parts have been defined unnecessarily, since their characteristics - clearly described by the characteristic bar - are quite comparable and even substitutable with other sub-parts of the same variant part.

The consistent introduction of product features, product feature strips and variant parts gives the entire parts master a clear structure. The focus is no longer on the individual parts, but rather on material features, i.e. characteristics that determine the parts to be used. The rules of configuration logic then only refer to characteristics - i.e. properties - and no longer directly to part numbers.

This separation of the configuration logic from part numbers also makes it possible to determine configurations with parts for which there is still "no part number": in this case, the configuration determines variant parts with those characteristics for which there is (still) no subpart in the variant part. This does not have to be the case, because the desired - non-existent - part is clearly specified by the variant part and the distinct attribute list. With this unambiguous specification, it can be processed throughout the entire logistics process even without a system in the part master.

Variant parts and their associated lower parts with a distinct list of characteristics can thus help to increase the diversity of the product range without creating an overflowing parts master: in this way, variance can be controlled.


With this module, groups of parts can be found by examining the words in the part designations. For this purpose, all part designations are first broken down into the individual words. Each of these words holds all the parts in whose part designation this word occurs. By forming intersections or unions of these individual words it is easily possible to put together groups of parts of "similar" parts.

List window

In this window, the entire functionality for analysing the variance of a parts master is summarised. The following procedure is recommended when analysing the parts variance:

  1. Selection and listing of the parts to be examined in the parts list
  2. Creation of the word list from the part designations of all or only the selected parts of the parts list
  3. Possible editing/error correction of the words in the word list: the words are automatically replaced in the part designations
  4. Form groups of parts from the intersection or union of the parts assigned to the selected words
  5. Assign these parts as subparts to a new variant part to be created
  6. Maintain the attribute list and its characteristics

This procedure assigns more and more individual parts to variant parts, thus increasing the structure of the parts master.

Menu itemDescription
Edit -
: Parts-
: : Reset parts list-
: : : complete listThe entire parts list is emptied
: : : remove only selected partsOnly the selected parts are removed from the parts list
: : : remove all but the selected partsOnly the NOT selected parts are removed from the parts list
: : Select parts-
: : : All (single) partsAll individual parts stored in the system, i.e. no variant parts and no subparts subordinate to variant parts are listed
: : : SearchThe mask for searching and selecting parts opens
: : : Advanced searchThe mask for searching for and selecting parts - expanded according to logistical aspects - opens
: : Edit partThe editing window of the part master opens
: : : Create word list from part namesFrom the part names of all (if no parts are selected) or only the selected parts of the parts list, all words are extracted individually and listed in the adjoining word list
: : : List words of selected partsThe individual words of the part designations of the selected parts are displayed as a separate list in the vocabulary
: : : Combine selected parts to a new variant partThe parts selected in the parts list are assigned as subparts to a newly created variant part
: words 
: : Reset word listThe entire list of words is emptied
: : Edit wordThe selected word can be edited in the vocabulary
: : : Edit word in related partsThe text of the selected word can be changed and the changed word is automatically replaced in the parts assigned to the word
: : Select the parts of the selected words... 
: : : : ...as a union quantityAll (the union of) the parts assigned to the selected words are selected in the parts list
: : : ...as an intersectionThe intersection of the parts assigned to the selected words is selected in the parts list. The intersection consists of the parts in whose part names all selected words occur
: Variants 
: Data exchange-
: : Import parts 
: : : from Excel fileParts of a foreign merchandise management system can be imported by means of an Excel file. The structure of the Excel file must first be defined in the data exchange specifications and in the data record descriptions
Options Opens the options window
list_clear.pngReset parts list
: partsIn this list, this submenuis available as a context menu
: : ListList of parts to be examined
: : Number of parts / selectedNumber of all and the selected parts
: wordsIn this list, this submenuis available as a context menu
: : search

Enter (partial) words to search. Several words can be entered separated by spaces.

: : ListList of words that appear in the part designations. Behind each word the number of parts (column No. Parts) is indicated, in whose part description this word occurs
: : Number of words / selectedNumber of all and the selected words
: variantsIn this list the editing window in the part mastercan be opened by double-clicking on a variant part
: : ListList of variant parts already defined in the system
: : Number of variants / selectedNumber of all and the selected variants


Option window

All settings for data exchange can be made here. Once set, options can be saved as the default option for the logged-in user. For this purpose, there is a context menu item on the "Preferences" tab in the "User Preferences" list, which can be used to save the current options.

Menu itemDescription
Edit -
: Set default settingsall changed settings are reset to default
Data exchange  
: File format 
: : File formatFor data exchange with the leading host merchandise management system, the format of the parts master data import file as Excel *.xls or *.xslx can be specified here
: Import 
: : File directoryOptional specification of the directory in which the import file is located. If only a file directory is specified (i.e. no file name: see next field), the directory must be terminated with \*.
: : File nameOptional specification of the name of the import file. If both a file directory and a file name are specified, then the import process starts without additional query of the import file
: : Excel spreadsheetIf an Excel Import Format (*.xsl, or *.xslx) has been selected as file format (see above), the number of the spreadsheet must be entered here
: : Import from line *Specifies from which line of the import file the data should be read in. This specification is valid for all import files, i.e. also for the files with counted actual quantities. In contrast, the export is always written from line 1
Data record description 
Data fieldThe following is a list of data fields that can be specified for import (fields marked with an * are required fields)
: : Article number *Position of the article number specification in the import file
: : Article description *Position of the 1st line of the article description in the import file
: : Article description 2Position of the 2nd line of the article description in the import file
: : Article description 3Position of the 3rd line of the article description in the import file
: : Article description 4Position of the 4th line of the article description in the import file
: : Article description 5Position of the 5th line of the article description in the import file
: : Part classPosition of the specification of the part class. The imported parts are assigned to this part class. Part classes are created automatically during import
: : Unit of measurePosition of the specification of the (storage) unit of measure of the part in the import file. If a zero is entered here, "piece" is always used as the unit of measure
: Global presetsGlobal presets can be saved for the client and account. These are displayed here as well as the current default options that each module has. To create a global preset, a user preset must first be saved. With a right click on this user setting and selection of the context menu item "Edit user-defined setting" an editing window for this setting is opened, where the assignment of the employee / user to a client or a cost centre can be changed. (Button "Level")
: User PresetsEach user can save any number of presets. It is only important to note that if several settings are found, the first one found is used as the default setting. The name of the setting can be changed with a double-click.
OKThe settings are saved and the window is closed.


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