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Friday, 1 June 2012

Work Orders

Get ready first
It is best to spend some time understanding and setting up work centers and tools, workflows, and bills of material before you start with work orders.

Creating a manufacturing work order
Click on the Work Orders link in the OfficeBooks menu bar, then click on the New Work Order button in the top-right hand corner of the work order list.

This is an example of a work order (give it a click to enlarge).
Note the workflow at the top and bill of materials at the bottom.
You will be prompted to select an item to create with the work order.  OfficeBooks pre-filters the list of possible items to include only items with bills of material.  You can uncheck the "Show only BoM items" checkbox to display all items.

After selecting an item, the screen will refresh and display the workflow at the top of the screen, some work order configuration fields (build qty, instructions, notes, etc), and the bill of materials associated with the item you selected.  Complete the configuration fields as required.  The "Qty to Build" is important as it will drive your material requirements for this work order.

Click update.  This will change the material requirements displayed in the bill of materials (at the bottom of the page) to reflect your build quantity.  Shortages will also be highlighted.

The checkboxes on the workflow steps allow you to actively manage and track your production progress.  At first, the work order is in an "initialized" state.  This allows you to tweak it as necessary before it creates any demand on your supply chain.

You can also assign steps in the workflow to individual employees (the employees must have their own OfficeBooks accounts see User Management for help).

When the first checkbox in the workflow is checked, the work order becomes active and shortage alerts are created to prompt you to buy any required subcomponents, and create work orders for subassemblies.

As manufacturing steps are completed (according to your defined workflow), check off the associated boxes in the workflow section.  When the final check box is checked, the work order is complete and inventory transactions will occur automatically (subcomponent inventories will decrease in accordance with the bill of materials, and the product inventory will increase by the build qty on the work order).


If you consume more or less sub-components than planned on the bill of materials, you can edit associated lines on the work order to reflect your actual consumption.   This process helps ensure that your inventory levels remain accurate and will provide with a more precise unit cost for your finished goods.

Click the chart icon on the Work Order list
to view a variance report for completed work orders
If you build more or less product than originally planned, you will be prompted to enter a final build quantity when the work order is completed (the last checkbox in the workflow is checked).

Once the work order is complete, you can run a variance report to review unit costs.  If the item built is a product with a list price, this report will also display your profit margin based on the actual unit cost from this work order.

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