Linking Finished Goods
This article describes the process of manually linking a new item or SKU or existing finished good item or SKU to another existing finished good item or SKU. This is done to help forecast demand for newly introduced items or replacements of existing items. As a reminder, an item is a specific item across all locations whereas a SKU is a specific item/location combination.
Linking is a functionality that helps forecast demand for newly introduced items or replacement of existing items. When full linking is made, the old item should be disabled because the goal of the process is the replacement of the old item from the new one. If a new item is linked to an old item and the last one is not disabled, the history at the upper level will be doubled up.
For component linking, please read the article Linking Components
Old Item = Item that is selected to be linked to another item, no matter the new item is existing or newly created; item which history/forecast will affect new item's history/forecast
New Item = Item which history and/or forecast will be affected by the history and/or forecast of the old item
Go to Data Maintenance interface
- Click on "Data" in top menu
- Click on "Data Maintenance"
- The "Item" data maintenance group is the default view
Select the Old item/SKU
- Select the old item/SKU you would like to link to the new item/SKU
- Click on "Link" to open the linking pop-up. Please make certain your pop-up blocker is off.
- Search for the new item(s) that will be linked to the old item and click on the (+) to apply. You can link more than one item to a new item. Then,
- Select the Linking Mode:
- Full Linking: This is applied in situations where the new item fully replaces the old item. The history of the old item is copied to the new item. In this case, the old item should be disabled and thus no longer included in history. This is most applicable when introducing revisions to existing products. We do not recommend this options if you do not plan to disable the old item since it will double up sales history when demand planning.
- Forecast Only: This option is used when you would like to use an existing item(s) history to help forecast a new item. With this option, the new item will only reflect its own history but will also use the old items history that has been copied to forecast. If you view a demand plan or forecast for a Forecast Only linked item you will see the forecast but there will be no history shown other than its own direct sales. This approach does not double up history during demand planning.
- Transition: This option is only applicable to full linking and when inventory is being considered in the requirement planning process. It is covered in detail below.
- Select the Linking Type:
- By SKU: Applies the link against the selected SKU (item/location) combination. If SKU is chosen, only the locations of the old SKU will be made available. There is currently no cross-location linking.
- By Item: Applies the link for the given item across all associated locations.
- Select Options:
- Copy Demand Plan: This option is only available in the legacy S&OP application but will eventually be added in Advanced Planning.
- Copy Open Customer Orders: Copies open customer orders from the old item to the new item.
- Copy Open Shop Orders: Copies open shop orders from the old item to the new item.
- Copy Open Vendor Orders: Copies vendor orders from the old item to the new item.
- Select Linking Date:
- Full History: Copies the full history of the old item to the new item and is continually copied to the new item until the sales of the old item ceases.
- Linking Start: Defines when the old items history stops and the new item starts. Depending on the date chosen and the sales of the old item and new item, there could be a period of overlap between the two. Link dates may be as of the day link is created, in the past, or in the future.
- Click Save to apply the link
- You may remove a selected item by clicking on the x icon next to the new item
Please note that the linking date and other options may be changed after creating a link. If a change is made the new settings will be applied against the new item.
If Advanced Planning is enabled, a new customer order upload must be initiated in order for the newly linked item to appear in the Forecast and Demand Plan views.
This option is only applicable to full linking and when inventory is being considered in the requirement planning process.
There are two types of transition for finished goods linking.
- Soft: The link wont occur unless the prior items inventory is consumed at the time where the transition from old to new is scheduled to take place
- Hard: The transition of old to new occurs at a hard date regardless if there is inventory remaining with the prior finished good.
- Temporary linking option does not apply to finished goods linking - only component linking.
View items with links
Items with links will be designated by having "Yes" with the type of link in the column "History Link." Clicking on the column header will sort these linked items.