TradeGecko for Manufacturing is primarily catered to businesses with light manufacturing workflows, i.e. manufacturing activity that uses moderate amounts of partially processed materials to produce items of relatively high value per unit weight.

To know the exact list of all components needed to produce one unit of a product, companies usually refer to a document called Bill of Materials (BOM), also named product structure or associated list.

In this article, we cover whether your product needs a BOM at all, as well as two methods of creating a BOM on TradeGecko – including one that will save you precious time thanks to our templated file!

The subtle difference between Manufactured Variant and Bundle

As explained in details on their official page, TradeGecko offers different types of variant structure in order to better represent the products you are selling: BundlesPack Size, and Manufactured Variant.

While Pack Size is pretty straightforward – the grouping of the same product into multiple quantities and selling it as 1 variant – deciding whether a product is a Bundle (needing a Bundle Composition) or a Manufactured Variant (requiring a BOM) is not always clear-cut.

Let’s pick up the example of a wristwatch product as featured by TradeGecko: as an up-and-coming designer watch brand, we source watch components, and manufacture and sell a line of trendy leather wristwatches. So, when using TradeGecko, shall we refer to this wristwatch as a Bundle or a Manufactured Variant?

Although our clients purchase a complete watch and not watch components such as watch face or watch strap, it is essential for us to track the stock level of those different components that make up a final wristwatch. In addition, we’d like to take into account the production time and labour cost that go into the assembling of that wristwatch – a critical cost factor in countries with high hourly labour wages!

Because an assembling order involves the irreversible consumption of components to create our wristwatch, using the Manufacturing module’s BOM and Production Orders is the best way to control stock levels and overall production costs. Therefore, our wristwatch will be entered as a Manufactured Variant that will require a BOM later on (more on that in the next section).

Fast-forward a couple of months. Thanks to a fantastic product and a strong eco-system of partners, our watch sales have been soaring at breakneck speed! To meet the demand of our discerning clientele, we now decide to market the wristwatch with a trendy pair of sunglasses purchased from a manufacturer, as part of a new seasonal kit.

This is also an opportunity to expand our product portfolio by branching out to sunglasses. When using TradeGecko, do we refer to this Kit as a Bundle or a Manufactured Variant?

We note that there is no product assembling or transformation process involved here, therefore no labour cost or production time to be taken into account. 

While it is technically possible to create a BOM for this kit, it is more efficient to refer to it as a Bundle, since we also intend to sell the sunglasses separately. This also saves us the trouble of manually creating a Production Order each time a kit order is placed. A Bundle will require that we input its Bundle Composition, which is fairly similar to a BOM structure minus the labour cost.

Manually creating a BOM

Whether it is from an existing variant or by populating a new variant in the process, the method for manually creating a BOM is quite simple, as explained by TradeGecko in this step-by-step documentation.

However, while it works well for a BOM with very few components, the reality is that many finished products requiring light manufacturing can feature up to 50 components, if not more, depending on the complexity involved. Hardly difficult to imagine how tedious and error-prone this manual process can be in this scenario.

“Hold on a second. Don’t TradeGecko say on their website that it is possible to bulk upload Bill of Materials in CSV format?”, attentive users like yourself may ask. 

While it is true that it is being advertised on their page as such, it turns out that this feature is not yet available, with no specific timeframe on it either. We can only suspect the sheer amount of work their technical team is facing to deliver a world-class product, has pushed this release on the back burner. Fortunately, there’s a workaround to save you precious time!

Enabling BOM Bulk Upload

This method involves a three-step approach:

  1. Download the templated CSV file
  2. Fill it in correctly with your product and BOM details
  3. Send it to the TradeGecko support team

At Rue Digital our motto is to help clients save time and efforts on TradeGecko, so they can focus on their business. Click to download your BOM bulk upload reference file, and create complex Bill of Materials at lightning speed!

Below are the detailed explanation on how to fill it in with your own product data.

  1. Manufactured Variant SKU: The SKU of the variant whose BOM will be imported.
  2. Manufactured Quantity: Expected yield quantity of the BOM (usually 1).
  3. BOM Number: Reference number of the BOM (tip: insert the assembled SKU easily keep track of your BOMs, if you have numerous ones).
  4. Default Stock Location: Default assigned stock location of the BOM.
  5. Default Assignee Name: First Name and Last Name of the user whose BOM is assigned too, if applicable.
  6. Component Variant SKU: The SKU of the variant of the component inside BOM. If it’s “Other Costs”, the leave it empty.
  7. Component Label: If it’s “Other Costs”, then this is the name of that costs e.g. Labour, Shipping Costs. If it’s a component, then put the SKU of the variant in here.
  8. Component Quantity: The component quantity needed for this BOM line item.
  9. Component Cost: When it’s “Other Costs”, then enter the cost price here. If it’s component, then leave it empty (components’ cost you entered when creating the variant will automatically be displayed).
  10. Ledger Account Code: If no accounting integration, then leave the value blank. When it’s “Other Costs”, then enter the ledger account code that you want to assign the cost to. If it’s component, then leave this empty.

Once you are done, save the file and send it to your TradeGecko Account Manager, or at [email protected] with your account name. They should be able to upload it fairly quickly if all information provided are correct. Voila!

Want to save even more time? As part of our one-stop implementation services, Rue Digital handles on your behalf the end-to-end process of creating, populating, importing and connecting Products and BOMs into your TradeGecko account.


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