Product Definition, Variant and Structure Management

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Efficient variant management for configurable products

Benefit from our proven solution!

Successful companies know how to reduce the growing complexity of products and processes in a targeted manner using variant management. It is the control of the variant diversity that makes it possible to serve the market optimally with modularized solutions. Configurable products have long been the key to success, surpassing individually developed variants. However, the majority of companies find it challenging to map the variant management in an efficient way when it comes to data. With 4PEP Product Definition, Variant and Structure Management, we offer an approach for a smart variant management that serves as a basis for sustainable business success.

4PEP Product Definition, Variant and Structure Management allows you to define the variants of a product that is to be developed along with the structure of the product in a simple and quick way. This web-based solution in the modern SAP Fiori® technology offers you transparency, flexibility and data safety while being closely integrated into SAP standard processes.

Produktstruktur- und Variantenmanagement Fact Sheet – ILC GmbH

Success Stories

Kundenreferenz ERCO GmbH - ILC GmbH
Referenz ERCO

4PEP Product Definition, Variant and Structure Management at ERCO

Kundenreferenz BSH Hausgeräte GmbH - ILC GmbH
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Simple modeling of configurable products using 4PEP at BSH

Customer Quotes

Referenz ERCO

“With the innovation of LED, our number of variants has sky-rocketed. Thanks to 4PEP, the same team can handle up to 40 times more product variations! 4PEP is our core for the entire product life cycle.”

Andreas Schütz, Research & Development, Team Leader Project Management Office

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“With the user-friendly solution 4PEP Product Definition, Variant and Structure Management, employees are now able to create complex characteristics-based sets of rules for product variants after only one day of training without any programming or expert knowledge, while significantly saving time.”

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Christian Wlczek, Development Business Processes

Best Practices in Variant Management

  • optimization of variant diversity and creation of a balance between inner and outer variance,
  • separation into different worlds and areas of responsibility (e.g., production and sales),
  • use of a mathematically described and therefore analyzable variant model,
  • reliable mapping of changes made to variants using versions and validity periods,
  • decoupling of the variant modeling from SAP master data and automatic creation of master data at the right time.

Your Benefit

  • You control variants throughout their entire life cycle.
  • You create a uniform communication basis for everyone involved.
  • You reduce costs by evaluating necessary follow-on processes early on.
  • You avoid creating unnecessary master data.
  • You create a savings potential of 30-50 per cent by improving data quality and by saving time.

Product Development Record

The Product Development Record represents the entry point and also the overall framework of the application. Each product record consists of different development statuses, which again assemble individual information and structures that describe the product at a given time. The continuous development of the product across its life cycle is mapped with versions of the development status

Maintenance of the Combinatorics

A product is described by mapping its properties in the form of characteristics. In the early phase, it is not necessary to have SAP classes or SAP characteristics. Allowed product variants are defined using a rules set that displays the combinatorics between the characteristic values. The processing is then done in an easily comprehensible matrix display and with a configurator that evaluates the set of rules, followed by a characteristic value assignment and an automatic compilation of the desired variants.

Product Structure

The product structure separates the product or system into its physical elements like assemblies, sub-assemblies and parts. It displays the maximum structure of the product. In the early phase, it is possible to model the product without SAP master data. The product structure keeps the connection to the variants or the characteristics, which means that closed as well as open variant concepts are supported:

  • The maximum structure with variants can be used to derive individual (manufacturing) BOMs by assigning assemblies to variants.
  • The direct connection of specific characteristic values with the elements of the product structure makes it possible to generate selection conditions that can be applied to a rule-based variants BOM.
  • Objects dependencies that are needed in the SAP variant configuration are created automatically without any manual programming.

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