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I'm interested in specifying various stock qualities for items, with pricing varying according to quality. For example, I would like to be able to define/track/sell open-box or display versions of products. These should have distinct pricing, but it seems ideal to do this using one single product master. Should this be done using variants? One difficulty with variants is that I only want to rely on the use of variants if they're actually relevant - i.e. I don't want to configure or specify variants when such non-standard stock is available. Is there a way to assume a certain variant (and ignore the fact that it's a variant) unless other, non-standard variants are available?
Of course, if there's a better route to accomplish this, or if there are facets of AX that I'm overlooking, please feel free to let me know!
I'm afraid this approach may cost you extra time and headaches when it comes to maintaining the records properly.
Different variants are like different items. If you have 10 good items and then you open the packaging of one of them, you will need to post a journal to convert 1 of those items to have "Open package" variant. If you post 2 instead, or if you find out the packaging was fine than you will need to reverse that journal with using values the other way around.
Since you tagged "Retail", I assume you are in Retail business. In retail environments, customers and sale are given higher priority than fixing issues and mistakes in ERP systems. So after some point, it might not worth anymore.
Also, only items with product type of "Product masters" can have variants. If your current items are not product masters, then you can not add variants to them. Therefore, you will need to create new items for those as well.
I recommend to go with a simpler approach like using discount checks or manual price entry etc.
If you are on R3 and are using advanced warehousing, this can be done with Inventory Status. You can maintain sales prices by inventory status, reservations of inventory by inventory status, and maintain separate inventory positions by item and inventory status.
I would not suggest going the route of using product variants unless that is your only choice, that leads to far too much complexity and can have performance impacts in some processes.
Thank you for your thoughtful replies, Fatih and Colby. What both of you say makes clear that variants are not well suited to creating multiple stock quality levels of a given item.
I've since tried to accomplish this aim by creating "virtual" warehouses which correspond to different quality levels of a a particular item. Pricing might then be managed through trade agreements that apply to items of a given quality level that are inventoried at these corresponding "virtual" warehouses... This solution seems to work well in a test environment, but admittedly I'm still developing my understanding of AX and how such changes might impact other aspects of our company's information. If we were interested in maintaining one item number in AX with varying stock qualities, does this warehouse based solution seem remotely suitable?
We are using 2012 R2, so unfortunately the inventory status or item potency features of R3 are beyond our reach right now!
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