One of our most requested features has been to create a way for to account and track materials that are made from other materials. We’ve just released a new feature this week that does this very thing!
We’ve called this “Component Projects” - a project now has a type of either Product or Component which now determines what the project now makes when you create a manufacture log for it.
A Product project works exactly the same as projects have always worked: when you create a manufacture of a Project, it increases your stock of your items for sale and decreases the quantities in your batch recipe. A Component project now does something slightly different - it creates a Component material and adds stock to this instead. This component material can then be added to other projects, so you now can essentially create materials that are made from other materials.
Not exactly following? That’s completely understandable! It’s again a concept that is best explained with an example:
Lets use making a cake as the example - some cake recipes involve an ingredient called “Buttercream” which is in turn made from Butter and Sugar in appropriate quantities. Most bakers tend to make batches of this ahead of time for use on multiple cakes.
Before Craftybase had component projects, to add Buttercream as a material ingredient would have been problematic - I could do one of two things:
a) ignore the fact that I make a batch of buttercream before I make the cake and add the exact amounts of butter and sugar the buttercream contained. This is not great as it doesn’t account for the time I originally spent in creating the buttercream unless I specifically remember to factor in this time as part of the product labour cost.
b) Create a material called “Buttercream” and assign a rough price to this material that equals the amount of materials and labour that has gone into producing this item - also not a great option as I can’t track how much butter and sugar went into creating this so my inventory on these two materials will always be slightly out. From a Craftybase perspective, this material just “appears” and then “disappears” in the system every time it is used leaving really no trace or accurate logs which is also not great.
Now that we have Component Projects, the new process is as follows:
Create a Component Project called “Buttercream” - this project will be used to create new batches of a material also called “Buttercream” that contains a batch recipe with the exact amounts of butter and sugar required.
When I make a batch of Buttercream, my ingredient materials will be decreased correctly and my in stock quantities of Buttercream increase. I can also put labour against this task so that this cost is not lost.
When I create a product (e.g. Birthday Cake) I add this Component Material as part of the batch recipe - this automatically knows how much time has been spent in creating the material and will proportion a labour amount to the product project to account for the time making the batch of Buttercream ahead of time.
This can be used for any situation in which you create a batch of a new material from other materials that is subsequently used in creating your products - for jewelry makers this could be making a batch of clasps or jump rings, and for soap makers it could be creating a fragrance oil that is used in more than one product. It should be a very powerful tool that will allow you to be even more accurate in your inventory tracking going forward - we hope you like it!