Assembly items are inventory items that are made up of other components. Those components can be stock items, non-stock items, services, labor, or even other assemblies. Quantity and costs are tracked for assembly items just like they are for stock items. The two essential differences between assembly items and stock items are:

  1. Assemblies have a bill of materials (a list of components)
  2. Assemblies are built instead of purchased

To create a new assembly item. go to the Maintain menu and choose Inventory Items. Enter a new Item ID and a description. At Item Class select Assembly or, if you need to track serial numbers for the assembled item choose Serialized Assembly. Setting the item class correctly is essential. Only assemblies can have a bill of materials, and you can’t change the class of an existing item to Assembly. Fill in the rest of the fields on the General tab as you would for a typical stock item before moving on to the Bill of Materials tab.

The Bill of Materials tab is where you list the items used to make the final assembled item. Each component must already exist as an inventory item. When you select the Item ID of a component, the description will display in the second column. Next enter the number of units needed to build one assembly in the Quantity Needed column. Add each component on a new line. The Add button on the right will let you insert a row between two existing lines. And obviously the Remove button will remove the currently selected row. Once this assembly item has been used in a transaction, the Add/Remove buttons will be greyed out. You can use assemblies as components on other assemblies, but you can’t use serialized item, charge items, or activity items. Click the Save button when you are done. You can save the item and come back to make changes as long as you don’t use the assembly on a transaction. Once the assembly item has a transaction linked to it, the bill of materials is locked. (We’ll talk about revisions later.)

There are two ways to build your assembly. The simplest is to go to Tasks > Assemblies, then follow these steps:

  • Enter the Item ID for the assembly you want to build.
  • The date is the date that the components will be removed from inventory and the assembled item will be added to inventory.
  • Enter a reference to identity this transactions
  • At Action choose Build. If you need to disassemble an item and put the components back in inventory select Unbuild.
  • Enter the quantity to build (or unbuild).

The bottom half of the window lists each component along with the quantity required to build your assembly and the quantity on hand as of the build date. If the quantity on hand is less than the required quantity for any item, the quantity on hand will display in red. You won’t be able to save the transaction until you have sufficient quantity on hand. You can leave this window open while you enter a purchase or inventory adjustment to cover the shortage. If you use sub-assemblies, Sage 50 WILL NOT auto-build the sub-assemblies. You have to build the lower level assemblies before you can build the final assembly.

When you save the build transaction, the components are relieved from inventory and the assembly is placed in inventory. Your cost on the assembly is equal to the sum of the costs of the components.

The other method to build an assembly is to use a work ticket (Tasks menu > Work Ticket). Use work tickets if you want a document you can send to your shop telling them what to build. You can also use a work ticket to mark items from the bill of materials as complete so you can track your progress. This is just a notation field. It will not relieve components from inventory until the entire work ticket is complete and does not provide you with work in process (WIP) accounting. You can also log hours on the work ticket but they do not affect costs in any way. The Required and On Hand columns work just as they do in the Build window. Click the Print button to save and print the work ticket or the Save button to save it without printing. Once the assemblies have been physically produced, open the related work ticket in this window again and check the Close Ticket box. Click Save (or Print) to save the completed work ticket, relieve the components from inventory, and add the completed assemblies into inventory.

REVISING A BILL OF MATERIALS – In Sage 50 Premium you can’t revise a bill of materials. If your BOM changes you’ll need to create a new assembly item. To make it easier you can copy the old item and then edit the bill of materials on the new item.

Sage 50 Quantum, however, allows you to create a bill of materials revision. At the bottom of the Bill of Materials tab in Maintain Inventory Items there is a Revisions button. Click it to see a list of existing BOM revisions for this assembly. The original BOM is revision 0 and each successive revision will be numbered consecutively. Click the New button to start a new revision. You’ll get a window listing everything on the most recent BOM revision. You can change any of the Item IDs currently on the BOM or you can add or remove components, move them up or down in the list, or click Clear All to start with an empty list. Before you save your changes, be sure to set the Effective Date. The effective date is extremely important because only transactions dated on or after that date will use this bill of materials revision. This lets you enter known upcoming changes ahead of time.

As you can see, the assembly feature in Sage 50 is designed for items that don’t change frequently. If you custom build or let customers choose from optional features/components this won’t be the right tool for you. But if you repeatedly build the same items the same way, Sage 50’s assembly feature will be a valuable tool to help manage your inventory.