Inventory management - product boxes

We sell a product that when sold via retail, is sent in boxes for shipping that are customised to the product. So for the individual product, I use production orders to create stock. My problem is that given we have about 9 products and the boxes of 3 can be customised, unique production orders can get quite complicated with all of the variations. We use inventory kits for the pre-designed packs of 3, but for the customised mix and match, the permutations are a bit ridiculous.

Is there a best practice approach I should use? We’d like to have the boxes included as part of our COGS. The box is comprised of the product, the box(we have 3 sizes), the custom label and use of a special tape.

Your comment about permutations is unclear. You have furnished no information about the degree of customization involved. Nine products isn’t many. How many permutations are actually used? You have several tools to consider:

  • Inventory kits for only packaging of broad applicability, so you would select individual inventory items and add a custom packaging set that contains the choices. Fancy language and a zero price could make this appear as a high-end personalization service.
  • Inventory kits for all realistic possibilities.
  • Cloning of prior transactions.
  • Inclusion of packaging in production orders, either as explicit inventory items or non-inventory costs.

your option is to make production orders for manufacturing and packaging separately.
you could create custom fields as a column in Production Orders to differentiate the processes like Manufacturing and Packaging.
so you would create a Manufacturing production order to create inventory stock.
then as per your sales requirement, you will create a Packaging production order which includes the manufactured inventory, the box, custom label, special tape etc. you could give a suitable name for the packed inventory item which will be the final product you sell.

Thanks, it looks like inventory kits for all possible packaged outcomes is the way to go. Every possible permutation will be quite large but I don’t see any way around this.