Production order reference / priority label

In version 17.9.85, the recently renamed Reference field still shows up as Priority when viewing the completed order:

My understanding is that it’s suppose be a Priority not a reference.

This is to cater for when there are interrelated production orders on the same day, so that Manager will process them in order. A finished good may have intermediate processes, making the wheat into flour in the morning and then making the flour into bread in the afternoon.

Prior to the “Priority” field, Manager could process the afternoon production order - creating negative flour - before processing the morning production order which screwed up costings.

Just having a production order reference number 1, 2, 3 . . . 998, 999 is useless unless the user enters the production orders in strict order which may not be the case. The office may issue a production order (# 245) for 100 loafs to the factory, the factory may then create a production order (# 251) for the amount of wheat used - once it is known.

I actually didn’t think the prior Priority field was that intelligent. I thought its only purpose was to let you set a priority so the production department knew which orders to work on first. I did not think it had anything to do with processing order by Manager. But I never experimented with it.

“The latest version (16.5.70) will allow you to set Priority on production orders. So if you have multiple production orders on the same date, you should use this field to make sure production orders are processed in the right order.”

Fixed in the latest version (17.9.87).

My issue with priority field was that it was relatively high maintenance and quite non-standard.

Currently reference number will be used to determine “priority” however more work will be probably done in future to make this even better.

There is a lot to be improved on production orders so will see how it all ends up being in the end.

Perhaps the reference field could have a sub field #234 a. #234 b, which would then group the interrelated production orders and provide a order. Otherwise the office will need to create the sub production orders as well as the finished production orders - wheat production order first (left blank) as well as the loaf production order second (Qty entered).

I know, if production orders are entered in wrong sequence, this will affect how they are executed.

The best course of action would be if Manager could figure out the sequence on its own. If it detects “circular dependence”, it could be considered an error. Because honestly, you can make bread out of flour but you can’t make flour out of bread.

So this is probably a direction I want to take it.

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I feel that user directed would be better suited to multilayer production.

PO’s - typical with food manufacturer

  1. Raw material A + B to create Semi Processed H
  2. Raw material C + D to create Semi Processed I
  3. Raw material E + Semi Process H to create 2nd Semi Process J
  4. Semi Process I + 2nd Semi Process J to create Final Batch
  5. Final Batch + Packaging Items to create Finished Goods.

That would be to complex for Manager to mentally detect "circular dependence"
Far simpler for the user to instruct Manager with a, b, c, d, e

Would it also work if that Reference/Priority field was a double, rather than an integer?

This would fit in with comments from @Brucanna but would mean using numbers instead of letters:






In the latest version (20.5.51), Reference field on production orders is no longer used to manage multi-stage production.

Instead, there is now Production stage field on inventory items.

Screenshot_2020-05-22 Test 3 — Inventory Item — Edit

This field is visible only if there are production orders in the business (otherwise it is irrelevant).

Let’s say your production workflow is:

  1. Purchase Pulp
  2. Convert Pulp -> Paper
  3. Convert Paper -> Book
  4. Sell Book

You’d assign Pulp number 1, Paper number 2 and Book number 3. Then all production orders of the same date will be executed in the correct order.


As per the screenshot, I’ve purchased 1,000 kg of Pulp for 2,000. And had production order converting 200 kg of pulp to 40,000 sheets paper, then 20,000 sheets of paper to 100 books on the same day. Manager has calculated inventory cost of 2 per book.

The reason Manager doesn’t try to work it out automatically is mostly because there would be always a risk of circular dependence as @Brucanna says (perhaps due to bookkeeping error). I think it’s not too much hassle to configure Production stage field on a few inventory items instead.

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@lubos i am sorry to say but this development may not be suitable for a business producing more than one product.
a single inventory item may be used at different stages of production for different finished products. in such cases, which i believe would be the majority of cases, this concept of setting the Production Stage at an inventory item level will not benefit.

@sharpdrivetek I don’t see a problem

It’s OK if one inventory item is used as a component in many different output items. Just make sure output items belong to higher production stage.

i am not sure if it is practical to assign a higher production stage to an output item when the actual production stages required is fewer.

lets say i have input items Item A, Item B and Item C and i assign them 1, 2 and 3 respectively as production stages.
then i have two output items Output D and Output E.
Output D requires a production process involving three stages where the first stage uses Input A, second stage uses Input B and the third stage uses Input C. in this case Output D can be assigned number 4 as a production stage.
now, Output E requires only two stages of production process involving Input A and Input B. so it would be misleading to set Output E with a production stage number 5.

even if we set aside the fact that it would be misleading, it is not practical to remember and assign a higher production stage number when a business has thousands of inventory items.

also, a production order in most cases involve more than one bill of materials. so giving the inventory items a number individually when they are part of a single production stage is not correct in my opinion.

a simpler approach would have been to provide the Production stage beside the Bill of materials in the Production Orders tab. this would get the user input to determine the production stage of an output item from which Manager can calculate the inventory cost.
or we can utilize the current implementation where the production stage is entered only for output items and Manager could simply auto-populate the above suggested field in Production Orders when the output item is selected as a Finished item. this would also help if Manager has plans to implement the BOM feature.

In this case Output E can be assigned production stage 3 because it is still higher than Input A or Input B.

Default production stage is 1 for all items. So you only need to elevate some items to higher production stage.

An attempt to apply the “Production Stage” (PS) process to the previous illustrated example.

PO’s - typical with food manufacturer

  1. Raw material A + B to create Semi Processed H
  2. Raw material C + D to create Semi Processed I
  3. Raw material E + Semi Process H to create 2nd Semi Process J
  4. Semi Process I + 2nd Semi Process J to create Final Batch
  5. Final Batch + Packaging Items to create Finished Goods.

Raw materials A, B, C, D, E plus Packaging would all be PS 1 as they are primary items.
Semi Process H & I would be PS 2, as they include PS 1 items.
2nd Semi Process J would be PS 3, as it incudes both PS 1 & PS 2 items
Final Batch would be PS 4, as it incudes both PS 2 & PS 3 items
Finished Goods would be PS 5, as it includes both PS 1 & PS 4 items.

My only suggestion would be that the numbering be spaced to allow for production flexibility.
PS 1 for primary items
PS 5 for semi process items
PS 10 for 2nd process items
PS 15 for final batch items
PS 20 for finished goods

Assuming the process is just looking for a higher number rather than a sequential number

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@lubos i am just curious to ask, in case you have plans, how do you plan to implement multiple output production orders if the production stages are set at inventory item level? one of the uses of having a multiple output production order would be to dismantle finished goods to their bill of materials. in this case the output would be the bill of materials which will already have a lower production stage assigned to them than the input.

Remembering, that you only need to use / set “production stages” if you are going to have related Production Orders occurring with the same date, that is, an output produced in the morning is going to be an input in the afternoon, such as with food processing. If the related Production Orders aren’t occurring with the same date, then “production stages” aren’t required, as the Production Orders are processed in date order.

So returning to your example, if you are going to be dismantling a finished good, did that finished good originally require a sub-production, if no, then there is no “production stage” issues. If yes, did that sub-production occur with the same date as the finished good’s creation, if no, then there is no “production stage” issues. If yes, then perhaps the finished good to be dismantled needs to be transferred to another Inventory Item first so that it can be set to a lower inventory item level, but this process is currently restricted due to production orders having only one output.

This is essentially the same as the circular production problem described in the last section of the Guide: The example there is applicable to disassembly as well as recycling.

Yes, I agree, but due to the current PO output limitation of one, there would need to be an untold number of PO’s required to reinstate the dismantled Inventory, for example, if an engine is being dismantled into 100 parts, then 100 production orders would need to be created to get those parts back into their respective Inventory Items.

This is why PO’s with multiple outputs should have a high priority.

I agree.