Assemblies

Use Assemblies to group one or more cost items into a finished product or unit cost item that can be sold, or used in projects.

HINT-- Assemblies are a key part of the Goldenseal estimating software and inventory management software. They are particularly useful for manufacturers and construction companies.

ASSEMBLY BASICS
       When to Use Assemblies | Entering Assemblies
       Data Fields | Contract Setup | Sales Setup
       Optional Fields | Status Field | Suggested Quantity
       Cost Components | Calculated Prices | Waste Factor
       Labor and Material Multipliers | Fixed Rate Components
       Case Quantities | Manufacturing | Package Prices
        Example-- Using Components | Using Assemblies

WORKING WITH ASSEMBLY RECORDS
       Entering Records | Changing Records | Deleting Records | Voiding Records
       Finding Records | Sorting Records | Fixing Mistakes

WEBSITE INFO LINKS
       Inventory Software | Estimating Software | Construction Estimating Software
       Inventory Management | Inventory Tracking | Inventory Control Software

RELATED TOPICS
       Cost Categories | Cost Items | Job Costs | Locations
       Unit Cost Basics | Unit Cost Design Hints | Unit Cost Setup

When to Use Assemblies

Use assemblies for any of the following purposes:

  • For construction work that consists of labor and material components.
  • For services that include predictable amounts of labor and/or materials.
  • For items you manufacture from labor and raw materials.
  • For items that you resell that require setup time or other labor.
  • To convert between sale units-- for example, when you purchase by the case but sell individual items.
  • For package deals that you offer, that combine several items and have a price that is different from the sum of the components.

You don't need to use assemblies, but they are a good way to store the "smarts" of your business, so your cost estimates and retail prices will accurately reflect your costs.

Entering Assemblies

To enter an Assembly, follow these steps:
  1. Choose Assemblies from the Costs menu.
  2. Click the New button, or choose New Record from the Edit menu.
  3. Fill in details about the assembly.


Data Fields

Enter the following information for each Assembly:

Menu Name-- Type in any name for the assembly. This is the text that will appear in menus.
Full Name-- Type in a more complete name for reports.
Category System-- Choose an optional Category System to which this item will belong.
Category-- Choose a Cost Category under which to list this cost item.
Show in All Categories-- Turn on the checkbox if you'd like to include this item in all categories, not just the one in the Category field.  You might want to use this option if an item is used in many different cost categories.
Subcategory--  Choose a subcategory under which to list this cost item.  You can only enter a subcategory if you use a Category System that has subcategories.
UPC Code-- If you use a "bar code" for this item, enter it here.
Item Code-- If you use a code number for this assembly, type it in here. The code number may have up to four digits to the right of the decimal.
Unit Size-- Use the clairvoyant field to enter a Unit Size.
Comments-- Type in a more complete description of the assembly here, or any comments you'd like to make about it.
Component Category System-- Choose the Category System to use when entering subassemblies into the component table.

Creation Date-- Today's date is entered automatically when you first create an assembly. You can change this date if desired.
Last Modified Date-- The date of the most recent change is calculated automatically.
Record Number-- Each assembly has a unique record number.
Markup-- Choose a Markup System to calculate pricing for this item.
Gross Price-- The calculated price of all subassemblies is displayed.

The Goldenseal software calculates the following prices:
Resale Price-- Goldenseal calculates a price for simple sales of this item.
Reduced Price-- Goldenseal calculates a price for sales of this item when the item is 'on sale'.
Project Price-- Goldenseal calculates a price for use of this item in estimate or project work.
Component Price-- Goldenseal calculates a price for this item when it's included in an Assembly.
Inventory Price-- Goldenseal calculates the inventory value of this item.

Contract Setup

Click the Contract Setup button to enter the following details:

CONTRACT DETAILS
Subcontract Type-- Enter the type of subcontracts which will include this item.
Costs Display-- Enter the way you'd like to handle costs for this item in the specifications portion of a Contract.
Quantity Display-- Enter the way you'd like to handle quantities for this item in the specifications portion of a Contract.
Specification Text-- Enter the text that describes this item in the specifications portion of a Contract.

Picture-- To add a picture for this item, first copy the picture in any graphics program. On the Macintosh, click in the field and choose Paste from the Edit menu. On Windows, right-click in the field and choose Paste from the popup menu.

Sales Setup

Click the Sales Setup button to enter the following details:

ESTIMATE DETAILS
Suggested Quantity-- Choose the dimensional measurement that gives a suggested quantity for this item.
Calculated-- Turn on the checkbox if the Suggested Quantity is a Calculated Dimension.  Turn it off it it's a Basic Dimension.
Labor Multiplier-- Goldenseal will multiply marked labor line items by this dimension.
Material Multiplier-- Goldenseal will multiply marked material line items by this dimension.
Usual Crew Size-- Enter the usual number of employees that will work on this item.  Crew size is used to calculate schedule info. You can change the crew size after the item is entered in an Estimate.

INVENTORY SETUP
Inventory-- If the assembly is a resale or manufactured item that will be tracked in inventory, turn on the checkbox.
Inventory Quantity-- Goldenseal displays the current inventory quantity for this item.
Discount-- Choose the Item Discount that is used for sales of this item.
Taxable Sale-- If you normally charge sales tax for this cost item when you resell it or provide it as a service, turn on the checkbox.
Can Manufacture-- Turn on the checkbox if you manufacture this item from its components.

Optional Fields

You can use the Custom Layouts command to add the following optional fields:

Labor Adjustment-- A calculated adjustment for labor costs, based on past job cost experience.
Material Adjustment-- A calculated adjustment for material costs, based on past job cost experience.

Cost Components

Each assembly consists of at least one cost component. A cost component can be a Cost Item, another Assembly, a Project Reminder or a Tool. Enter as many cost components as it takes to fully describe all of the components within the assembly.

For each cost component, enter the following information:
Type-- Use the pop-up menu to choose a cost type: Equipment, Labor, Materials, Subcontractors, Other Costs, Overhead, Tools, Reminders or Assemblies.
Category-- Choose the cost category that includes the item.
Subcategory-- Choose the optional cost subcategory that includes the item.
Item-- Use the clairvoyant field to enter the specific item to include in the assembly. You'll see a list of all items of the selected type that belong to the selected category and subcategory.
NOTE-- Goldenseal will not allow you to enter an assembly that contains the current assembly, since that would create a źcircular referenceĎ.  It will beep when that happens.
Quantity-- Type in the number of units of the cost item that will be included in the assembly.
Unit Size-- The unit size for the cost item is displayed, so you know how it is measured.
Unit Cost-- The calculated cost for one unit of the selected item is displayed, based on the component price of the item.
Waste-- Enter an optional waste factor.
Total Cost-- The total cost for the component is calculated and displayed.
LM-- Turn on the checkbox if you'll multiply this component by the labor multiplier.
MM-- Turn on the checkbox if you'll multiply this component by the material multiplier.
Fixed-- Turn on the checkbox if there is always the same fixed quantity of this item in the assembly.

To add more cost components, click in the bottom row and hit the Return key.

Status Field

Enter any of the following status values
Active-- The item is fully active.
Special Order-- The item is inactive.  In sales transactions with an Item breakdown, Goldenseal will include it only if the Conditions field is set to Special Order.
Inactive-- The item is inactive.  Goldenseal will not included it in the list of items.

Suggested Quantity

The Suggested Quantity field calculates the amount of this item that will be included in an estimate, based on the dimension measurements for a specific estimate.

Enter a Dimension which best calculates quantities for this item.  If you turn on the Calculated checkbox, you can enter a Calculated Dimension.

When you include this assembly in an item breakdown in an estimate, Goldenseal will fill in the suggested quantity, based on the dimension measurements for that specific estimate.

Calculated Prices

The Goldenseal software calculates five different prices for each assembly. The method of computing each price is set in the Markup System.

The prices are:

Resale Price-- The basic price that is used when this item is included in a Sales transaction that has an Item breakdown.
Reduced Price-- The price that is used in a Sales transaction when the źOn SaleĎ checkbox is turned on (see page ).
Project Price-- The price that is used when this item is included in an Estimate that has an Item breakdown.
Component Price-- The price that is used when this assembly is included as a component in another assembly.
Inventory Price-- The price that Goldenseal uses to calculate inventory value.

Waste Factor

The Goldenseal software multiplies each assembly component by a waste factor.  To compute the waste factor, figure the percentage of material that is lost, broken or consumed when making the assembly.

HINT-- You may need to guess!

If you can reuse some of the materials, you may have a negative waste factor.

Labor and Material Multipliers

You can use Multipliers to adjust the quantity of just some of the components in an Assembly.  The multiplier refers to a dimension value, which can be different in each Estimate.

If you turn on the Calculated checkbox, the multiplier can be any Calculated Dimension.  Turn it off to enter a Basic Dimension.

When you enter a Labor Multiplier, Goldenseal will multiply each line item with a checkmark  in the LM column by that quantity.
When you enter a Material Multiplier, Goldenseal will multiply each line item with a checkmark  in the MM column by that quantity.

HINT-- The Multipliers allow one Assembly to cover a variety of conditions or sizes in an estimate.

Fixed Rate Components

The Goldenseal software usually multiplies each Assembly component by the total number of units, when you use an Assembly in an Estimate, Purchase or Sale.

If you turn on the checkmark in the Fixed column, Goldenseal will always include the entered quantity of that item, no matter how many units of the Assembly you use.

HINT-- Use a Fixed Rate component for startup or cleanup time, delivery time, or other components which stay the same no matter how many items you include.

When you use a Fixed Rate component, smaller quantities of the item will cost more per unit, and larger quantities will cost less per unit.  That means you won't be able to quote a fixed price for the item..

HINT-- Fixed Rate components usually don't make sense for retail sales, since people generally expect a consistent price. They are useful in project estimates, however-- especially if you sometimes do very small projects, where startup time is a significant part of the overall cost.   An alternative way to handle startup time is to enter it as a line item in your estimates.

Using Components

Here is an example of how you can "build" the components in an assembly, using the material and labor modifiers and fixed rate components.

These components are included in a painting assembly. The assembly uses the number of paint coats as a material and labor multiplier.

There are 6 components in this assembly (one on each line in the breakdown table):
  • Line 1 covers painter time for applying primer (about 70 square feet per hour).  This stays the same no matter how many top coats, so there is no checkmark in the LM column. That means it will not be multiplied by the number of paint coats.
  • Line 2 covers primer. This stays the same no matter how many top coats, so there is no checkmark in the MM column. That means it will not be multiplied by the number of paint coats.
  • Line 3 covers painter time for the top coat painting. This cost has a checkmark in the LM column, which means it is multiplied by the labor multiplier (number of paint coats). That means that the painter will take twice as long to apply two coats as one.
  • Line 4 covers the top coat paint. This is multiplied by the material multiplier (number of paint coats).
  • Line 5 covers helper time for spreading drop cloths and cleanup.  This cost stays about the same per square foot no matter how many coats, so it does not use the labor multiplier (no checkmark in the LM column).
  • Line 6 covers setup time. It stays about the same no matter how many square feet of painting there are, so it has a checkmark in the Flat column. That means the price will include about 1/2 hour of setup time, whether you are painting 10 square feet or 10,000 square feet.

HINT-- Adding Flat costs to an assembly helps make it accurate for small jobs as well as big ones.

Updating Prices

The Gross Price of an assembly is calculated automatically from its list of components.

The selected Markup System then calculates the prices used for Sales transactions, project estimates, when the assembly is included as a component in another assembly, and the inventory value.

Goldenseal keeps an internal list of dependent items. Whenever you change the cost of any cost item, the cost of all assemblies that include that item will also be updated automatically. You don't need to do anything special to keep your unit costs up-to-date.

NOTE-- If a cost item is included in a large number of assemblies, there may be a delay of a few seconds whenever its price changes, as all the prices are updated. Otherwise, the updating happens so quickly that you probably won't even notice it.

Case Quantities

If you purchase in case quantities and want to track inventory of individual items, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Cost Item for the individual item.
  2. When you make purchases, enter the number of items purchased.  Ignore case quantities.
  3. When you make sales, enter the number of items sold into the item breakdown for the sale.
If you purchase in case quantities and track inventory by the case, follow these steps:
  1. Create a Cost Item for the case quantity.
  2. When you make purchases, enter the number of cases purchased.
  3. Create an Assembly for the individual item that you sell.  Enter the case item as a component, with the quantity equal to 1 divided by the number of items in a case.
  4. When you make sales, enter the Assembly for the individual item into the item breakdown for the sale.

Here are the quantities to enter for common case quantities:
 

Number in a Case Quantity
4 .25
6 .1667
8 .125
10 .1
12 .0833
16 .0625
24 .0417
48 .0208
144 .0069

Manufacturing

When you manufacture an item from individual components, follow these steps:

  1. Create Cost Items for each component that you use in manufacturing.
  2. Create an Assembly for the final product.  Enter each component into the component table.  Also include any labor.

HINT-- If you manufacture from subcomponents, create Assemblies for them, and then include those assemblies as components in the final assembly.

Package Prices

To combine several items into a package price, follow these steps:

  1. Create Assemblies for each of the items that you sell individually.
  2. Create an assembly for the package.  Enter each of the individual assembly items as components.
  3. Enter an additional line with an adjustment for the package price.  You can also adjust the price by using a different markup.

Using Assemblies

You can use Assemblies in project Estimates or customer Sales.  To enter them there, use an Item breakdown.

When you do work on projects, you can also allocate your work to specific Assemblies when you enter Equipment Hours or Labor Hours (also via an Item breakdown).

You can also enter Assemblies into  Change Orders, Purchase/Work Orders and other transactions that have an Item breakdown.