Sales Configuration Rules
The options of one feature can affect the option choices of another feature.
Example: In the automobile industry, the configurable item could be a family of different models of a type of car. If a customer selects the 1.1-liter engine option, the 5-speed gearbox is not an option that can be selected. If the customer selects the Sport model, alloy wheels are automatically included. If the customer selects the cabriolet model, the sunroof is not a possible option.
In QAD Configurator, you use sales configuration rules to control all these decisions regarding which options automatically include or exclude other options.
The IF statement specifies what the condition is for which you are testing, which is also known as preposition. The THEN statement specifies what the conclusion should be when the preposition is satisfied.
You can extend your control by adding an ELSE statement to specify what happens when the IF condition does not occur. The ELSE statement is optional and specifies the alternative conclusion.
Rules that have as a conclusion the automatic selection of an option are known as inclusions.
IF model-type = "sport"
THEN wheel-type = "alloy"
The alloy wheels option is automatically included when the customer selects the sport model type.
Rules that have as a conclusion the automatic removal of an option from the available choices are known as exclusions; for example:
IF engine-capacity = "1.1"
THEN gearbox <> "5-speed"
If the customer selects the 1.1 liter engine, the gearbox can be anything other than 5-speed. The 5-speed gearbox has been excluded.
Rule Statement Formats
The statements that you can use in the basic rule structure of QAD Configurator have three possible formats: basic, advanced, and free format.
• Basic format statements take the form of a simple variable = option; for example: IF operation = manual.
• Advanced format statements take the form of variable = expression; for example: IF width < 0.5 * length.
• Free format statements take the form of a Boolean expression which is either true or false; for example: IF (width > 200 and color = arctic white).
In addition to these statement formats for rules, you can include Boolean operators such as AND and OR in the lines that specify a rule. Using these techniques, you can construct quite complex conditions for the sales configuration rules as in the following example.
IF variable 1 > 'value 1'
AND variable 2 <= 'value 2'
AND variable 3 = option x
THEN variable 4 = option y
AND variable 5 <> option z
ELSE variable 6 = 1.5 * 'value 1'
The first three lines in the previous example are all part of the preposition and cause QAD Configurator to compare between the specified variables and values or options. The next two lines are the conclusion: they cause QAD Configurator to set the specified variables to include and exclude the named options when the preposition (the IF statement) is true.
The last line is the ELSE statement. It acts in the same way as the THEN statement, but specifies the option to be defined for the specified variable when the preposition (IF statement) is not satisfied.
Example: Consider an example of a sunblind where the feature width specifies the width of the sunblind cloth in centimeters, and the feature cloth has three options: Sunset Orange, Tropical Blue, and Arctic White, but only the Sunset Orange cloth can be supplied in widths greater than 200 cm. To build this restriction into the QAD configuration questionnaire logic, you need to create a rule, as follows:
IF width > 200
THEN cloth = sunset orange
You do not need an ELSE statement in this case. If the cloth width is not greater than 200 cm, the customer can select any of the cloth options, without restriction.
Example: The cabinet-height can range from 50 to 250 centimeters. The cabinet-pane can be made of wood, plastic, aluminum, or steel. Cabinets more than 200 cm high have steel panes, and steel panes are only for cabinets more than 200 cm high. The rule is as follows.
IF cabinet-height > 200
THEN cabinet-pane = steel
ELSE cabinet-pane <> steel
If the cabinet height is over 200 cm, the pane is steel. Otherwise, the pane can be any of the available options except steel.
The rules are the way you can translate the engineering restrictions of your product into limitations regarding customer choice of product configuration.