Product Lines - Introduction
You may hear us talking about product lines in BRM / RSM.
"But what do you mean, I just have bikes and I rent them out. What are product lines?"
Well, the reason you might care about product lines is if you rent out bikes online. When your customer books online they don't care about which specific bikes they get. They don't want to book bike ID FM23 for two days, they want to book a Female Mountain bike, size medium for 2 days. (and you might have 5 of them)
Similarly, if you're on Amazon you don't want to buy a book with ISBN 0-24-06087-2, and serial number 9780224060875. No, you want to buy any old version of the right book. You don't really care about specific actual books, as long as you get a copy of the book you ask for.
This is where product lines come in. You organise your bikes into 'buckets' of identical bikes. These are your product lines. The amount of inventory you have for that product lines depends on how many duplicates of that type of bike you happen to have.
Let's take a real example.
You have 5 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er Medium-sized bikes.
HT1, HT2, HT3, HT4, HT5
When you book them in the back-end you may well book individual bikes.
e.g. for 1 customer you reserve bike HT1 for 1 week.
The next guy gets HT2 for 3 days. etc.
However your customer doesn't want to be bothered with individual ID's. When he's browsing your inventory online he just wants to pick the product and size.
So you organise your 5 bikes into 1 product line, and call it Santa Cruz Hightower 29er - Medium-sized
(in fact you go 1 step further and specify the frame type)
Santa Cruz Hightower 29er - Male frame - Medium-sized
That is a totally interchangeable unit. You can be sure your customer won't mind WHICH product you give them as long its one of them.
- of course they wouldn't be happy if you substituted a
Male frame for a Female (step-thru) frame.
Large for a Medium
This is why with each product line we specify:
- type of bike
- frame type
You may also want to set short-codes or ID2's for your product lines, that way you can book them quickly from the back-end by ID. You set that in the ManageFleet->HierarchyManagement tab
N.B. in technical terminology your buckets are your 'generic' assets.