Price & Supply values
One of the requirements given to the PSCFG development team was that all price and supply values had to be external to the product data. In this way they could be updated separately, by anyone, at any time. In addition, any other value associated with a partnumber could be made to appear in the selection menus (e.g. promo details, contact name, warehouse location, SKU, etc.). We use simple text files, such that they can be read & used by anyone, without needing the Configurator itself. (See the format below.) I do not as yet have complete price and supply data for any country. I found price files (only one has supply values) from Lenovo Business Partners in the U.S. and in Canada, which appear to be updated weekly, and which are usable after only a few minutes work. Neither of these files has values for every single system unit and option in the database. The latter are the most complete and current price & supply files I have found on the web so far. These are publicly available on the web for anyone, and have been incorporated into the version I am running. If you are a Business Partner, you can use this external file capability to not only show you own price & supply values, but also to run a local promo on one or more partnumbers.
The Configurator can display price/supply values from other sources. You can have multiple possible values, only that the maximum number of values visible on any one screen or menu, at any one time, is eight. The format of these files is quite simple - text files containing visually aligned columns of values such as
- Lenovo Partnumber
- Business Partner SKU
- Lenovo List Price
- Selling price (value may be calculated by uplifting a Cost Price by a fixed amount or percentage)
The values need only be placed in columns, such as you would see when viewed with a simple text editor like Windows Notepad. They can be in any order. All that is required after this is to have the first line of the file contain the following text only
so that the price/supply columns of the various Configurator menus will show how current those values are. Here is an example...
Date=27 Sep 2010
*Part Number Description Price
40Y7957 LANDESK MANAGEMENT SUITE 8.6 FOR THINKVANTA 20.40
9367QGU DESKTOP - 1 - CORE 2 DUO - E4300 - 1.8 GHZ 898.12
41A2460 COMPUTRACEPLUS -- 2 YR LIC 1 TO 66.01
41A2458 COMPUTRACEPLUS -- 1 YR LIC 10000 32.23
Another feature of these external price & supply files is that as long as the file contains a Lenovo partnumber column, you could have multiple files, each containing one or more other values. For example one file could contain the List price from Lenovo, another the Business Partner SKU, a third the Business Partner Selling Price, and a fourth the Business Partner Supply. As long as each file contains the Lenovo Partnumber, you can have as many source files as you like. Or columns within a single file. Each value is keyed to the Lenovo partnumber.
Yet another feature of the Configurator is the recognition that fresh values for Price/Supply may appear at any time. Even while you are doing a configuration. Suppose a fresh supply file arrives on your hard disk or on the server in mid-day. There is a button in the pull-down menus (Pricing-->Refresh) that will reload the default values, so you get updated supply for your current configuration. In the past, one Canadian Business Partner updated their supply file for the Configurator hourly.
The choices for which price/supply values you see when using the Configurator can vary by session. You could have one Configuration window or session showing one set of choices, and a second showing different choices, both running in different windows at the same time. Each set of choices can be saved for future use.
The values in colour below are dummy values, such as were used for the European versions of the Configurator in previous years. As you can see, according to these dummy values, the third system on this menu is in poor supply this week and next, but by two weeks out, supply has improved. Other models are in good supply for several weeks into the future. This sort of information can be invaluable when you are making choices.