Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

1.2.2 Item, Component, End Product, Assembly, Raw Material, Spare Part, Item Family: Product-Related Objects

Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on business objects such as item, specializations thereof (particularly part and component), and item family.

According to [ASCM22], some terms get a specialized definition (cf. Section 1.1.1):

  • An item as a business object is any unique manufactured or purchased part, material,
    intermediate, subassembly, or product.
  • A part as a business object is generally an item that is used as a component and is not an
    assembly, subassembly, blend, intermediate, etc.
  • A component as a business object is the raw material, part, or subassembly that goes into a higher
    assembly, compound, or other item.

From the company’s perspective, the collective term item includes the following specializations, also called item types:

  • An end product or end item or finished good is a completed item that generally does not serve as a component of another product.
  • An intermediate product or a semifinished good is stored or awaits final operations in the production process. It can be used in the assembly of a higher-level product and is thus also a component.
  • An assembly is an intermediate product and is composed of at least two components.
  • A single part (often simply called part) is either produced in-house (in-house part) or purchased (purchased part) and is used in an end item. An in-house part is produced from only one component.
  • raw material is, for the company, a purchased item or an original material that is converted via the manufacturing process.
  • service part or a spare part is a component that can be used without modification to replace a part or an assembly.
  • MRO item is an item for maintenance, repair, and operating supplies. It supports activities in the company and is, in general, not used as a component for products.

As the majority of the basic descriptions (or attributes) of all these types of items are the same, such as identification, description, inventory, costs, and price, they are often grouped together in the generalized object item. Figure shows the item types as specializations of item.

Fig.        The business object item as a generalization of various goods objects.

An item family is a group of items having similar features (such as form, material) or a similar function.

For example, different kinds of screws may be grouped together as an item family and viewed as a (composed) business object, “family of screws.”

Continuation in next subsection (1.2.2b).

Course section 1.2: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes