With the release of SI v13, there are now multiple types of packages in SI that you can use; all with their own special functions. In this article, we will go over the differences between each package.
A package is a collection of products that are stored in a group together so they can easily be added to a project the same time. This can drastically cut down time spent building a project if you know some items always go together, but don’t quite fall under the “Accessories” category (i.e., television mount, power cable, surge protector, and television stand.)
All of your packages can be viewed in the Package Explorer. To view this, click Start > Catalog > Manage > Packages. You can create new packages or adjust existing ones from here. You can also create packages inside projects by clicking “Add to Package” in the Home tab.
The original Standard Package hasn’t changed in v13 other than how it’s displayed inside projects. Instead of being a separate layer, Packages now list their name in the “Package Name” column and link up with their items. Functionally, however, it’s the same. To add items you desire to the package, change the settings from the general tab, and set a Shape or Block for drawing pages.
If you’d like to sort your packages into groups to find them easier, click the Package Categories tab and set a Category. This does not affect the items in the package itself but allows you to keep track of several similar packages in your Catalog, if required.
One of the new package types is Bundled Cable. As the name implies, this is intended for cable that is pre-bundled together and consists of multiple wires/cables.
The advantage of using Bundled Cable is that you can track all the inputs and outputs for each wire in the bundle without having to add all the cables in the bundle separately. When a wire from a Bundled Cable is placed on a drawing, it will also display a callout showing the Component ID of the bundle so that it can be easily identified among the other wires on the drawing.
Bundled Cable is set up differently from standard packages in a few distinct ways.
- Instead of specific products, you’ll want to add generic wires/cables in the Items tab to account for each input and output.
- No price information comes from the items in the Bundled Cable itself. All price/cost information is set from the Price tab inside the project itself.
- All wire added is assumed to be bulk, so pricing will be calculated on a per-foot/meter basis.
The other new package type is Allowance. Allowance Packages are extremely different from the other two packages as they allow you to track the estimated value for items that haven’t been added to the project yet. One example is when a customer has requested a TV for their project, but a model hasn’t been chosen yet.
In this case, you would create an Allowance Package and enter an estimated value for the future TV. Once a model is chosen, you can add the TV to the package and compare its price with how much the Allowance was set for.
Like Bundled Cable, the price for the Allowance is set on the Price tab and doesn’t come from the items themselves.
Keep in mind that packages can’t be added to other packages, so if you make a Bundled Cable you won’t be able to add it to another package with other items. You also can’t change a package’s type after it’s created, if you want to change an Allowance to a regular package then you’ll have to make a whole new package itself.
You can find out more about packages and the various package types here: https://support.d-tools.com/0000_SI_Documentation_(v13)/User_Guide/03_Catalog/03_Package_Explorer
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