For many companies, managing variants of their products is a prerequisite for staying in the market. Think, for example, of fashion or cosmetics companies, where variants are often colour, size or other multi-dimensional combinations.
But if fashion is the most immediate example, let us not forget that in many other sectors product variants play a critical role in production, warehousing and sales:
- Consumer electronics: smartphones with different screen sizes, colours and memory capacities.
- Food: yoghurt with different taste variations
- Furniture: sofas with different fabric and colour variants
- Household cleaning products: detergents with different fragrance variants
In short, things have changed a lot since Henry Ford claimed that 'customers can have the car of their choice, as long as it is black'!
Product variants for more satisfied customers
Dealing with product variants is a pressing need for companies that want to offer their customers a diverse range of products. You cannot do without adapting products to the specific needs of customers, offering them different options to choose from. The creation of product variants can cover different aspects such as dimensions, materials, colours, functionalities and more in order to best meet customers' needs.
Furthermore, product variants allow companies to achieve greater market segmentation and adapt to consumer tastes and preferences. This means that products become more relevant and attractive to customers, which increases the company's chances of success in the market.
However, creating product variants can also entail certain risks such as increased production costs, increased complexity in inventory management and risks of confusion between different variants on the part of customers.
Product variants: challenges and solutions to optimise supply and sales
And indeed, dealing with variants is not simple: each variant must be managed as a single item that provides several alternatives of choice. This means that each variant must have a unique item code, but it must be possible to control several aspects: such as the definition of product clusters, price management, stock valuation, analysis of availability and sales per variant, and the configuration of ad-hoc variants at the sales stage.
Product variant management is a crucial aspect for companies producing and selling diversified products. It impacts several organisational areas, including product procurement, production, storage and sales. Proper handling of product variants enables companies to tailor their offerings to customer needs, improve business efficiency and reduce costs, while ensuring quality and customer satisfaction.