Spire Inventory Type Comparison: Accessories, Kits and Macros

When setting up an inventory item in Spire, it can be set as one of six inventory types, be designated as non-serialized, serialized or lot numbered, and have accessories included. The inventory types Kitted and Macro along with the Accessories tab have similar functions as they allow for multiple inventory items to be automatically placed on orders, yet they have important differences. This comparison looks at key aspects of these three set up options including examples of how they are commonly used.   

 AccessoriesKittedMacro
OverviewAccessories are additional items added to an order when an item is sold.  A kit is a collection of items that are included when the kit is sold. Those items can be sold in the background or shown on the order. The kit does not have an inventory quantity since it is a collection of other items.  Scenario 1. Used to substitute an item that is no longer sold with another similar item. A regular inventory item can turn into a ‘Macro’ which will then be replaced with another item when sold. Scenario 2. Used to sell items commonly sold together or items commonly purchased together.  
ExamplesCellphones can have items included as accessories and added to an order when purchased. A case, earphones, and screen protectors can be purchased at the time a cellphone is sold.A desktop computer can be set up as a kit. The keyboard, monitor, tower, and mouse can be purchased individually and have special pricing when purchased as a kit.  Scenario 1. Macros can be used if an item is discontinued or undergoes a vendor change and substituted with another similar item. Scenario 2. Cold medication and Kleenex may often be sold at the same time but the amount of cold medication purchased and the amount of Kleenex purchased are not linked, and there’s no special price for the combination.
Price & CostAccessories are displayed as nested items beneath the item they are associated with. Each item has its own selling price and cost.  The kit itself will have the sell price but the components will not. The cost is determined from the rolled up cost of the kit components.  The macro item itself never ends up on the order after you choose it. It merely acts as a trigger to pull in the macro substitution items. Those items behave as normal and have their own individual sell price and cost.  
Set UpAccessories are added on the ‘Accessories’ tab. They are added by clicking ‘+’ and adding lines. Items can have more than one accessory. The following Item Types can have Accessories: Normal, Raw Material, Manufactured, Non-Physical.Set the Inventory Type to ‘Kit’. The ‘Kit Component’ tab will appear where all the items and quantities that are included in the kit can be entered. Set the Selling Price for the kit.  Set the Inventory Type to ‘Macro’. The ‘Macro Substitutions’ tab will appear where all the items and quantities to substitute can be entered. Macros are compatible with kits so they can be changed from one to the other.  
Dialog box optionsChecking the ‘Show options dialog on orders’ checkbox will allow the user to select accessories on the fly in the order. If it is left unchecked the Accessories and their set quantities will automatically be included when the item is ordered.  Checking the ‘Show options dialog on orders’ checkbox will allow the user to select kit components on the fly in the order. If it is left unchecked the Components and their set quantities will automatically be included when the kit is ordered and the kit itself will be the only visible item on the order by default, although it can be expanded if desired.  Checking the ‘Show options dialog on orders’ checkbox will allow the user to select macro substitutions on the fly in the order. If it is left unchecked the Macro Substitutions and their set quantities will automatically be included when the macro is ordered.  
Sales Orders and QuantitiesOverall quantities of accessories are initially controlled by the main item. This can be overridden as required. Quantities of the top item and the accessories are tied together. If you change the quantity of the top item, the quantities of the accessories will automatically change.Overall quantities of accessories are initially controlled by the main item. This can be overridden as required. With the ‘Show options’ dialog OFF, the kit shows on the order as a single item. Clicking the ‘Toggle Kit Components’ button will show the items included. When toggled on, the details will print on sales order reports and invoices. Quantities of the top item and the kit components are tied together. If you change the quantity of the top item, the quantities of the components will automatically change.  Overall quantities of accessories are initially controlled by the main item. This can be overridden as required. With the ‘Show options’ dialog ON, the quantity of the macro item can be specified which will affect the quantity of the items added to the order but once the substitutions are on the order, the quantities of each item are no longer tied to each other and can be changed independently.  
Purchase OrdersWhen items with accessories are added to Purchase Orders, the accessories are ignored. Accessories are only used in Sales Orders.Kits cannot be purchased or received as they can never have a quantity On Hand.Macro items can be used on a purchase order, as well as a sales order. This can be useful if you have a group of items you often buy together.