Yes Loretta, there really is a Santa Claus, and a 3rd-party App to 'auto-build' assemblies in QuickBooks desktop (versions supporting 'assemblies').
Auto Build Assemblies is a 3rd-party program that automatically builds your QuickBooks assemblies and updates your item costs and prices for you. This program can build all your assemblies in a batch according to a schedule that you enter beforehand in an Excel spreadsheet and also has a feature for updating your costs and prices according to criteria you specify. It can handle multi-layer assemblies (i.e. assemblies built out of other assemblies, which must be built first) an infinite number of layers deep.
One of the best functions of this program is that it runs as a “hands off” utility that, when configured using the 'scheduled tasks feature in Windows', allows the program to start, connect to QuickBooks, build the assemblies, save the program build related reports to Excel, and then shut-down, all with no intervention from the user. This means you can configure the program to run 'over-night' so that the next morning all the assemblies you have specified are built by the start of the day.
This is not an 'in-depth' review of this product, rather it is an overview intended to make you aware, as we did the individual who wrote into us, about a few details of this program.
The program's 'Build Page', which is an Excel worksheet, like the one shown below, lists all of the assemblies in your company file.
In order to build any assemblies, you enter a quantity in either the Quantity to BUILD column, or the Quantity to HAVE column, next to the name of the assembly you want built. If there isn't a quantity specified in either of those cells, then the program will simply ignore that assembly. All of the other fields - Custom Date, Custom Memo, both of the Configuration Check-boxes, and the Build Order column - can be left blank. In this example you can see that certain assembly items are going to be built to specific quantities needed, and many other assemblies are going to be simply ignored (because the quantity fields are blank.)
If you build for specific quantities to be kept on hand, or 'build back to zero', you can easily configure the program to just routinely run and restore your assembly quantities back to those levels. The example below shows a set-up to build back to zero level. (The user has been selling negative, and then let's Auto Build Assemblies build them back to zero at the end of every day.)
About now you are asking, 'what if there isn't enough stock to build the quantity I specify'? We all know that QuickBooks won't really let you build assemblies using parts you don't have, but Auto Build Assembles can be configured to always 'build as many assemblies as it can (the quantity that can be built using the stock you have on hand). even when the number that can actually be built is less than your specified quantity to build or maintain. In other words Auto Build Assemblies does it's best to fulfill your requirements.
But Auto Build Assemblies does more than just 'build assemblies', it also provides a way to modify the cost and/or price for all service, inventory, non inventory, other charge, or assembly items in your company file based on criteria you configure. (The figure shown below illustrates this feature.) The top portion of the page gives you choices for criteria selection by item type.
The lower portion of the page lists each of your items along with the item type, and current values for Average Cost, Cost Block, Total Bill of Material Cost, and Sales Price based upon the information from your file at the time the Schedule was generated. By default, these items are updated to reflect changes made by Auto Build Assemblies. You can option to allow items to remain static. Live data from QuickBooks is always be used to make the Cost Block equal to either the Average Cost or the Total Bill of Materials Cost or make the Sales Price a markup of either the Cost Block or the current Sales Price, as you have configured.
Auto Build Assemblies has been around and working with QuickBooks for many years. I have one client that uses it daily, and has for at least 3 years. That client optioned not to look at expanding to a more robust 'manufacturing system' with a sophisticated MRP (material resource planner) feature, and Auto Build Assemblies has met their requirements.
If what you need is the ability to either build specific quantities of QuickBooks assemblies, or return the stock level of QuickBooks assemblies to 'zero' or a specific quantity, then Auto Build Assemblies can certainly accomplish that task for significantly less than a more sophisticated 'inventory or manufacturing' software package. You can check out this program for yourself using their free trial version.