Assembly items are sometimes confused with Group items, but they are far different. Group items change nothing in inventory; they only include several items on an invoice when selected. Assembly items actually remove the individual component items from inventory and create a new Inventory Assembly item which can be sold on an invoice just like any other inventory item. Here is a screenshot of the setup window of an inventory assembly item.
While there is a lot of information here, the major difference in an assembly item, is the list of components that goes into making it, called the Bill of Materials. In this example of a veterinarian medicine, the list materials can be seen to include an insert printout, bottling and packaging, the super-mineral liquid, etc. Each individual item can be selected and the quantity specified. QuickBooks pulls most of the rest of the information from the item file of the individual component items. For instance, the cost amounts cannot be edited. QuickBooks uses the cost from the individual inventory items and totals that amount, in this case, to $12.50.
Since this is not simply a group of items to be sold, but a list of components to be assembled, manufactured, or built, the workflow is different for assembly items than it is for groups. The items, must be built before there are any available to sell. This is done through the Build Assembly function.
Note that we have a negative quantity available for this item. There are several lines of information in the upper right section of the window that will show us the sales status of this item. We have 48 on hand, but we have 120 on sales orders. To fill those orders, we have to build at least another 72.
In the lower part of the window, the second highlighted area, QuickBooks computes how many we can actually build at this time. It creates that quantity from the amount on hand of the individual components. We could create up to 158. We have specified to build the 72 that we absolutely must have now.
The process is pretty straightforward. Fill in the Quantity to Build field, create a memo if desired, and select Build and Close or Build and New, if there were another assembly item to be built. After this process is complete, we will have all 120 we need to fill all outstanding orders.