Linking Finished Goods

This article describes the process of manually linking a new or existing finished good item to another existing finished good item. This is done to help forecast demand for newly introduced items or replacements of existing items.

For component linking, please read the article Linking Components

Go to Data Maintenance interface

  1. Click on "Data" in top menu
  2. Click on "Data Maintenance" in second level menu
  3. The "Item" data maintenance group is the default view

Select the new item

  1. Select the item you would like to link an old item
  2. Click on "Link" to open the linking pop-up. Please make certain your pop-up blocker is off.
  3. Click on "Delete Links" to remove previously created links on more than one item at a time.

Note: In a multi-location company, the item link will be applied across all locations regardless of the location selected to create the link.

Select Linking Type

There are three linking options available:

1. Linking Mode:

  • Full Linking: This is applied in situations where the new item fully replaces the old item and in turn the old item is disabled and thus no longer included in history. This is most applicable when introducing revisions to existing products. We do not recommend this options if you are running S&OP and you do not plan to disable the old item. If you do not disable the old item and you are running S&OP, the Full Linking option will double count the old items history. Not only will you include the old items history since it is still "active" but that same history will be tied to the new item as well.
  • Forecast Only: This option is used when you would like to use an existing item(s) to help forecast the new items. With this option, the new item will only reflect its own history. If you view a demand plan or forecast for a Forecast Only linked item you will see the forecast but there will be no history shown other than its own direct sales.  We recommend this approach when running S&OP. Forecast only allows the user to continue to plan the item being linked to and consider it independent of the new item. Also, the user may deactivate the old items and allow their history to continue to participate in history with no risk of double counting historical revenue.
  • Transition: See description in the next step below

2. Linking Date:

  • Full History: Select this option to link one or more old items without a strict transition date. Please note that the histories between old and new will overlap causing the forecast to be overstated if the old items history exceeds the new items history.
  • Linking Start: Select this option to link one or more old items to a new item with a specific date where the old ones stop and the new one starts. This is the preferred option. You may set the linking date in the future in order to allow the old item history to drive the forecast for the new item even as the new item is launched. Once the date is hit, the new items history will take over.
  • In most cases, selecting Forecast Only with a Linking Date is the recommended approach. The image below represents an item using Forecast Only Full History.

3. Click "Save" to save the created link.

4. Click "Delete All Links" to remove a previously created link.

Transition Linking

This option is only applicable to full linking and when inventory is being considered in the requirement planning process.

There are two types of transition for finished goods linking.

  1. Soft: The link wont occur unless the prior items inventory is consumed at the time where the transition from old to new is scheduled to take place
  2. Hard: The transition of old to new occurs at a hard date regardless if there is inventory remaining with the prior finished good.
  3. Temporary linking option does not apply to finished goods linking.

Full Linking Issue

Forecast using full history linking. Both the new item and linked item are active and since the old items history is being used, the new item is being over-forecasted.


1. Scenario 1: A (old) to B (new)  no stock of old version (A) left

There should be no ongoing forecast on the A items as we have no stock left on these.

Procurement impact: old SKU A is dead (with no ongoing forecast), new SKU B is live (with forecast)

Linking Type: Full / Forecast only linking

Old (A) should be disabled/deactivated.

2. Scenario 2: A (old) to B (new) with  small parcels of stock still available of old SKU but not consumed

Procurement impact: old SKU is dead (with no ongoing forecast), new SKU is live (with forecast)

Linking Type: Full / Forecast only linking

Old (A) should be disabled/deactivated.

* The remaining stock (on hand) of the old(R10) item will be ignored.

3. Scenario 3: A (old) to B (new). Any stock still available of old SKU will be consumed by the old items portion of the forecast

Procurement impact: old SKU A is dead (with forecast up until run-out date), new SKU B is live (with forecast)

Linking Type: Transition linking soft

* By design, in the S&OP Demand Plan there is no possibility to edit the forecast separately for the old item. The old item is not visible in the S&OP.  As such, edits are made against the new item, but in Requirement Plan, this forecast is used to consume the stock (on hand) of old item first (prior to the transition date.

4. Scenario 7: A to B to C - C is the new SKU. A and B are old versions

Procurement impact: only new SKU is live

Full / forecast only linking C -> B and A (not C->B->A chaining. This is not supported)

Old (A, B) should be disabled/deactivated.

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