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# Unit of measure conversion

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Userlevel 3
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Can someone let me know what the logic of the conversion of units of measure is. I have read the help area about 10 times and I must have a mental block as it seems to be the reverse of what I would expect for converting from one unit to another. i.e. I would think converting a box of 10 bottles to a base of 1 bottle would require the instructions to divide by 10 but the operand is multiply. I am feeling quite stupid about this so please be gentle..

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Best answer by rosenjon 7 March 2022, 07:58

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Userlevel 6
+5

Don’t worry, I’m a full-stack developer with an MBA and I found it confusing also. I would say its an interface only a programmer can love.

The first thing to understand is that the system wants you to put everything in terms of the Base UOM for the product where you are setting up UOM conversions. The Base UOM is the common point against which all other conversions will be made. You can make it whatever you want, but it can be difficult to change once that product is being used by the system. As a general rule, the Base UOM should be the least common factor of all the other UOMs. Also, realize that this setup is linear conversion, which assumes a single discrete item type (if the item came in random weights and we needed to convert UOMs, we can’t use this tool effectively).

Let’s use an example from my own work. You have a metal rod that is 10ft long and weighs 100 LBS.

The UOMs for this product are 1 ROD = 10FT = 100LBS. One helpful way to think about Acumatica’s conversion table is that the unit for the “FROM” UOM is always 1 if you are using the multiply operator. In addition, the TO quantity will always be the Base UOM. (Conversely, if you are dividing, the TO quantity always has a value of 1).

In my example, the least common unit is LBS (if you setup an equality like I did above, the UOM with the highest units is always the least common UOM… in this case 100 (LBS)). So let’s make LBS our base UOM.

Since LBS is our base UOM, our other UOMs must convert to it.

Using the “unit of one” trick I mentioned above:

1 ROD MULTIPLY 100 = LBS (BASE UOM)

In more traditional conversion math, this would look like:

1 ROD * 100LBS/ROD = 100LBS

So in the Acumatica table:

FROM: ROD  MULTIPLY 100 TO LBS

Now let’s do the same for FT.

1 FT MULTIPLY 10 = LBS

(aka: 1 FT * 10LBS/FT = 10LBS)

Also, that UOM table screenshot you posted is referring to the Global Unit of Measure form (CS203100). This lets you setup conversions, which will autofill when added to individual stock items. However, with regards to setting up UOMs correctly for stock items, it might be more distraction than help for you at this stage.

Let me know if this is making sense. If you are just reading the help without doing actual setup, I would encourage you to get a test instance so you can try some examples.

Userlevel 3

Thanks so much for this Jon, very reassuring

I have read your very full and clear answer a couple of times but as you suggest I am going to jump onto test to try this. I am beginning to think the whole application interface is pretty much geared to the programmer.

Userlevel 6
+5

Thanks so much for this Jon, very reassuring

I have read your very full and clear answer a couple of times but as you suggest I am going to jump onto test to try this. I am beginning to think the whole application interface is pretty much geared to the programmer.

I wouldn’t say that. I think the UI is pretty easy to use where it counts (i.e creating sales orders). But some of the setup screens could be better documented, there is no doubt. This is one area where that’s absolutely true.

With regards to UOM conversion, it works quite well for doing conversions in sales orders and po’s, if setup correctly. For example, if you price the product in its base uom, but then want to know the price in a different uom, the system will make that conversion automagically when you choose the new uom inside a sales order. This is very handy for the salesperson.

Let me know if you still have questions once you have tried creating a new stock item with UOM conversions.

Userlevel 3

Thanks...that makes sense. This feature may not be that useful for us at the moment as a very new fledgling company and may indeed be a bit too clever …..however we may need to work with it one day and its best to get an understanding in my opnion.

The only reason the topic came up for me was that our purchase order document (customised for us) was showing two indentical lines when the order only had one line. When I tried to investigate why this was happening I realised we had two different units of measure attached to the same part, but the ability to do the conversions had not been activated.  I have now activated this and this is how I ended up trying to understand the conversion logic.

I find the community help the best for me and so thanks again.

Malinda

Userlevel 6
+5

Interesting….if you don’t have multiple UOMS activated, it adds the item twice with each UOM? That’s kind of strange default behavior...

Userlevel 3

Hello there

It’s fixed now this was  a customised purchase order form which was repeating the line of the order if there were more than one UOM...a design issue with the relationships I would think. Detective work + our implementation team correction = a resolution. ...but from this tortuorus loop I have gained knowledge thanks.

Malinda

Userlevel 6
+5

I was setting up a new site and I actually ran into what you’re talking about. This is the default behavior if the “Multiple UOMs” feature is not enabled. It really doesn't make any sense and Acumatica should fix that.