In product development there are often variations in a part which are confined to things like resin color, or paint. The injection molding tool is the same, the part dimensions should be the same, the functionality is the same, but the color or material is different. Some manufacturers deal with this using the concept of variations. The base part number is identical, but there is a dash with a shorter number of digits which enumerate the styles which are available. Sometimes this is done with a table on a base drawing, other times it might be a specification document which goes along with the mechanical drawing.
How to deal with this in SolidWorks/EPDM?
Configurations seem like an obvious choice, but are they the best way?
Is it better to leave this to an ERP system?
What about inserting the base part into other SolidWorks part files which carry the variation metadata?
Is this something we should be using Items for?