Monday, May 06, 2019

Announcement: MDCC is looking for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations engineers

I'm really happy to share that we've updated the description of open positions (Example: https://careers.microsoft.com/us/en/job/616931/Software-Engineer) to really reflect the focus of the team here in Lyngby, Denmark.

And we couldn't be more serious about finding the right talent to help us build an even better product within Supply Chain Management on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations platform.

So, regardless of your level of experience (in the positive direction), if you love AX and want to make it better, if you are passionate about business problems, warehousing, manufacturing or sales, and if you are great at and enjoy solving complex technical challenges, apply today for one of the open positions we have!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

[Heads up] Explicit dependency required for enabling Process Guide based flows in Warehouse Mobile App

Introduction

With release of version 8.1.3 (build numbers going as 8.1.227.xxxx), we introduced an additional configuration option on the Mobile device menu items, which controls whether or not the system will attempt using the Process Guide framework for executing a mobile flow
This is a temporary configuration option, and is supposed to serve two purposes:

  • Allow having a partially implemented Process Guide flow, where the customer will be able to decide if the scenarios the current implementation supports are sufficient to transition over, and get to experience the better performance, and be able to rely on the new flow with any tweaks and customizations necessary.
  • Allow to run both Process Guide and WHSWorkExecuteDisplay version of the flow side by side, for testing purposes (and as a risk mitigation in case the new flow has a blocking bug)
There is one small BUT, however.

Detection

For any flows that were implemented before version 8.1.3, where the customer is already live and has multiple mobile device menu items created that are relying on Process Guide, those will stop working, with an error "Invalid Work Execute Mode".

Mitigation

The very simple mitigation for the issue is to simply go and enable the check-box to use process guide on the mobile device menu item. 

Mobile device menu items - Use process guide radio button


Note There are also a number of SYS flows that only have the Process Guide version where we did not want people to be able to use the legacy one - those are not editable on the form and will always use Process Guide

Impact

We expect that the impact of this should be very minimal, as there aren't that many Process Guide based flows live on 8.1.2 or below.
But if you do encounter this, please use the mitigation above.

Thanks

Monday, December 03, 2018

[Tutorial] Automating Release to Warehouse process through Wave Template configuration

Introduction

Currently many companies resort to manually choosing which shipments need to be added to a wave we are about to process, which is slow and error prone, as the user needs to check up on each of the shipments, understand where it is headed, what types of items are on it, which mode of delivery is used, etc.

Today I would like to show a demo example of how to configure wave templates, as to allow a more optimal distribution of orders, based on, say, delivery mode, or some other cut-off criteria. Automatically, without any user interaction.

Disclaimer

I will not be talking about Automatic release of sales/transfer orders to warehouse in this post. We'll discuss that at a later point in time. Today it is only about making sure certain orders are grouped on a single wave automatically, based on defined criteria, so that they can be processed in the warehouse at the same time. This of course comes hand in hand with automatic release, which would enable a pretty much automatic operation for certain orders

Wave template configuration

Imagine that I would like to accumulate and then process all 2-day shipping orders at once, every second day, so I have the picking done before 4 pm that day when the UPS (or other 3PL) truck arrives to pick them up.
For these orders I want to pick as fast as possible, and the inventory is typically already at the locations and does not need special packaging, so I will not include replenishment and containerization steps into it, and will configure my work template to take the goods straight to the bay doors. 
I would also like to limit the number of shipments on each of the waves to 10, so as to not overwhelm my workers. Instead, I'll release another wave later in the day if necessary.
Generally, I'd like the wave to be processed automatically as soon as 10 shipments have accumulated, but throughout the day my Wave planner might process another wave, depending on the situation.

Here's how my wave template would look for this case:

2 day shipping wave template configuration for warehouse 24

Here's how I have configured the corresponding query:
Note. No need to add any filters on Site or Warehouse, as these will be automatically added.

I want to only look at shipments for Sales orders, and only those that have a 2 DAY shipping mode of delivery. Pretty simple. If I wanted, I could make this much more granular, by adding additional table joins and adding filters on them.

2 day shipping wave template query

Sales orders

Now let's create a couple sales orders, set the Mode of delivery correctly, reserve the inventory and release the orders to the warehouse.

Note. The field that is transferred to the shipment is taken from one of two:

  • Mode field on the sales order, if the Mode of delivery is not filled in.
  • Mode set on the Carrier associated with the specified Mode of delivery.
Mode of delivery specified on Sales order 000910
I only added one simple line for the example, on both sales orders.

Sales line for Sales order 000910

Release to warehouse

When we release the first order to the warehouse, we will create a new shipment, which will have the correct Mode of delivery. We will then proceed to search for a wave template that matches it, based on Site, Warehouse, as well as the defined query. Our newly created wave template should succeed here.
We will not however be able to find an existing Wave in status Created, that would match the Site and Warehouse for the shipment that is also using the same wave template. Which means we will go and create a new Wave
Note. A new wave is created because of the Wave template setting Automate wave creation

When we release the second order to the warehouse though, we will find the wave created above, and because the conditions for adding to the same wave are met, and the wave template has Assign to open waves marked as Yes, we will add the shipment to the found wave instead of creating a new one.

Here's how the resulting wave looks:

Wave created based on the two sales orders


FAQ

Q: What if there is more than one wave in status Created, that was created based on the "right" wave template, and is for the same Site and Warehouse as the newly created shipment? Which wave will the shipment get assigned to?
A: The first of the waves that matches all of the criteria which also does not exceed the thresholds.

Q: Can I use fields directly from the sales order in the wave template query?
A: Yes, but you will need to join to get them. The right way would be to first join the load lines for the shipment, then the order lines related to the load lines, and then the sales order headers related to the sales lines. (Not directly from the shipment, even thought that will work just fine for certain businesses that always have only 1 shipment per 1 order)

Conclusion

As you can see, setting up a wave template that will group multiple shipments and create a new wave if necessary is relatively simple - you just need to get a few of the specifics correct in the setup, and then everything will work like a charm.

In one of the next posts we will combine this configuration with automatic release of sales orders, to achieve full automation of sales order release process, where no user interaction is necessary at all past the sales order creation and confirmation step.

Friday, November 16, 2018

[Development Tutorial] Tired of WHSWorkExecuteDisplay*? ProcessGuide to the rescue!

If you have ever tried extending the warehouse mobile flows in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, you know the code is very complex and extremely difficult to make sense of and modify without introducing regressions in unpredictable scenarios.

This was of course on our mind as well for some time, which is now I am pleased to announce the release of a new framework for implementing such flows, called ProcessGuide framework.

You can read the documentation we've published so far here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/supply-chain/warehousing/process-guide-framework

We will incrementally start converting the existing flows, and you should do the same with yours.
Give it a try and let us know if you have any feedback by leaving a comment here or reaching out directly!

Thanks

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

[Tutorial] Reading On-Hand information for Warehouse enabled items

Having difficulty understanding your own business data is probably not something you would expect to happen to you, but I know many people, including many 10+ AX experts who have a difficult time following the information about item availability when it comes to warehouse related items.

In this blog post, I will try to walk you through a specific example, line by line, column by column.

Note I am assuming that everyone is familiar with the general way we show on-hand information, specifically that you can summarize it by a different set of dimensions, viewing it aggregated by warehouse, location, or any other combination of dimensions.

What's the challenge?

The problems start when you need to account for the reservation hierarchy of the warehouse enabled item, and displaying how much is available at the different reservation hierarchy levels.

On-hand view, summarized by Site, Warehouse, Inventory status, Location and License plate

On-hand for item A0001, summarized by all storage dimensions


On-hand view, summarized by Site, Warehouse

On-hand for item A0001, summarized by Site and Warehouse


Step-by-step analysis of the data

  1. If we look at the Physical Inventory column, the on-hand there is always at the lowest dimension level – meaning we only see values for rows where you have all of the dimensions specified, down to the License plate level.
    1. That’s why in the first row, where there’s no location/license plate, the Physical inventory is shown as blank (0). Same for the 5th row, where for location FL-001 with blank LP there’s nothing in physical inventory. (RED)
    2. Note that for BULK-001 there is physical inventory, even though there is no LP – that’s because this location is not tracked at License Plate level, so the Location IS the lowest level (ORANGE)
    3. For some of the lines shown, there simply isn’t on-hand, but we used to have on-hand on them, which is why they show up. (YELLOW)
    4. The rest (GREEN) are quantities that are on license plates on corresponding locations. You can sum up and see the total quantity of this item we have in the warehouse is 205 (but, again, that’s not displayed in the first row, unless you change which dimensions are displayed – if you only display Site and Warehouse, for example, that’s what you would see – 205. See screenshot #2 above)
  2. Reservations are done at different dimension levels. So, for example, Sales order reservations are at “Above-location” level, while Work reservations are at “Location” level. Reservations at other levels are also possible
    1. That’s why in the first row, we have 30 in the Physical Reserved column – that is 3 different sales orders having a reservation against the quantity 10 each. They don’t care which location/license plate we take the items from, as long as we have enough on the warehouse/status level. (BLUE)
    2. Work reservation are at the location level. That’s what we have in row 5, where 2 work orders each reserve 10 units, and those units are to be picked exactly from location FL-001, but we do not care which license plate they will be taken from. (DARK BLUE).
    3. All the other rows are empty, as we have no reservation at the location+LP level here (Even though it is possible, generally speaking)
  3. Available physical column is where it gets a bit more tricky to understand. Let’s take it bottom up, so it’s easier to understand
    1. On third line, we have 100 physically there, and there are no reservations for any of it, so all of it is available. Thus, it’s 100
    2. Same for the 4th line, 10 there and all of it is available.
    3. Now, important part here. On FL-001, LP 24, I have 90 physically, but 20 is reserved. So why the heck is 75 available, instead of 70? (PURPLE)
                                                    i.     It is due to the reservation being on a higher level. The reservation is done at the location level, so when calculating available, it accounts for other license plates in this location as well, LP 000USMF-000..55 has 5 on it.
                                                   ii.     Another way to think of it – how many items can I take away from this License plate, so my existing reservations are still respected. The answer is – 75, because you’d have 15 left on this LP and 5 more on the other LP within the same location. The warehouse-level reservation is also still respected, because we have enough in other locations.
    1. On FL-001, 000USMF-00..55, we have 5 available. That’s what is physically there, and because we have enough in the other LP, all of this is available for taking for another purpose.
    2. The total quantity available at the location level matches what I described above, and equals 75, as it has 95 physically on it on multiple LPs, and 20 is reserved for work.
    3. On the warehouse level, we have 205 physically, and we need 30 for sales orders, so 175 is available to be reserved for other purposes. As you can see, that’s not a direct sum-up of the other rows. Same as the available quantity on FL-001 was not a sum of what is available at each LP. The calculation logic is the same here.

Additional information


If you are still curious for more after reading the below, check out this great 1 hour presentation my colleague Lennart did at a conference a while back, explaining the reservation engine and on-hand impact: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--_didmZKHo&t=4s