Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Tutorial: Custom work types and shipment notes on the mobile device in Warehouse management module in Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Business case

A customer requires that we upon request ship them HDMI cables packaged into special boxes that they have provided us with. The sales clerk taking the order over the phone puts in a Note whenever the goods need special packaging.
The expectation is then, that the warehouse worker executing the picking will get notified of the customer requirement, so he can also pick up the special boxes and pack the goods into them. Since our company carries many different HDMI cables, the number of boxes required is different each time. The worker is then also required to print the necessary number of labels, so that each box is accurately labeled. Once all of this is done, the special boxes can be loaded onto the transportation vehicle and shipped to the customer.

Walk-through

A complete walk-through of the scenario described above is available on my YouTube channel.


Brief summary

Here's a quick recap of what happens in the video for those who prefer reading. Screenshots of all the important steps are available on my OneDrive.
  1. A sales order for above customer, with Note (DocuRef) added on header level
    1. Sales line reserved physically, order released to warehouse
  2. On mobile device, execute the picking work
    1. An extra screen is shown before actual picks start, showing the shipment notes (telling the picker to use special boxes)
    2. After pick/put to stage, extra screens are shown
      1. How many boxes were used? This is a custom data input screen. This data is then saved on the work line for future use.
      2. Confirmation screen is shown with some information for work user. In this case, it's asking him to label all the boxes with the adhesive labels that were printed based on the above input of how many boxes he used, and press OK when he's finished.
    3. Now we can load the goods onto the truck.
  3. Review the completed work and related Custom data (No of boxes used).
  4. Review Warehouse management parameters
    1. Mobile device note type setting, which controls what type of DocuRef documents will be shown on the mobile device
  5. Review Work template setup. Two additional work template lines are added, both using Work type = Custom.
    1. A confirmation custom work type, that does not capture any data and only shows a message to the work user on the mobile device.
    2. A question (user interaction) custom work type, that captures data, asking for number of boxes used, as well as a custom method, which refers to a method on Classes\WHSWorkCustomData\ - in my example, this code would generate and print a specified number of labels.
  6. Review Document routing setup, where the label printer and layout are set up. Not of interest to this post. See my other post about label printing for more details.

Other possibilities

Here are a few other examples where it might make sense to rely on custom work types:

  • Capture the pallet type during picking. This data would be stored for later use.
    • Optionally, capture number of pallets of the corresponding pallet type. Based on that, update the load for further calculations of shipping costs.
  • Capture load seal number during loading (including update of the load with that info)
  • Capture temperature/weight/other characteristics of the items during picking/receiving
  • Print the Bill of Lading report as part of the picking flow. The picker would then be the one to pick up the printed report.

I'd be interested to hear of the way your company uses this feature!