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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:

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