Max report as finished in AX 2012

As Bob the Builder says: “Can we build it? Yes we can”.

Let’s try to answer that question in Dynamics AX.

There are two inquires we can use, Max report as finished, and a master planning Explosion.

Let’s start with Max report as finished. Note that on the item master form, on the Engineer Action tab there are two very similarly named buttons. ‘Report as finished’ and ‘Max. report as finished’:

‘Report as finished’ is a processing button. It lets you create a BOM journal which receives your finished goods item into inventory and consumes components. I’ve heard it described as ‘order-less production’, and I’ve also heard is described in much less flattering terms – but that’ll have to be the subject of another post.

The other option Released products > Engineer > Process > Max. report as finished is an inquiry form. Click on the button and you’ll see:

That top line shows me the current item and tells me that I currently have 6 on hand in my default production receipt warehouse, and I have enough components available to make 607 more.

The last component (D002) is actually a sub-assembly – you can see that on the Tree view:

Change that Explosion option to ‘Always’ and you’ll see its components as well:

So we’re getting useful information here, but there are a couple of issues with this form. Let’s take a close look at that item which is actually limiting our build here (M0002):

There’s no option on the form to do this, but let’s go look at its on-hand inventory:

This is showing that we have inventory in other warehouses.

A setup I come across quite often is that components are received into a main stores warehouse but are consumed out of a production warehouse (representing a staging area). In that scenario the Max report as finished form isn’t really any use – mostly we’re not interested in what’s available in our staging area, we want to see what’s available in our main warehouse.

That on-hand display is also showing that although I have 607 ‘Available physical’ I have open demand orders (presumably other production orders, but they could be sales orders) for 341, so actually I really only have 266 available for my D0001 production if I start it today, and I don’t want to mess up any other orders.

So let’s turn to our other option, Master planning > Inquires > Explosion. To run this we need a sales order or a production order. I’m going to use a production order. I’ve created a production order for 500 off D0001, and, most importantly I’ve scheduled the production order (Inquires > Explosion won’t work on a ‘Created’ production order). Production control > Common > Production orders > All production orders > View > Requirements > Explosion:

Our explosion principle is ‘Down’ when we open this form from a production order, which means we see the supply tree. ‘Up’ means we see where the demand is coming from. (Open the Inquires > Explosion from a planned purchase order and the default principle is ‘Up’ and you see the demands that generated the planned purchase order).

Incidentally that runs counter to the APICS ‘Upstream’ = towards our suppliers, and ‘Downstream’ = towards our customers, convention; but you get that on the related ‘Multi-level pegging inquiry.

Note that we’re working in a Master plan and have the option to re-generate the Inquires > Explosion. If we choose that Update option the master planning net requirements calculation is performed for each item in the tree.

Also notice that now we’re getting quite a different impression of our component and sub-assembly availability.

In summary, Max report as finished:

  • Doesn’t show on-hand available in re-filling warehouses
  • Doesn’t take other open demands into account (expect for reservations)
  • Is tucked away on the item form
  • But can be run without creating a dummy order

Inquires > Explosion

  • Is a ‘proper’ multi-level supply and demand review, takes all supplies and demands into account
  • Is accessible from the sales order line and production order forms
  • But does require an order, so can’t be used as an ad-hoc inquiry

So IMHO neither option’s perfect. (I think I’d like to use up one of my 8 Desert Island customisations here), and I also yearn for a convention I saw in the AX 2009 Lean manufacturing module: a Green / Red flag. A Kanban which could be started got a green flag. A Kanban with component shortages got a red flag.

Cues in AX 2012

Cue: “a thing said or done that serves as a signal to an actor or other performer to enter or to begin their speech or performance”

So let’s begin the performance.

Cues are my favourite Role center web-part. Robert Riefstahl in “Demonstrating to Win! The indispensable guide for demonstrating complex products”, has “I love this part of our software” as a demo crime, but with apologies to Bob I’m going to ignore that, and continue.

Your role center is defined by your User profile. Systems administration > Common > Users > User profiles:

Dynamics AX comes with a wide range of standard Role centers. They’re customisable, but I don’t want to get into technical details – so I’m going to assign myself a nice simple Role center, the Purchasing agent. Click on the ‘View role center’ button above and you’ll see:

The cues are those icons that look like good old fashioned in-trays. I’m a big fan of skeuomorphism (it’s OK, go ahead and look it up) – but I’m probably older than most of you.

Back to those cues, they’re links to Dynamics AX forms with a filter applied. If you open your role center in the Dynamics AX client you’ll be taken to the form. If you open your role center in the Enterprise portal, you’ll only be able to click on the cue if there is an Enterprise portal version of the form.

But the really neat feature is that you can create your own cues. You need to be on a form that has direct access from a menu, and you need to be able to write a filter query. Let’s open the sales order form and setup a simple query. Sales and marketing > Common > Sales orders > All sales orders:

The filter drop-list menu gives you the option of saving this filter as a cue:

Click on that option and you’ll see:

Give it a name, and set the other options. Incidentally, if you want to change these options later, go to Organisation > Setup > Role center > Edit cues.

Now back to your Role center:

Click on ‘Add Cue’:

And simply select your Cue from the droplist:

OK and you’re done:

Actually – if you setup the Cue as a personal cue, the system will add it automatically to your role center and you won’t even have to do the last step.

Obviously, one of the uses here is to give the user quick short-cuts to documents that need to be processed (for instance sales order delivery notes that need to be posted to invoice), but another use of cues is as a health check. Setup a cue which you expect to be empty (for example sales order picking lists with a date in the past) – and then when you start your day a quick glance at the cues will show you whether everything is in nice and tidy apple pie order – or if you need to get on the phone and yell at someone.

Let’s pop back to the sales order form for a moment – there are a couple of other things to point out. I setup my filter using ‘Filter by grid’, but of course I could have written a more complex filter using the advanced filter form:

The advanced filter form lets you save your filter as a cue, but you also have the option of saving your filter as a named filter:

Click Save as and a pop-up form lets you give your filter a name:

Click OK to save (obviously).

Now close an open the sales order form again. There are a couple of handy short-cuts to that saved filter. The filter drop-list:

And Right-click in the grid:

Another trick is to set it in your favourites. Back to the menu. Right-click on the menu option:

Add it to your favourites, the Right-click on the Favourites to organise them:

(My sales order menu option is there – but hidden by the menu):

First we’ll rename the menu option:

Just type in a new name and click OK Then click on Edit Query and select your named saved query:

OK again, and close the Organise favourites form. Your favourite should now look like this:

And when you click on it, the form opens with your filter applied:

As I said – I like this function – simple and easy to setup useful prompts and short-cuts. Excuse me, I’m on. “Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene ……..”

Processing a sales rebate as a deduction in AX 2012 R3

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 includes a new ‘Trade allowance management’ module which supports more discount and rebate functionality than previous Dynamics AX versions.

We’re going to walk-through demonstration of a rebate being taken as a deduction from a sales invoice payment – using the standard Dynamics AX 2021 R3 CU8 demonstration ‘Contoso’ data-set. This walk-through assumes that the rebate does not require approval.

More information is found on Technet.

Setup. 1 Rebate parameters

Trade allowance management > Setup > Trade allowance management parameters:

Accounts receivable > Setup > Accounts receivable parameters > Rebate program:

Setup 2. Rebate types

Sales and marketing > Setup > Rebate program > Rebate program types:

Setup 3 Sales line price inquiry

Accounts receivable > Setup > Accounts receivable parameters > Prices:

‘Enable price details’ must be ticked.

Setup 4 Customer hierarchy

Trade allowance management > Setup > Customer category hierarchy:

You’re going to use a Customer hierarchy to select the customers that the Trade allowance agreement refers to.

Setup 5 Product hierarchy

Product information management > Common > Released products > Product > Setup > Product categories:

You’re going to use the Product category hierarchy to select the items that the Trade allowance agreement applies to.

Setup 6 Deduction type

Trade allowance management > Setup > Deductions > Deduction types:

Process step 1 Trade allowance agreement

Now we’re ready to setup the trade allowance agreement itself.

Trade allowance management > Common > Trade allowance agreements:



Line view:

Line amounts:

Process step 2 Activation of Trade allowance agreement

Before a trade allowance agreement is used in sales order entry, it must be ‘Confirmed’.

Trade allowance management > Common > Trade allowance agreements > Plan > Status > Confirm:

Once a Trade allowance agreement has Status = Confirmed, it can’t be changed. You have to re-set the status to ‘In-progress’.

Once the Trade allowance agreement has been used to generate discounts (or rebates) on sales invoices, you can’t re-set the status to ‘In-progress’. You’ll have to create a new Trade allowance agreement (Maintain > Copy) and close the current agreement (Status > Closed).

Note. The login-user must be linked to a worker to Confirm a Trade allowance agreement.

Confirmation of a Trade allowance agreement can be controlled by a work-flow approval process.

Process step 3 Sales invoice

Bill back trade allowance agreement merchandising events do not affect the sales order invoice price – but are shown on the Price details inquiry form (Sales order line > View > Price details):

When the sales order is posted, if the rebate doesn’t require approval, the system posts the rebate accrual according to the setup of the trade allowance agreement merchandising event:

The rebate accrual voucher posting is:

Process step 4 Deductions workbench

The Deductions workbench is one of the methods for managing rebates, and is suitable for the case where your customer does not wait for the rebate to be paid, but instead submits a payment which deducts the rebate.

The first step is to create a deduction journal entry.

Accounts receivable > Journals > Payments > Payment journal

Create a payment journal for the customer account and select the invoices that the payment relates to:

Click the Deductions button, and create a new Deduction:

Enter a type, and set the amount to the Balance to be settled.

When you close the form, the system adds a journal line to the payment journal:

(In this example – enter the customer payment shows the full invoice value, and I have entered a bank offset account)

Post the journal.

Deduction voucher:

Next create a credit note for the rebates. Accounts receivable > Common > Customers > All customers > Collect > Settle open transactions > Functions > Bill back program:

(Note this screen shows all the rebates for the customer – regardless of the Open transaction that you’ve selected).

Mark the rebates as required, then Functions > Create credit note.


Note. If the rebate requires approval, you first Approve and Process the rebate on the Trade allowance management Bill back workbench.

Finally, use the Deductions workbench to settle the deduction to the credit note.

Trade allowance management > Common > Deduction workbench:

Select/mark the deduction(s) and credit(s) and click Deductions > Maintain > Match.

The system posts a voucher: