Explode a sales order line in AX 2012 R3

In a workshop today we were discussing a sales process where the customer orders a kit of parts. One option we looked at was supplementary items – and I’ve already documented them in an earlier post. So today I’m looking at the ‘Explode > BOM Lines’ function on sales order lines. First I’ll setup the item the customer orders, ‘ITEM-ABC’ and define its Bill of material as one of ‘PART-A’, ‘PART-B’, and ‘PART-C’:

I’ve Approved the BoM and made it Active.

Now let’s create a sales order for our kit item:

Now choose the Sales order line > Explode > BOM lines menu option:

When you choose that menu option, the system displays the Active bill of material:

You can’t make any changes on this form, but don’t just click OK, (because nothing happens, which is a bit disconcerting). Before you click OK, select the BOM lines you want, logically all of them:

and then when you click OK, the system adds those sales order lines:

Notice however, that the system’s cancelled the original sales order line. Now you might take the view that that’s fair enough – obviously we don’t want to issue the kit item and issue the component items – but we’re losing the opportunity to print a delivery note or invoice for the item the customer ordered – and we’re losing the option to give the customer a favourable price for ordering the kit (as opposed to ordering the individual items). So one work-around here is to add an additional [Service] item into the Bill of material, which is going to be the sales order line that picks up the sales price and gets printed on the packing slip and invoice. Optionally, you might want to suppress the printing of the other [zero priced] lines on the Invoice.

Given these issues, you may want to look at the ‘Auto-report as finished’ option on the item:

Now, when we post the sales order packing slip, the system creates and posts a BOM journal:

The BOM journal takes the components out of inventory and receives the item we’re delivering:

In earlier versions of Dynamics AX the system used to create and post the BOM journal when you post the sales order invoice, which meant that you had to set up the Auto-report as finished item to allow negative inventory (since you delivered it before you received it), but this doesn’t give us perfect solution either – there’s no way of creating a picking list and sending that to the warehouse to tell them to pick the components.

I think the ‘Explode’ option is closer to a working solution – but still needs some customisation to make it work.