Right-click View details in Dynamics 365 for Operations

Hi, I’m back! You’ve may have noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve posted. There are a couple of reasons: Firstly, Christmas is summer-time in New Zealand, and I’ve been taking some (well quite a lot actually) vacation time; but also I always wanted this blog to reflect my actual day-to-day Dynamics AX practice, not just theoretical stuff. For the past few months I’ve been working on AX 2009 and AX 2012 and not much new has crossed my desk.

This week though we’ve been setting up a new Dynamics 365 for Operations system and I found that I was more than a little rusty in the basics of Dynamics 365 for Operations so here goes on my day-one refresher course for myself.

Firstly, the community seems to have settled on an abbreviation for Dynamics 365 for Operations of ‘D365O’. No so easy to type. I’ve already sent someone an email with D#^%O in it. They must have thought that I was swearing at them. But back to the blog.

Who moved the Right-Click > View details?

If you’ve used AX 2009 or AX 2012 you’ll be familiar with the Right-click > Options (formal name ‘Context menu’), and one of the most useful options is the Right-click > View details which takes you to a main table (like an item group) or a document (like a purchase order or sales order):

By the way, that’s going to be the only AX 2012 screenshot in this blog, it’s D365O all the way from now on.

At first sight, that option has been removed from D365O, right-click in a field and you see:

But actually the option is still there, and there are two ways to invoke it.

The first is to right-click on the down arrow itself:

Gives:

And the other, in a form (but not in a list grid) is to right-click on the field label:

Gives:

To access ‘View details’ in a list grid, you can still right-click on the field

If you’re confused by my explanation and you’d like to see a video, check out this post on Lachlan Cash’s blog.

The next short-cut I missed was to move to the next record in the grid. In AX 2009 and AX 2012 that was Ctrl-Page down. In D365O it’s Ctrl-Down arrow. So I’m here:

… and Ctrl-Down arrow gives me:


I’ve jumped down one record, which is ideal when you have to check or update the same field on a number of records in a table.

New used to be Ctrl-N, now it’s Alt-N, and of course save which used to be Ctrl-S is now Alt-S. Delete Alt-F9 is now Alt-Del.

Apologies if you’re just new to D365O and haven’t used AX 2009 or AX 2012 before. You’re probably fed up of me banging on about what short-cuts you can’t use, but I think that just now you’re in the minority and most D365O users are migrating from AX 2009 or AX 2012, so please bear with me.

Closing windows.

It took me a little while, but I had to get used to closing the form I’m working on and going back to the one I’d just come from, by closing the working form by clicking the close button for that form – it’s the X on the form’s working bar, for instance:

In this case, that’ll close the Item model groups form I’m on and take me back to the Released products form I came from, but I’m not too impressed that the navigation path at the top of the form still shows me Product information management > Products > Released products. Hopefully, that will get tidied up in a future release.

Favourites.

Setting your favourites in D365O is simple. When you hover over a module’s menu option, next to it you’ll see a faint star:

Click on it, and that menu option is added to your favourites, like this:

Click on the solid blue star to remove it from your favourites.

Incidentally, the option to add a filter query to your favourites and organise them into folders hasn’t made it into D365O yet, but you can add a tile to a workspace to the same affect, but I think I’ll save that to another post.

Search for a form.

I’m slowly getting used to one new short-cut Ctrl-/. It opens form search:

Type in the name of a form, and a drop-list of likely suspects appears, for instance:

If at first your form doesn’t appear try something slightly different, for instance ‘cust’ is a bit disappointing:

But ‘All cust’ will get you to the customers form:

Change my date format.

You may have noticed that I’m English and prefer 31/12/16 to 12/31/16. In D3650 that’s now set in your Tools > Options. Click on the Cog wheel:

Options gives:

Handy for setting your company colours, or reminding yourself you’re in PROD (or not, as the case may be).

Preferences is:

There’s the date format, along with your default company and time-zone.

And finally, one Tool that I thought had disappeared, and that is Set session date, it’s now a menu option in Organisation administration, not that we need to use the menu any more:

But in case you’re old-school and wedded to menus, here it is:

The form opens like this:

Of course, this is a really useful way of testing things that depend on date, like master planning, or an aged balance report, but this isn’t a feature that should be used at all in your production system.

Of course this post has referenced only those few short-cuts that I commonly used in Dynamics AX – if you like a full list of the keyboard shortcuts in Dynamics 365 for Operations it’s here.

Item order defaults in Dynamics 365 for Operations

I’ve mentioned the Dynamics 365 for Operations roadmap site (roadmap.dynamics.com ) before, but there’s another place where you can find out what’s available in the latest release, and that is the New or changed features page of the Dynamics 365 for Operations Help Wiki. On the ‘What’s new or changed in Dynamics 365 for Operations version 1611 (November 2016)’ page under the Product master data heading you’ll find reference to a couple of neat little enhancements to the processing of product variants.

The first one I’d like to call out is the ability to setup your own Product number format for Product variants. It’s not immediately obvious in Dynamics AX 2012, but when you’re using product variants (Configuration, Style, Size, or Colour), the system creates a unique product number for each valid combination:


Now we’re typically going to use Style, Size and Colour variants when dealing with Retail companies, and mostly those companies have their own convention for referencing a Style, Size and Colour within a part number, so they may have something like ITEM1234L01. Well now you can do that in standard Dynamics 365 for Operations. Product information management > Setup > Product nomenclature:

You can construct your Product variant number from any combination of: Product master number; a Number sequence; Configuration; Style; Size; Colour; and/or a Text constant.


Next, on the Product dimension group you specify the Product nomenclature (product variant number configuration) which you’d like to use.

Product information management > Setup > Dimension and variant groups > Product dimension groups:


Now, let’s create a product master, Product information management > Products > Product masters > New:


And create some product dimensions:


And:


And then:


That’s neat, and a nice tidy up of a clunky AX 2012 convention – but there is more.

We can now specify Default order setting for each of the Product variants. I’ve released my three product variants into the USMF company and setup the item. Now, (if you’ve used Dynamics AX before) you’ll notice that we don’t have ‘Default order settings’ and ‘Site specific order settings’, we just have: ‘Default order settings’


The Default order settings form shows a couple of significant changes from earlier versions:


So the most significant change here is that the Default order settings setups now have a ‘Rank’. The higher the rank, the more important the rule is, meaning that it will have a higher priority and will be used before the rules with lower ranks. There’s one general default order settings rule with a rank of zero (and there can only be one rule with rank zero). Rules can have the same rank, provided that the dimensions they apply to are different. This is useful for modelling site specific order settings. When a new default order settings rule is created, the values for order values, stop flag, etc. are inherited from the rule with rank zero, but can be overwritten.

And the second major change is that the Default order settings can now be specified for individual product variants (or product dimensions), including the all-important ‘Stopped’ flag.

Brilliant!

The Help page for this form also mentions that you can switch the form between Details view (shown above), and Grid view (shown below) – useful for checking setup. The switch is on the on ‘Options’ tab:


‘Grid view’ gives:


So finally, I’ll just mention in passing that the Master planning setup of an item is done partly on this form, and partly on the Item coverage settings. Item coverage setup is always performed at the product variant level.

Vendor managed inventory in Dynamics 365 for Operations

I’ve just been reminded of a handy little website: roadmap.dynamics.com. It’s a great place to keep up to date with the what’s new, and roadmap for Dynamics AX / Dynamics 365 for Operations. Tucked away under the What’s new > Vendor collaboration, is an announcement of the availability of Vendor managed inventory – or Consignment stock.

This is a really nice enhancement of supply chain functionality.

Consignment stock is often used in Lean manufacturing implementations – but I’ve also come across it being used in more traditional environments, and it seems to be very commonly used for labels and packaging, because the printing vendor wants to use large batch sizes to minimise their setup and run costs, and they’re prepared to hold the inventory.

So let’s walk through this new functionality, and note that this is only available for Dynamics 365 for Operations – it’s not available for Dynamics AX 2012.

Detailed instructions are found on the Dynamics 365 for Operations Help Wiki. The summary is that the process uses the ‘Owner’ inventory dimension (which used to be enabled only as a localisation for Russia); a new Consignment replenishment order; and an Inventory ownership change journal.

First some setup.

Inventory owners. Inventory management > Setup > Inventory owners:


Here, we are setting up a link between our vendor and the Owner inventory dimension, and defining the default dimension which represents our own inventory.

Tracking dimension group. Product and information management > Setup > Dimension and variant groups > Tracking dimension group:


We’ve created a new Dimension group with the ‘Owner’ dimension active – in the current version you can’t enable batch or serial tracking (well you can on this form, but you get an error when you try to create an item with with this Tracking dimension group).

Inventory ownership change journal. Inventory management > Setup > Journal names > Inventory:


No surprises here, apart from the new Journal type, and of course we can define a default Ownership change journal name:


Next I’m creating a new Consignment stock warehouse. This isn’t strictly part of the process, but it’s the way I’ve seen this process being managed in practice. Inventory management > Setup > Inventory breakdown > Warehouses:


Note. Don’t be tempted to use the warehouse Vendor account on your Consignment warehouse. That field is related to the sub-contract production process (where you want to deliver to your sub-contract vendor), so it defaults the warehouse delivery address. In this context you’d have products going round in circles.

Now we can setup a new item, and assign that Tracking dimension group. Note that only standard cost, and moving average inventory cost models are supported:


I’ve chosen Standard cost, so I’ll activate the standard cost for my released product.

Now we’re ready to create a Consignment replenishment order. Procurement and sourcing > Consignment > Consignment replenishment orders:


Well the concept is pretty self-explanatory. There’s not much to this document and it only supports the Product receipt update. Let’s create one:


Vendor; Contact; Deliver to warehouse – couldn’t be simpler. Add a line:


Again all self-explanatory, and we have a linked inventory transaction:


Without any fuss the system’s assigned the correct Owner inventory dimension.

Consigned inventory is often managed via an over-arching Purchase agreement or Contract. You’ll see in a moment that when you change the owner of the Vendor managed inventory to yourself, the system creates a purchase order. That purchase order will take the price from a purchase price trade agreement, but unfortunately not from a Purchase agreement. So managing the Purchase Contract is currently a manual process. Note also that there isn’t any option to print the Consignment replenishment order, so at this point your communication with your vendor is again a manual process.

As an aside, Master planning recognises the Consignment replenishment order as a supply (but there’s no Planned consignment replenishment orders, you have to create Consignment replenishment orders manually):


OK – now let’s receive our consignment inventory. Procurement and sourcing > Consignment > Consignment replenishment orders > Receive > Product receipt:


Again this form shows all of the features that you’d expect to see. There’s an option to perform Registration prior to receipt, but I don’t really see the point in doing that here. OK updates the on-hand and inventory transactions:


And:


Note that there are no ledger postings related to the Consignment replenishment order product receipt:


Before we consume this inventory we need to create an Inventory ownership change journal. Inventory management > Journal entries > Items > Inventory ownership change or Procurement and sourcing > Consignment > Inventory ownership change:


New gives:


OK gives:


Create a line, and note that the ‘From’ Site, Warehouse, Location and Owner are all enterable – whereas the ‘To’ dimensions are set by the system.

Post the journal, and the system creates a Purchase order:


Note that the Purchase order header shows an Origin of ‘Consignment’ (and the purchase order line quantity can’t be changed on the Purchase order):


Now let’s review the inventory transactions again:


The Inventory ownership change journal has consumed some of our consignment inventory and we have a purchase order product receipt (with the normal ledger postings).

So now we can transfer this inventory and consume it on a production order, and we can post a purchase order invoice on the purchase order.

There are some [sensible] restrictions on the consignment inventory. You can’t issue the consignment inventory to a transfer order, and you can’t issue the consignment inventory to a production order – you have to have posted the ownership change first. But you can count the inventory (up and down), and transfer the consignment inventory using a transfer journal. There’s also a rather neat function to automatically populate the Inventory ownership change journal from production order components.

If you’re planning to implement this process you might want to check out the options for setting up Vendor collaboration as per this help wiki, but it’s perfectly possible to operate this process without giving your vendors access to Dynamics 365 for Operations.

Updated 16/12/2016: Scott Hamilton has just published a definitive article on this topic. See Manage Consigned Inventory using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.