Production order documentation in AX 2012

I’ve just finished a post about the production order paperwork which can be printed from Microsoft Dynamics AX 365 for Operations / AX 7. We’re still implementing AX 2012, so here are the equivalent reports from AX 2012.

Firstly, in Dynamics AX we have a production order overview, a list of production orders that might serve as a production schedule. Go to Production control > Reports > Transactions > Production overview. The report format looks like this:


Obviously to make this useful you need to filter and sort, using the ‘Select’ option on the parameter form:


Don’t forget that you can also use the Select form to define the sort order for the report (in this case for instance, you’d sort by start date), and you can save your filter queries for re-use:


There are three reports which can be printed when you release a production order:


The Route card report is a list of the production order route operations, and their process descriptions.


The Route jobs report is a list of the jobs associated with the production order route operations, so typically it’s giving a bit more detail about setup vs. process operation jobs.


And the Job card, gives you a single page for each Operation job:


Incidentally, I hope we all realise that a production order route operation ‘Description’ is used for process instructions:


I met a company once that had added BOM lines, each BOM line was one line of their process instructions – and I have no idea why they did that.

So, as you can see, the Route card report, Route jobs report, and Job card report are related to production order operations – and make no mention of the bill of materials / components.

For that we’ll start the production order, create a picking list journal and print the pick list from the picking list journal:


Note that there’s no option to print the route card from the start process, and the Route card isn’t dependant on the route card journal in the same way that the picking list relies on a picking list journal. Regardless, here’s the production order picking list:


Right, well we’ve seen the Route card report (which ignores the components) and the Picking list report (which ignores the route operations), so finally let’s look at the Production order report.


This is normally my candidate for customisation to replace existing production paperwork. We’ve often customised the layout; and added a shortcut button to print the report from the production order details screen; and sometimes created an option to print the report from the production order start process.

Production order documentation in Dynamics 365 for Operations

A colleague is supporting the implementation of production orders in a new Dynamics AX 2012 site, and we fell to talking about the reports available in Dynamics AX to support the production process. I was interested to see what’s available in Microsoft Dynamics AX 365 for Operations / AX 7. So here we go.

I suppose first we ought to come clean and say that when we’re implementing Dynamics AX we usually assume that we’re going to customise any external documents (the documents sent to your customers and vendors, for example, purchase orders, sales order confirmations; sales order packing slips and sales order invoices, etc.). I also assume that we’re going to customise important internal documents too, like sales order picking lists, and the production paperwork that we’re about to discuss.

Just an aside, there are some ‘modern’ report layouts available for the external documents for AX 7. See https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/installing-the-modern-report-design-templates/ . For instance, the sales order invoice looks like this:


If you’re implementing Dynamics AX production orders, you’re probably going to be replacing some legacy system and you’ll probably start with an analysis of the existing production paperwork. There are four Dynamics AX reports that you will want to compare to your existing documents.

Firstly, in Dynamics AX we have a production order overview, a list of production orders that might serve as a production schedule.

In Dynamics AX 2012 go to Production control > Reports > Transactions > Production overview. The report format looks like this:


This report doesn’t seem to have survived the move to AX 7, In Microsoft Dynamics AX 365 for Operations / AX 7 if you go to Production control > Inquiries and reports > Production > Production overview, you get this inquiry screen:


Which is going to need to be personalised before it’s much use. However, if you go to Production control > Inquiries and reports > Production > Current production jobs report, you’ll get the slightly more useful:


Obviously, this report will only show production orders that have been job scheduled (as opposed to operations scheduled).

I’m going to leave the best to last, so the next report we’ll look at is the Route card or job card. This is triggered when you release a production order:


The Route card report is a list of the production order route operations, and their process descriptions.


The Route jobs report is a list of the jobs associated with the production order route operations, so typically it’s giving a bit more detail about setup vs. process operation jobs.


And the Job card, gives you a single page for each Operation job:


Incidentally, I hope we all realise that a production order route operation ‘Description’ is used for process instructions:


I met a company once that had added BOM lines, each BOM line was one line of their process instructions – and I have no idea why they did that.

So, as you can see, the Route card report, Route jobs report, and Job card report are related to production order operations – and make no mention of the bill of materials / components.

For that we’ll start the production order, create a picking list journal and print the pick list from the picking list journal:


Note that there’s no option to print the route card from the start process, and the Route card isn’t dependant on the route card journal in the same way that the picking list relies on a picking list journal. Regardless, here’s the production order picking list:


Right, well we’ve seen the Route card report (which ignores the components) and the Picking list report (which ignores the route operations), so finally let’s look at the Production order report.


This is normally my candidate for customisation to replace existing production paperwork. We’ve often customised the layout; and added a shortcut button to print the report from the production order details screen; and sometimes created an option to print the report from the production order start process.

Production order statuses in Dynamics AX

I don’t usually use flow charts in my workshops – but I make an exception whenever we’re talking about processing production orders – because the production order has so many statuses and we need to define how a production order will be processed for each company (and sometimes for each separate production unit). That is, we need to define which statuses will be used and what they all mean.

I almost entitled this post “Why you should set production orders to ‘Reported as finished’ but realised that there are more statuses that you should use, and some you shouldn’t.

So here goes.

First, the flow chart. This is an example of a production order flow where we are back-flushing component/ingredient consumption and there’s no route operation hours or costs. I’m emphasising example because you have to analyse your own situation and develop your own production order process.


OK – so we’ve got that out of the way, now let’s walk through the various statuses that we’re using (or not).

Status

Description

Created

You’ll normally only see this status when you create a production order manually – although you can setup master planning to create ‘Created’ production orders when you firm a planned order.

The Item BOM has been copied to the production BOM. The production BOM can be deleted and re-copied

The Item route has been copied to the production Route. The production Route can be deleted and re-copied

The production order can be deleted

Master planning processes the production order (parent) item only.

There are no demands on components

There are no capacity reservations

Estimated

Phantoms have been exploded. (The Bill of material items and route operations from the phantom are copied into the production order BOM and Route, and the phantom item is deleted from the production BOM).

Planned inventory transactions have been created for the production BOM component items. Component items are scheduled for the delivery date of the production order (i.e. no production order lead time).

Sub-contract purchase orders (and Sub-production orders) have been created.

The production order price calculation is created.

You don’t normally see this status, because normally you’d just Schedule the order.

Scheduled

Capacity is reserved

Components are scheduled according to beginning (or end) of their ‘deliver to’ operation

Released

Shop floor documents are printed

Started

Material can be issued, hours recorded, and production reported as finished

<Issue materials> <Record hours> <Report as finished>

Reported as finished

All outstanding inventory transactions (issues and receipts) are deleted.

Outstanding capacity reservations are deleted

Ended

Physical inventory accounting postings are reversed.

Financial inventory postings are created.

No further transactions can be posted.

The production order can be deleted.

So Some rules:

  1. You should never have ‘Created’ production orders. Master planning processes the ‘supply’ side of a ‘Created’ production order, but there are no derived requirements or capacity reservations. If you create a production order, schedule it immediately – no exceptions.
  2. You don’t need to Estimate production orders. If you schedule a ‘Created’ production order, Estimation is performed for you automatically. The exception to this rule is the next rule. A scheduled production order is more use than an estimated one – so schedule, don’t estimate.
  3. If you change the production order quantity or BOM lines quantity you must re-estimate the production order. If you change the production order quantity a form pops up prompting you to re-estimate the order:

    If you don’t re-estimate and reschedule, the BOM line components are still calling for their original quantities. This means that either you will order too much of your component (or, as happened to us last week) you will run out half-way through your production order, because someone increased the quantity on the production order but didn’t re-estimate.
  4. You don’t need to Release production orders – so this is an optional step, but sometimes it’s used by planners to signal to the shop floor that they can start the order (and the production order is updated to ‘Started’ on the shop floor when work actually starts) – but mostly I’ve seen this step left out of the process.
  5. You should start a production order. The production order status must be ‘Started’
    before you can issue materials; record hours; or report as finished. But the system will perform Process > Start for you if you jump directly to Report as finished – however my personal preference is not to rely on the system performing this step for you – and you perform it manually.
  6. You should not reset the status on a ‘Started’ production order unless you know exactly what you are doing. If you reset the status to before started and there are any postings on the production order – (that’s picking list issues; route/job card hours; and/or report as finish quantities) – the system will try to reverse all of those postings. Even if it succeeds and posts all of the relevant journals – that’s probably not exactly what you wanted to happen.
  7. A Production planner / supervisor should set the production order to ‘Reported as finished’. This is telling the system (and everyone else) that you don’t expect to do any more work on this production order. You don’t expect to make any more product; you’re not reserving or planning to consume any components, ingredients, or packaging; and you’re not reserving any production capacity – but you can still post transactions to the production order if you need to (for instance in the case that something got mis-reported or forgotten).
  8. Ending a production order is a financial transaction so it’s normally performed by someone in the finance department – or someone responsible for the budget or financial performance of the production unit. You can’t post any transactions to an Ended production order – and you can’t reverse the Process > End, so before you set the status to Ended you have to have checked the production order postings and variances and you have to be sure that everything is posted correctly.
  9. You shouldn’t tick ‘Reported as finished’ when you Update > End a production order:

    Well, this is only relevant if you’ve ignored rules 7 and 11, but that tick allows you to End production orders that aren’t Reported as finished, and at the same time report as finish the remainder of your production order – so you could be implicitly performing an inventory update – so you’re breaking rule 8 as well.
  10. Before you perform any production order updates set your user default values. For instance on the Process > End form, there’s a Default values button:

    Click on it and you see:

    Every new user should be given a setup script that they have to walk through setting their user defaults for each and every production order process transaction before they are let loose on production orders.
  11. And finally, you can enforce some of these rules on the Status tab of your production parameters (which can be set by Site, as well as by company):


Lastly – and it’s not really a rule – but notice that you can’t cancel a production order. On sales orders and purchase orders you can cancel lines – so the evidence is there that there used to be an order, but you don’t want it any more. Sadly, there’s no equivalent in production – so if you do need to cancel a production order you’re going to have to reset the status to ‘Created’ and delete it and then have some manual process which will update previously printed schedules and production documents.