Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012 provides an easy & flexible way of creating & releasing new products. Products can be created in a central company and then released to other companies that transact them. For simpler scenarios, it is possible to create products in particular legal entity; Dynamics AX 2012 creates them in the central company in the back-end and releases them to the concerned company.
However if process manufacturing is used, different properties can be setup on these products depending on customer requirements for instance some products maybe short life products while others maybe dual unit of measure products and so on.
This blog provides an overview of properties that can be set on products to enable different functionality in process manufacturing solution. Hopefully, it will help application consultants and pre-sales consultants who need to understand the system for either preparing for a demo or for implementing at a customer site.
When process manufacturing is used, several additional product properties can be specified depending on the requirements. These properties can be grouped into following buckets:
After creating a new product user must setup production type for the product. This field determines behavior of the product in the system subsequently. There are several validations that depend on this setup. Therefore this is an important decision and usually not expected to change once product setup has been completed.
Production type can have following values:
User must choose between the following options:
There are several validations that help the user with this setup:
Using this option, user can calculate the quantity of finished product that can be produced given the amount of ingredients on-hand. The form can be used for products with single or dual units of measure (catch weight products).
During product creation, user can chose if the product is a catch weight product. If a product is chosen such, then it is considered to be catch weight product in all legal entities. Usually only one unit conversion will be defined globally and the product will be traded in that unit and inventory unit with defined conversion between them for all legal entities. However, different conversions can be defined if the product is transacted with different nominal weights in different legal entities.
It is not allowed for the product to be catch weight traded in one legal entity and not catch-weight traded in another.
Product masters and service type products can be setup to be catch weight products
Catch weight products can be of two types. Type of the product and business process will determine which of the two catch weight methods is used.
To setup a full visibility catch weight product, serial tracking dimension have to be turned on with serial number control checked. This usually works when (1) each individual unit is important enough to be tracked like expensive hams or cheese, (2) there is variation in weight possible within a narrow range and (3) weight is entered once at a process stage after which it is not expected to change.
To setup a partial visibility catch weight product, it is not necessary to have serial tracking dimension turned on. It is also not mandatory to have batch tracking dimension turned on, however that will be considered as an edge case. Partial visibility catch weight works best for products that are usually not measured and controlled as single units and for which weights vary within a narrow range and can be changed one or more times during the process for example a sack of potatoes or a box of chicken parts.
Several critical parameters for a product can be setup here, these are defined here:
Stocked product: it is not allowed to setup a catch weight product with an item model group that has this flag unchecked
Same batch selection: sales agreements & sales order lines for a product with such setup will have same batch selection flag checked by default, it can be toggled as desired
Consolidate requirement: Requirements that fall outside one batch can be consolidated together into a larger batch if this field is setup in item model group
FEFO date controlled: the flag determines if inventory reservation for the product should follow first expiry first out principle or not. If this flag is checked, user can select whether the principle should be applied based on best before date or expiry date. If the principle is applied based on best before date and if the product is setup with batch tracking dimension turned on then it is mandatory to fill in the best before period in days in the released products details page. Similarly, if the principle selected is expiry date and if the product is setup with batch tracking dimension turned on then it is mandatory to fill in the shelf life period in days in the released products details page.
Batch disposition code: every inventory batch created for the product defaults to the batch disposition code supplied here
Purchase registration: if a product is setup with this option, users get option to record vendor batch information like vendor batch number, country of origin etc., while registration of a purchase order line
Approved vendor check method: the value in this field is defaulted to the product as soon as it is created, it can be toggled at any time
Default order settings
Define default order type that will be used by master planning to determine what kind of planned order should be created to meet the demand. Here user can also specify multiple, minimum order quantity, maximum order quantity and standard order quantity for catch weight products.
Note: when process manufacturing is used, multiple quantity specified on inventory tab for both catch weight and inventory units is only used for transfer orders. Multiple specified on formula is the one used for production.
Bulk item conversion
It is possible to setup conversion between a bulk and a pack item for any product that has a production type of formula. When such a product is selected on released products list page, bulk item conversion button becomes available.
It is possible to check on-hand in multiple dimensions for any product that has been setup with different packing configurations. When such a product is selected on released products list page, multi-dimension on-hand button becomes available for clicking. Note: it is recommended to use containerization (bulk/pack) functionality instead of containers functionality. Containers functionality will most likely be deprecated in a subsequent release.
It is possible to check on-hand (1) for bulk item, (2) for pack item in pack units and for (3) pack item in bulk item units for any product that has been setup as a bulk or a pack item. When such a product is selected on released products list page, consolidated on-hand button becomes available for clicking.
Inventory batch attributes
On released products list page, three options are available to (1) setup inventory batch attributes per product (2) setup inventory batch attributes per product and customer and (3) search available inventory batches based on certain batch attributes
Note: Inventory batch attributes functionality that is specific to inventory batches in Process Manufacturing is different from Product attributes functionality which is specific to products.
Product specific: When a product with batch tracking dimension active is selected on released products list page, this button becomes enabled. Using the form that opens up, user can setup a specific inventory batch attribute for the product.
Customer specific: Once a product has at least one inventory batch attribute attached, buttons customer specific and search inventory become available. Using the form that opens up, user can setup a specific inventory batch attribute for a product & customer combination. The minimum, maximum, tolerance action & increment are selected from the product specific setup done earlier. However these values can be changed on this particular record for the customer as long as the new range specified is narrower than the one specified for the product.
Search inventory: clicking this button will open a form that shows the existing inventory batches that match the criteria already setup for search. If user wishes to change the search criteria, this can be done by using the batch attribute search form.
Using this option, user can setup countries and regions where a particular product is (1) regulated or (2) regulated and reported. If the product is reported as well, then reporting lists need to exist in the system before this setup can be done.
Using this option, user can setup countries and regions where a particular product is restricted. System assumes that there is a public restriction list on which this product exists, therefore restriction lists need to exist in the system before this setup can be done.
Product Safety Data Sheet
Using this option, user can setup product safety data sheets in various languages and versions. The sheets can be activated as needed. If the records are changed, then a modification reason can be entered and log of changes can be maintained.
Note: there are several parameters in inventory module that control the display and timing of alerts specific to events that may occur related to product safety data sheets.
Using this option, information can be set up about allowed limits from various authorities for usage of this product. Also use this form to setup CAS numbers for the product. The form also has a function to calculate the quantity consumed, produced and on-hand currently for the product.
If a product can only be supplied by certain vendors then this information can be set up using buttons available on purchase tab of release products list page. Users can also define the time period in which these vendors are allowed to sell products to company. Note: the time period uses date effectivity framework like in many other parts of the application, which makes it easier to setup this information.
It is also possible to query from released products list page, (1) vendors that are allowed to supply a certain product for any time period and (2) vendors that are allowed to supply the product as on a particular date.