Warehouse management is a key aspect of modern supply chain management that demands the full attention of a business to be efficient. In this post, we look at warehouse management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations.
Overview of Advanced Warehouse Management in D365 F&O
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the most well-known ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions offering innovative, AI-driven assistance for Finance, Operations, and Supply Chain Management. The Warehouse Management module of D365 offers a wide range of optimized capabilities to manage even the most complicated supply chains.
Worldwide, manufacturing and distribution companies of all sizes rely on D365 warehouse inventory management to support their supply chain operations at a core level. When a system like D365 is implemented correctly, it’s easy to gain efficiency and flexibility at every level. Furthermore, D365 enables warehouse owners to set up multiple priority-based storage areas within a warehouse making it easy to gain visibility into their supply chain. According to research from World Economic Forum, challenges like high overheads, growing competition, and evolving customer expectations continue to cause severe impediments.
When it comes to supply chain efficiency, gaining full visibility has become extremely important, permitting businesses to build a direct link with consumers and partners. Supply chain visibility is critical to building a strategy to reduce risks, drive innovation, and build customer trust.
Key Warehouse Management Processes
Figure 1:Key Warehouse Management Processes
Full visibility makes tracking evolving customer needs, behaviour, and trends easy. This information makes it possible to optimize warehouse operations according to what the end customer is seeking. While not always easy, it’s quickly becoming non-negotiable.
The main reason so many businesses use D365 for supply chain and warehouse management is the wide range of modern features it offers in one solution, including –
- Placement and Storage D365 let you define the stock based on query-defined rules that make tracking products easy. Users can define location and storage policies down to item and warehouse levels to ensure that RFID (radio frequency identification) capabilities are accurate and updated. You can streamline the storage facility greatly by dividing the warehouses into different zones, defining the storage needs, and even specifying an item’s location with the aisle, rack, and shelf details.
- Inventory Dimensions D365 gives you visibility into specific inventory details like warehouse and location, as well as basic characteristics like size, color and more. Users have full control over how the products are stored, how warehouse storage costing is decided, and how inventory tracking is happening by defining the inventory dimensions according to any operational requirements.
- Serial and Batch Number ControlD365 makes it easy to add and manage batch and serial numbers to things like finished goods and raw materials, streamlining the ability for your team to track their location as they move through production. As you gain full control of serial and batch numbers, it becomes easier to trace the quality assurance and warranty of your finished goods. As a bonus, properly assigning serial and batch numbers to your goods and products lets you know exactly where they are in your system, and whether the order has been shipped or not.
- Wave TemplateWave templates in Dynamics 365 give users the ability to create and manage multiple Shipping, Production and Kanban Wave Templates can be processed manually or automatically. As these Waves are processed, specific work is assigned to a warehouse operations team(s) to be completed for different locations or scenarios. Setting up a wave template includes defining the location or warehouse that the template will create the work for, the order the system will follow if there are multiple waves, and actions to be taken when the wave is processed. Examples of Wave Template types include shipping or transferring orders, or special care and handling instructions for moving items in production. Wave templates create work from Work Templates and Location Directives (pick and put locations) for a specific warehouse.
- Work Templates and Location DirectivesD365 also includes Work Templates and Location Directives to help define and standardize the operations crucial to a business’s warehouse management. Work templates define “work” and lay out specific pick and put process steps for users to follow in warehouse transactions. Work templates are not location specific by default, and only describe the actions to take.
- PICK an item from a rack or shelf location
- PUT an item into a packaging area
- PICK an item from a packaging area
- PUT an item into a shipment
Location Directives describe the same steps for different sites and locations. Location Directives are specific directions for managing or moving inventory in a specific warehouse or location for different scenarios like handling of larger quantities, or specific storage location types like cold storage, freezers, etc.
- Replenishment TemplatesReplenishment templates in D365 let you define the replenishment process for multiple locations. D365 includes the ability to set different replenishment strategies for different warehouses:
- Wave demand – the default strategy designed to find locations that can be replenished until demand Is covered
- Maximum location capacity – like Wave demand, but locations are replenished to maximum capacity.
- Pick and Put-away ordersD365 makes it easy to pick and put items for outbound loads with handheld or mobile devices. You can define the order picking and dropping locations while streamlining the logistic chain. D365 enables warehouse managers to ‘pick’ any load from the warehouse and ‘put’ it directly to staging, making outbound loading and delivery quick and smooth.
Role of Advanced Warehouse Management In D365 F&O In Cost Reduction
Current trends indicate that supply chain management solutions focus mostly on controlling overhead. D365 can accomplish this by offering businesses full control and monitoring of their workforce and their warehouses.
‘D365 further helps reduce costs by offering full visibility of your operations, as well as the ability to manage your bills and invoices and optimize new or existing routes.
- Office IntegrationBeing able to streamline your supply chain is only possible when all related workflows are optimized, integrated, and capable of capturing and sharing key data without issue.
D365’s native integration to Microsoft’s Office 365 products like Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Teams, and more to make all possible to share and access information anywhere in the world.
- Better Customer ExperienceWhen your systems are all fully integrated at a workflow level, you’re able to stay on top of your operations and the things that matter most to your customers, including things like timely support options, accurate forecasting, dynamic pricing and more.
- Insight-driven ReportingD365 provides a wide range of detailed reporting options like Labor by job, Labor by users, Sales by product, equipment failures, warehouse transactions, and more. These insight-driven reports work in real-time to give businesses the ability to respond to problems and demands quickly and efficiently based on real data.
- Warehouse PerformanceDynamics 365 offers multiple ways to monitor the overall performance of your supply chain quickly and easily by breaking down your entire warehouse into products, vendors, and sites. Inbound performance monitoring ensures vendor performance, tracks delivery, and identifies potential loopholes. Shipping performance monitoring ensures finished goods and products are shipped to customers at the right time.
It’s important to understand that the ability to streamline a supply chain depends on effective warehouse management – not an easy job.
This is where a scalable solution like D365 can be used to address a wide range of potential challenges related to ‘pick and put away’ orders, cycle counting, barcode and label support, and keep overheads to a minimum while still being able to meet continuously evolving customer demands.
Making sure it’s done right the first time means working with a partner that understands your industry and knows how to streamline the process and maximize your ROI (Return on Investment).
For more information and to find out how we can help optimize your supply chain contact us today.