11 Dynamics 365 Features Designed to Improve Supply Chain Management

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An increasing number of companies are turning to the versatile Dynamics 365 in an effort to optimize their supply chain processes.
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In the rapidly evolving digital era, manufacturers are realizing outdated supply chain technologies are not only hampering growth, but also preventing them from creating a future-proof infrastructure and setting a foundation for long-term success.

Here are eleven D365 features which can help your organization’s ability to stay competitive on the market:  

Inventory management 

This feature allows you to track items by inventory dimensions, including site, warehouse, pallet, location, batch and serial number. You can take advantage of multiple inventory control systems and inventory valuation methods including first in/ first out (FIFO), last in/first out (LIFO), standard cost, moving and weighted average. Reduce inventory costs and eliminate waste by using the ABC-analysis and by pulling inventory in optimal sequence using “best-before” management and first expired/first out (FEFO) or first in/first out (FIFO) picking guidance.  

Lower inventory costs and improve turn-over with advanced inventory allocation. Replenish inventory based on picking, min/ max and transportation load-based replenishment. Use flexible location directives to organize your warehouse layout and zones. Improve your customer service level with real-time visibility into inventory, using inventory dimensions including vehicle number plates. Account for inventory with multiple cycle counting strategies including threshold cycle counting for picking, cycle counting plans, zero quantity on hand cycle counting and ad-hoc cycle counting using filtering. You’ll also have advanced property control for warehouse locations, control of mixed items, mixed batch numbers, mixed inventory statuses, thresholds, advanced volume or amount based multi-unit setup for put-away limit calculations and location allocations. 

Multi-site warehouse management 

Within this capability, you’ll be able to manage storage locations and material handling within warehouses. Apply advanced inbound algorithms using multiple warehouse zones and replenishment strategies. Optimize picking with a choice of picking methods. Track inventory on hand per warehouse.  

Provide customers with choice and flexibility of delivery with agile inbound and outbound processes to meet customer demands with advanced picking strategies such as cluster picking. Efficiently put away inbound goods with advanced put away strategies and increase flexibility by configuring simple workflows without coding for put-away and picking activities. Use filter capabilities to determine the custom workflow. Provide warehouse workers with material handling instructions based on the system or directed by the user (task interleaving).  

Process waves include: automatic, manual, batch-time scheduled, filtering and grouping and container calculations packaging. D365 offers support for cross-docking and pick/pack, improved tracking and tracing of goods with registration of serial numbers in the picking process, and batch number support with picking strategies and put-away, based on expiry date. 

Tracking and tracing 

Collect, track and trace inventory and tracking dimensions throughout the end-to-end logistics processes of the supply chain including inventory, warehouse, production and transport processes. Track back batch or serial numbers for quality incidents and register and monitor batch attributes, expiry and shelf life dates. 

Demand forecasting 

Demand Forecasting is a lightweight, yet powerful demand forecasting tool that enables organizations to forecast demand based on historical data using Microsoft SQL Server forecasting algorithms, adjust the forecasted demand using the familiar environment of Microsoft Excel and import the values into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations forecast models. Demand Forecasting will help organizations improve the accuracy of forecasts and therefore improve product availability and minimize inventory costs.  

You can use Microsoft Excel to update your demand forecast, helping you to increase efficiency and productivity by accelerating the process of updating directly from a spreadsheet. You can take full advantage of the integration with Excel when working on your demand forecast. Update or delete directly from Microsoft Excel before submitting the forecast to Dynamics 365.  

The D365 and Azure Machine Learning integration can help you estimate future demand by using the power and extensibility of a Microsoft Azure Machine Learning cloud service. The service performs best-match model selection and offers key performance indicators (KPIs) for calculating forecast accuracy. Generate more accurate forecasts by using the machine learning techniques and tools to estimate future demand based on historical transactions.  

Shipping carrier interface 

Automatically transfer information received from shipping carriers, including freight charges and tracking numbers, to Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

Returns management 

Manage the return order process and control who can return items and which items can be returned. Categorize returns according to reason code or method of disposition. 

Material handling 

Within this feature, you’ll be able to increase quality of material handling with Radio Frequency (RF) support. Support material handling within the warehouse with browser-based mobile handheld RF-devices. Create mobile handheld device menus from within Microsoft Dynamics 365, including creating new menus for each user or user groups, changing layout and colors and determining error logging and actions. Last but not least, use warehouse operation in manufacturing organizations for raw material picking and report-as-finished support. 

Quality management 

Improve business processes for quality assurance, quality control and lot traceability. Manage the test process. Set aside items in quarantine using quarantine orders. 

Master planning, including order promising (ATP/CTP) 

Forecast delivery dates using operations or bottleneck scheduling. Calculate available-to-promise (ATP) and capable-to-promise (CTP). Plan across multiple sites.  

Additionally, in this release we are adding a Master Planning Workspace to offer at-a-glance information about when the last master planning run was completed, whether it had any errors, what the urgent planned orders are and which planned orders cause delays. Gain quick insight into the status of a master planning run, the urgent planned orders and the planned orders that cause delays. 

Product management of goods and services 

Centralize management of products and services across the organization including BOM, formulas and recipes. 

Intercompany 

Automate trade between subsidiaries or distribution centers. Sales and purchase orders can be generated manually or automatically across your subsidiaries. 

Conclusion 

Dynamics 365 offers a powerful, integrated supply chain management system which maximizes your efforts through a myriad of functionalities. Your organization can greatly benefit from its powerful tools and Merit Solutions’ manufacturing expertise.

Use this page to find out exactly how you can prepare for the future with our ongoing support and partnership. 

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