Warehouse Scanning in Dynamics AX – Easy, Efficient, and More Productive

Warehouse implementations have always been considered difficult. They take lot of time, effort, and energy.

There have been instances where barcode scanning capability was a major factor in determining if Dynamics AX is the right product for warehouse management though there were ISV’s that provided scanning solutions.

In order to ease implementations, Microsoft has released a built-in scanning solution with an advanced warehouse management module to eliminate the need for an ISV solution.

The scanning solution is very easy to configure and test, and I love the way it has been designed and what it offers. Microsoft continues to invest significant time and money in the solution. It provides easier access to inventory on-hand across warehouses, inventory counting, receiving, put-away, transfers, picking, shipping across the warehouse on a mobile device or RF gun and not just at workstation.

One of the major components is receiving physical inventory into warehouse. Companies have been printing a lot of paper to receive goods and tallying it with what was supposed to be received, which is either based on a purchase order OR an Advance Shipping Notice (ASN).

In this series, we are going to cover different aspects of barcode scanning and see how it can streamline warehouse processes and help increase productivity. This will help manage segregation of duties within the warehouse.

Setting up Scanning by Mobile Device in Dynamics AX

Let’s first look at how simple it is to set scanning up in Dynamics AX before it can be used in the warehouse.

  1. Any of the options listed below can be setup under Warehouse Management > Setup > Mobile Device > Mobile Device Menu item.
  2. Create a new record. Give it a meaningful name and Title.
  3. Select Mode as “Work” and make sure “Use existing work” is cleared.
  4. Select one of the existing options available under “Work creation process”. Below we can see there are lot of options available for user to select from.
  5. There are few other options available on the form to help control the functionality during actual activity (e.g. receiving, inventory movement etc.).
    1. image 1(1)
  6. Once these menu items / options have been configured, group them together as needed using “Mobile device menu” at Warehouse Management > Setup > Mobile Device > Mobile Device Menu.
  7. After menu has been created, create warehouse mobile device workers and assign menu to workers and warehouse they can work in.

Now that we have listed the different options, let’s review them one by one:

We will start with inbound receipts. Before we determine how scanning will make them easier and more productive, let’s look at different ways in which we can receive products in a warehouse (each of the receiving methods listed below can be either single step or multiple steps – it’s all baked into the solution thanks to the Advanced Warehouse Management module).

  1. Purchase order item receiving
  2. Purchase order line receiving
  3. Load item receiving (created based on entire PO or based on inbound ASN)
  4. License plate receiving (can be used to receive Box, Pallet, Case Pack, Master Pack, Ocean Pack etc.)
    1. Single SKU in box – Case pack
    2. Multiple SKU’s in box – Multiple Case Pack for different SKU’s
    3. Big box containing multiple smaller boxes and multiple SKU’s in smaller boxes

Now that we have listed different options, let’s review them one by one:

Purchase order item receiving

During purchase order item receiving, the user has to scan the purchase order, item, quantity barcode in order to complete the receiving. This method is used to receive a single purchase order at a time.

  1. Launch mobile device and select “Purchase order item receiving”
  2. Scan Purchase Order
    1. PO Receiving
  3. Scan item barcode or item number
    1. PO Receiving - 1.2
  4. System automatically displays item name
    1. PO Receiving - 1.3
  5. Scan quantities barcode or enter quantity to be received
  6. Click Enter and item is received into warehouse. Depending upon mobile device setup, there is option to put the items on a specific pallet/license plate.
    1. PO Receiving - 1.4
  7. Scan another item/barcode on same purchase order to continue receiving

Purchase order line receiving

For purchase order line receiving, scan purchase order, enter line number, scan quantity barcode and receiving is completed.

This method is less used as line number is usually unknown at the time of receiving.

  1.  Launch mobile device and select “Purchase order line receiving”
    1. PO Receiving - 2.1
  2. Press enter and receiving of item is completed.

Load item receiving

Load can be created in Dynamics AX based on incoming ASN or it can be created manually.

  1. When products are received, start by scanning load number, scan item/barcode
    1. PO Receiving - 3.1
  2. Scan quantity barcode or enter quantity to be received
    1. PO Receiving - 3.2
  3. Click OK to complete the receiving of physical goods.

License plate receiving

Load can be created in Dynamics AX based on incoming ASN, or it can be created manually. License plate structure can either be automatically created in AX based on incoming ASN, or created directly in AX and communicated to vendors so they can print license plates and apply on products to be shipped. License plate structure will contain items on license plate, quantity of an item. In this particular example, we have multiple items present in single license plate/box.

  1. When products are physically received, start by scanning license plate number
    1. PO Receiving - 4.1
  2. System displays all items in the license plate
    1. PO Receiving - 4.2
  3. System can automatically determine where to place the products in warehouse based on location directives
    1. PO Receiving - 4.3
  4. Press enter to receive all goods on the license plate.

Now that products have been received, we can ship them to our retail stores/distribution center/customers easier and faster than ever. Considering how simple scanning and product receiving is, organizations can greatly benefit from the scanning functionality.

In my next post I will discuss how to utilize scanning within the warehouse for inventory transfers, on-hand look up, etc.

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