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About Continuity

In a continuity program, which is also known as a recurring order program, customers do not have to place a new order for each shipment. Instead, the customers receive regular product shipments according to a predefined schedule. Continuity programs provide the ability to create continuity schedules which will have a scheduled shipment and payment.  They can be applied for any series of orders where more than one shipment is required at specified intervals.

Orders are generated automatically from the continuity schedule, and payments are billed automatically according to the payment schedule.

The continuity schedule provides full flexibility in defining programs to meet various business needs.  You can set information such as

  • The beginning date of the program;
  • Shipment intervals, such as monthly, quarterly and yearly.
  • You can repeat cycles and
  • Select payment cycles to be used with each interval.

 

SETING UP CONTINUITY PROGRAMS – PARAMETERS

To set up a continuity program, you must complete the following tasks.

Set the continuity parameters on the Call center parameters page.

Click Retail and commerce > Channel setup > Call center setup. In the left pane, click General, and then, on the Continuity FieldGroup, set the parameters. The following table describes some of the options.

 

Continuity days before delivery The number of days before the delivery date that continuity orders can be processed.

If the number of days before delivery is less than this number, the continuity order can’t be processed.

Continuity on account bill days The number of days before the due date of an “on account” continuity bill that the bill is generated.

It’s only used when the payment is of type on account, and the continuity order is being paid through a payment schedule.

Continuity repeat threshold A threshold that determines whether repeated continuity events that are not billed up front are displayed when the sales order is created. If this number is less than the number of times that a continuity event should be repeated, the repetition is handled by a batch job.
Number of orders to create The maximum number of continuity child orders to create. If this field is not set, there is no limit.
Revenue journal name The journal name to use when money is transferred from parent revenue accounts to child revenue accounts. This field is used only for upfront billing that uses a payment schedule.
Continuity payment profile The posting profile to use when a continuity payment is booked as a prepayment.

 

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SETING UP CONTINUITY PROGRAMS – SCHEDULING FORM

Form is used to create a schedule of items, shipments and payments. Child orders are generated automatically from the continuity schedule and payments and are billed automatically according to payment schedules if they are used. You must also add a list of products that are included in the continuity program. Each product receives an event ID number that is assigned sequentially, beginning with 1. The event IDs determine the order that products are sent in.

 

If customers receive a different product in each shipment, the products are sent in sequential order, based on their event IDs and beginning with the current event.

 

If customers receive the same product in each shipment, the list contains only one product that has one event ID. The same event occurs repeatedly. You can specify how many times each event is repeated.

 

1 – Create a continuity program: Continuity program must be created before an item link to it.

 

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2 – Setup continuity lines: You can add lines after the schedule has started or has been activated. If lines are added after schedule is in use existing sales orders in the system won’t be updated. In order to update existing sales orders, you will need to use continuity update workbench.

3 – Setup payment schedules.

4 – Link a continuity program to a product.

 

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5 – Active a continuity program.

 

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If you add this product to a sales order, the Continuity page opens. You can then use that page to create the actual continuity order. The parent product doesn’t specify the individual products that the customer receives in each shipment.

After you’ve set up a continuity program as described above, you can create a continuity order for a customer. You might also have to perform the following additional maintenance tasks.

Continuity Updates Form(Update the current continuity event period): Retail and commerce > Continuity > Continuity updates. The continuity updates form is used to make changes to existing continuity parent sales orders in the system.  When a continuity program is modified, the changes will only take effect on new sales orders, so you’ll need to use this workbench in order to update existing orders when changes are required.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Lean Manufacturing features, an Overview:

The lean manufacturing architecture in Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 consists of production flows, activities, and kanban rules. These structures are fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX processes. You can use lean manufacturing in a mixed-mode manufacturing environment that combines various supply, production, and sourcing strategies. These strategies include production orders, batch orders for process industries, purchase orders, and transfer orders.

LEAN MANUFACTURING offers tools that you can use to model lean operations. These tools support and promote the following concepts and business activities:

  • Create a lean manufacturing foundation by modeling manufacturing and logistics processes as production flows.
  • Implement a lean pull system by using kanbans to signal demand requirements.
  • Monitor and maintain kanban jobs.
MODELING MANUFACTURING AND LOGISTICS PROCESSES AS PRODUCTION FLOWS

To create a lean manufacturing foundation, model the manufacturing and logistics processes as production flows. This activity consists of the following tasks:

  1. Identify the processes for which you want to implement a lean replenishment strategy, and then model these processes as production flows. You can then analyze and streamline the processes. One of the goals of a lean implementation is to reduce waste by improving the flow of material and information.
  2. Define a production flow as a sequence of activities that describes the flow of material. A transfer activity defines the movement of a product or products from one location to another. A process activity defines a value-added operation that is applied to a product.
  3. Create a version of the production flow that defines the requirements for takt time (1). These requirements are used to calculate the cycle times of each activity in the production flow. You can create multiple versions of production flows, and then use these versions to improve processes.
USING KANBANS TO SIGNAL DEMAND REQUIREMENTS:

A pull system produces goods only when goods are needed. This practice reduces delivery lead times and excess inventory. You can use kanbans to plan, track, and process requirements that are based on production flows. To create a kanban framework, create kanban rules that define when kanbans are created, and how the requirements are fulfilled. You can create two types of kanban rules. Manufacturing rules create process kanban jobs, and withdrawal kanban rules create transfer kanban jobs.

You can set up the following replenishment strategies:

  • Fixed quantity kanban rules are related to a fixed number of handling units, which means that the numbers of active kanbans are constant. Whenever all the products from a Kanban are consumed and the handling units are manually emptied, a new kanban of the same type is created. When you create fixed quantity kanban rules, you can calculate the optimal kanban quantities and the product quantities that are used. The calculation takes into account forecast, actual demand from open orders, lead time to replenish items, and historical demands.
  • Scheduled kanban rules replenish requirements that are calculated by master planning. Master planning generates planned kanbans that can be firmed to kanbans.
  • Event kanban rules replenish requirements that originate from sales order lines, production BOM lines, kanban lines, or minimum inventory settings. When event kanbans are generated, they are pegged to the source requirements.

When kanbans are created, one or more kanban jobs are generated based on the kanban flow activities that are defined in the kanban rules.

MONITORING AND MAINTAINING KANBAN JOBS:

Lean manufacturing provides visibility into the current status of manufacturing and logistics activities that are governed by the kanban rules. As a result, you can plan and prioritize the following tasks:

  • Gain an overview of the current kanban job schedule.
  • Plan and reschedule kanban jobs.
  • Track and register the status of kanban jobs.

The following list describes the specialized kanban boards:

  • Kanban job scheduling – Provides an overview of the kanban jobs. The board displays kanban jobs and their status for one or multiple work cells. The jobs are listed according to the planning periods (days or weeks) that are defined in the production flow model. The board also displays the capacity consumption for each planning period, so that you can monitor the scheduled load. You can change the status of kanban jobs, reschedule kanban jobs to different planning periods, and perform other tasks.
  • Kanban board for transfer jobs – This board provides an overview of the current transfer jobs. You can update and register picking lists, start and complete transfer jobs, and perform other tasks.
  • Kanban board for process jobs – This board is designed to support the normal production flow and give an overview of the current situation in one or multiple work cells. From this board Kanbans can be prioritized, picked, or manufactured. The board is also designed to support barcode scanning for the reporting of Kanbans.
KANBAN JOBS AND INTEGRATION WITH MICROSOFT DYNAMICS AX PROCESSES:

Kanban jobs are fully integrated with current processes for inventory transactions in Microsoft Dynamics AX.

  • You can perform picking activities to replenish material that is used to fulfill the requirements of kanban jobs.
  • You can print kanban cards, circulating kanban cards, and picking lists to support the use of kanbans. These documents are used to represent, track, and register kanban jobs in the warehouse and on the production floor.
  • You can register the picking and transfer activities in inventory by scanning bar codes.

In addition, lean manufacturing supports the purchasing and invoicing processes for services that are referenced by subcontracted activities.

You can assign purchase agreement lines and services to subcontracted activities.

You can create periodic purchase orders and receipt advices to support the purchase and invoicing of the services.

How Microsoft Dynamics AX meets the needs of retail warehouses

To have control, you need a real-time view of your business and products. And, with that control, you can have more efficient people and processes, a better handle on costs, happier customers and, ultimately, greater profits. Features include:

  • Buying
  • Replenishment
  • Order management
  • Warehouse and transportation logistics

Why Retail Warehouses are different? –  We need to consider this facts:

  • Storage design is different. Every single box needs a license plate
  • Sensitivity to efficient movement. Please review this figure:

retail_1

Also there is a few questions related to Movement:

  • Do you support nested license plates?
  • Can we execute replenishments and putaways in groups or must we do each separately?
  • How do you batch orders into efficient pick tours?
  • How does the system figure out which pick to give a picker next?
  • Do you support interleaving of tasks?

Seasonality inspires many issues / features.

Questions:

Can you support the seasonal starts?

  • Flow thru distribution
  • Prepacks or “Packages”

Can you support the replenishment stores?

  • Cluster picking of store orders
  • Packing merchandise into a box by area of store

Unique products & flow demand lots of functionality, review this figure:

retail_2

Also with this complexity we need to answer this questions:

PROCESS

  • What functionality do you have for QC sampling?
  • Do you support inbound value added services, i.e. Prep?
  • How sophisticated are your putaway rules?
  • Can I replenish “off the dock”?
  • Do you support gift wrap and gift cards?

PRODUCT

  • Can I limit who can pick in the High Value Cage to a select group of people?
  • How do you handle the personalization of products?
  • How can I set the cartonization rules so that hazardous & ship alones do not get mixed with other items in a box?
  • Do you support style / size / color?

 

All this scenarios Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 could handle with new functionality included out of the box with Warehouse Management.

retail_3

Functionality for Retail & Warehouse Management:

retail_4

What’s New on Warehouse management:

  • You can configure inbound and outbound intelligent workflows.
  • You can assign orders to clusters to pick from a single location, and configure profiles to control the validation and packing of items into shipping containers. You can also alternate between picking strategies for batch and non-batch items.
  • You can create, implement, and release work by using batch-scheduled or manual processing of waves.
  • You can set up cycle counting thresholds, and create ad-hoc cycle counting plans, schedule plans, and cycle count locations and items.
  • You can set up container groups to order the sequence of the packing process and create templates to support packing strategies.
  • You can use scanners or other mobile devices to optimize precision in the picking and put-away processes.