Those of us that have completed large scale Dynamics AX warehouse implementations knows the importance of having a control of item reservation. Dynamics AX 2012 supports several algorithms for reserving the right goods to a sales order(or any other issue transaction).
We can mainly classify the reservations into the following reservation types :
- Reserved ordered
- Reserved physical
We can also them into categories:
But if you start looking deeper into the algorithms in AX 2012 R2 that actually performs the reservation, it is more or less located in the class InventUpd_Reservation.
The reservation in AX 2012 is pretty much user based, meaning that either a user/batch runs a process, and the reservation is done. There are a few exceptions where Dynamics AX 2012 will physically reserve goods when they arrive. But this relates to transactions that is already reserved ordered, or does have an inventory marking.
The way Dynamics AX 2012 is reserving, works in most cases OK, but there are a bit more functionality we would love to have. And here is my “wish list”:
Reservation hierarchy. This means that when you create the sales order/transaction you may reserve on site/warehouse level. The customers order is physically reserved, but the system has not yet decided from where it actually should be picked from. When the picking route is created, then the reservation is sharpened down to more a detailed reservation specifying like location. At the TECH2014 it was shown that this will be there in future releases for a one-level reservation hierarchy. What I would love to see, is more levels, like 2 or even 3 levels. Meaning that you may start with site level. Then maybe after master planning or some other process, the reservation is sharpened down to warehouse. When the picking route is created then it could further be sharpened down to location or batch. In short, we want more reservation levels, because this gives us control and flexibility.
Reservation period. The concept of reservation period means that you can control WHEN the reservation should happen. If you create a sales order with delivery date 6 months ahead, you don’t want to “lock the stock”, and waiting for the delivery date. If the items, let’s say only have 14 days lead time, why not have an engine that performs the reservation at the right time. And even more importantly, if a customer moves his requested delivery date, then the reservation engine should be able to “lift” the reservation back to “reserved ordered” or even back to “ordered”.
Order Reservation sequence. We often know the concept of “first ordered – first served”. Some customers signals their demand and orders early to secure that they get the goods on their requested date. Then you have “bad” customers that needs the goods today, and just orders right when he needs it! The way Dynamics AX works, is that it does not give any customers any priority other than the delivery date. Meaning that you very easily could end up in a situation where the “good” customer could end up in a situation where the “bad” customer actually managed to physically reserve the limited goods. We need mechanism that would allow the “good customer” to be prioritized when limited goods should be reserved. A “ATP-sequence ID” should solve this issue, and making sure that customers that orders early and gives good visibility of their demand is more secure in getting their items on time.
Reservation Location sequence
In a warehouse we can have inbound, buffer, picking and outbound locations. But we can also have fast and slow locations. Items can also exists in multiple locations to prevent hotspot areas, or certain area is for different sales channels (like one for retail stores, one for eCommerce etc) It would be lovely to have a better control from what location should be prioritized depending on some criteria. Also when building up the picking route I could decide from witch location would be best to take the goods out from. I know from TECH2014 that the concept of location directives will be introduced in future releases, and we are looking forward to learn more about this.
Looking forward to see what the future brings. I have a feeling that 50% of my wishes will come true in AX 2012 R3.