Microsoft Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

One of most widely used features in Microsoft Dynamics AX, is the ability to perform powerful searches on any of the AX grid pages. What many don’t realize is you can save these searches or filters as part of your favorites. This functionality is also available in Dynamics 365 for Operations as part of the workspaces. This article will show you how to add these filters as favorites in Dynamics AX 2009 or Dynamics AX 2012.

First, configure an advanced filter, in one of the grid screens. In this example, all sales order grid was used.

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

In this example, we’ll create a filter to show us all unconfirmed sales orders, created in the last 100 days.

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

Once you put in the filter criteria, click on the modify and “Save As” and save your query.

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

Now you can use this query as the default for a menu item you add to your favorites. To do this, right click on the “All Sales Orders” menu option on the left hand navigation, and click “Add to favorites..”

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

Give your favorite a name “Sales Orders Unconfirmed last 100 Days” and select the query you want to save with the favorite.

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

Now, when you click on the favorite, it will open already filtered based on your query.

Dynamics AX Advanced Favorites

This post was written by Jason Federspiel, AX Functional Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider.

“What-If” Costing using Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Microsoft Dynamics AX offers a nice set of tools for quickly performing a “what if” analysis on the impact of price changes (labor costs, material costs, or both) on the standard cost of manufactured items with multi-level bills of materials.

A high-level summary of the process is as follows:

  1. Setup a Cost Version of type = Planning that has a Fallback Principle = Active costs
    • This allows us to define “what-if” costs where applicable, while referring back to the current standards wherever a “what-if” cost is not entered.
    • This allows us to run the what-if analysis while only having to key into the system the incremental changes
  2. Make the proposed changes to the labor rates and/or raw material costs at any level in the product structure/BOM, assigning the changes to the new “What-If” costing version.
    • Update the price in the Cost Category form to perform what-if analysis based on labor rate changes
    • Update the cost price of an item on any level of the BOM/Formula to perform what-if analysis based on material purchase price changes
  3. Run a Cost Calculation for the “What-If” costing version on the top-level FG item.

This article was written by Matthew Boese, Partner at Tridea Partners, a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner.

 

Dynamics AX Year-End Close Webinar

Join Tridea for our annual Dynamics AX year-end close webinar! We will share best practices related to year-end processes for your Microsoft Dynamics AX system. We will go through the general steps of the year end close process and discuss key items that will be required to setup the next fiscal year.register here

Event Details: Wednesday: December 14, 2016 at 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM (PST)
Presenters: Matthew Caffrey & Robin Ellsworth  – Tridea Partners

Getting Your ERP Project Off to a Good Start

Because ERP projects generally deliver similar core functionality, and your implementation team is already very experienced with Microsoft’s Sure-Step Methodology, it can be tempting to skip the formal Project Kick-Off Meeting and simply dive right into the work at-hand.

I’d like to make a strong case for holding a Project Kick-Off Meeting, regardless of the size/complexity of the project, or the experience level of the customer and the implementation team.

Covering key parameters at the beginning of a project in your kick-off meeting ensures team alignment to project objectives and approach. The materials can continue to be referenced throughout the life of the project as a touchstone for the team to check on progress, identify scope changes, and verify timeline and budget. Here are suggested components for your project kick-off deck, and associated benefits:

  • Introduce Project Team Members

Important that all ERP stakeholders and project contributors are invited in advance to the kick-off meeting (or receive the materials afterward, if they are truly not available to attend in person).

On the customer side, ensure project sponsor(s), system owner(s), business process owners, and other supporting team members from Finance, Operations, and IT are invited to the kick-off (especially if they will be asked later to participate / provide support or information). Core members of the ERP partner implementation team should also attend so they can be introduced.

Benefits:

  • Customer team sees executive leadership (sponsors) at the table, backing the project effort
  • Ensures all stakeholders are aware of the project and understand who will be assigned
  • Sets a foundation for working relationship between customer and implementation team
  • Review Project Scope

A typical ERP implementation scope might seem basic or perhaps inherently obvious; however, prior to an ERP project being approved, there may have been multiple ERP-related initiatives or features discussed internally by the customer during their evaluation or budgeting process.

This means some attendees may come to the table with different preconceptions about the project’s scope and deliverables. This could seriously derail a project later if not addressed up-front.

Benefits:

  • Ensure the approved project scope is clearly communicated and understood by entire team
  • Verify the scope is correct (as per the signed agreement) – any changes needed / allowed?
  • Reinforce upfront alignment among all players: what will be delivered vs what is out-of-scope
  • Include approved project budget here also – reinforce relationship between scope and budget

 

  • Share High-Level Project Approach (Implementation Phases) and Timeline

This is a key opportunity for the implementation partner to outline and describe, up-front, the various phases of the implementation or upgrade project in in relation to the overall project schedule and key milestone dates, particularly release/go-live.

Benefits:

  • Explain phases of the project where customer team should dedicate time to design or testing
  • Answer customer questions about the process, deliverables, dependencies, and timing
  • Agreement on how project will be executed and participation needed
  • Project Team Roles & Responsibilities

Now that the players have been introduced to each other and to the overall plan for executing the project, it is good to circle back and assign specific names to the various roles on the project team. Also key to confirm for customer team members who will be key decision-makers and subject matter experts on behalf of their business area and who will be playing supporting roles on the project.

At a minimum, there should be a Project Lead (or Project Manager) from both the customer side and the implementation partner who will work together to be a hub for project communication and guide the activities of their respective players. For smaller projects, this role may be played by the System Owner on the customer side and by the ERP Functional Lead on the implementation partner team.

The Project Sponsor should also identify whether they will be the overall decision-maker for the project, or if they have identified key System Owners from the business who will represent their departmental business process decisions and needs during critical design and testing phases of the project. Depending on the size of the project, additional customer subject matter experts will play a role on the Core Project Team providing design input, participating in testing or training tasks.

Benefits:

  • Identify early if there are key contributors or stakeholders who need to be added to the team
  • Build shared understanding of what is expected from each team member based on their role
  • Re-affirm how each team member will execute their role during the phases of the project
  • Alignment on responsibilities for key decisions, design input/approval, and test execution
  • Reinforce communication needed between Core Project Team and the business areas they represent – the goal is no surprises for the project team or for the customer organization
  • Next Steps

Great! Everyone is lined up and ready to play their part. This is the point in closing out the kick-off meeting to clearly list specific tasks / activities for the next 1-2 weeks and answer questions.

At this point, it’s also a good idea to decide as a group how often the project team should meet and how project status updates should be shared across the team and to senior management.

Benefits:

  • Kick-Off Meeting attendees leave with a clear understanding of what will happen next
  • Team provides input on frequency and style of project check-in meetings and progress reports
  • Time allowed for questions that were not addressed by the kick-off materials

A kick-off meeting that covers the topics above in high-level fashion can easily be completed in 30 – 60 minutes, depending upon the size of the project and number of players involved.

The reward is that the team will all have a clear understanding of the game plan and how they will be contributing to that plan at the beginning of the project. They will also have a foundation for identifying and communicating issues throughout the project that might impact scope, quality, or timing.

It really is a team huddle and “Go Team!” moment to build enthusiasm and support for your ERP project. Take the first step toward success and team-building with your next Project Kick-Off Meeting.

This article was written by Juanita Schoen, Dynamics Project Manager for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider.