Advanced Rule Structures in Dynamics AX

Some customers have very complicated business rules when it comes to their accounting, but end up not enforcing them in an effort to simplify the chart of accounts.  In many cases the accounting group will end up reviewing and reclassing transactions or preparing custom reports at the end of the month instead of enforcing the rules at the time the transactions are recorded.  Using advanced account structures in Dynamics AX can help users setup and enforce those rules to reduce the accounting rework at month end.

So what is an account structure?  Essentially the account structure is telling AX the valid combinations of main accounts and dimensions.  For example the main account “601300 Advertising Expense” is only valid with the “Department” financial dimension of “022 – Sales & Marketing”.

In this example, the advanced account structure comes into to play when you have a need to further define your advertising expenses into “Print”, “Radio”, “Online”, etc.  Rather than creating three or more new main accounts you can easily create a new dimension of “Adv. Expense” and create an advanced rule to make it required only when the advertising expense main account is used.

Setting up the advanced structure is not too difficult, you’re essentially creating a separate structure and applying it on top of the basic account structure.

After you’ve created your new financial dimension, navigate to General ledger/Setup/Chart of accounts/Advanced rule structures and click new to create a new advanced structure.  In this case we’ve named it “Advertising” and added the new financial dimension we created called “AdvExpense”.

AdvExpense Dynamics  AX

 

Next you’ll need to add the advanced rule to your existing account structure.  In the example below, we have our marketing related main accounts that are only valid with the marketing department, “022”.  In addition to that, we’ve clicked on “Advanced rule”, clicked “New” and added the advertising rule we created earlier.  Be sure to add the filter that controls when the advanced rule is used, in this case when the main account is “601300” a department and advertising expense type will be required.

AX Advance Rule

To complete the setup, be sure the advanced rule and account structures have been activated, and lastly, add the account structure to your ledger and you’re all set!

This post was written by Matthew Caffrey, AX Application Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO, NH and surrounding regions.

Microsoft Dynamics Evolution – Reasons to Grow from GP to AX

Our customers really do ask the best questions.

I was participating in a pre-sales call with a customer who implemented Dynamics GP in the past two years and was considering their short-term and long-term strategic direction.  They asked:

What drives a client’s decision to upgrade from Dynamics GP to AX?

Each customer’s business model and corporate objectives are unique. Certainly budget considerations, staff experience, and technological preference will influence a company’s decision.

However, there are a few key factors that may be indicators you have outgrown your current GP solution and are ready for the depth of functionality that Dynamics AX delivers.

  • Inventory Management has grown more complex. For example, your company has grown from 1-2 physical locations into a multi-site or global operation with needs for tracking, transferring, and managing inventory across multiple locations and company entities.
  • Warehouse would like to use hand-held barcode scanners. Still related to Inventory Management, but also relates to an additional layer of technology integration between AX and the wireless mobile devices.
  • Point of Sale functionality for front-end retail transactions. The latest version of Dynamics AX 2012 includes POS functionality for your retail locations, without need for separate ISV product purchase.
  • Workflows. Dynamics AX enables development and management of workflows for routing Requisitions, POs, Journals, etc.
  • Supports Robust Manufacturing Process. Much broader and deeper capability for performing Management Resource Planning (MRP). AX is a valuable tool for the Operations and Quality staff, in addition to performing core financials.

Our team at Tridea is trained to carefully assess your ERP implementation against your current challenges and future needs and objectives, whether it is Dynamics GP or another product.  We can help you decide if Dynamics AX is the next step in your evolution to a more carefully managed world.

This article was written by Juanita Schoen, Dynamics Project Manager for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO and surrounding regions.

Dynamics AX Master Scheduling

A quick tip on the use of order multiples by Master Planning when using formulas, as opposed to Bills of Materials:

  • When Master Scheduling determines that an item has a net requirement, it will generate a planned replenishment (planned purchase orders, transfers, or production orders)
  • In order to generate meaningful planned orders, Master Scheduling must respect an item’s “order multiple” (i.e. the item is always procured / produced in multiples of X)
  • Typically, the “order multiple” is defined by navigating to Product Information Management -> Common -> Released Products, and then selecting “Default Order Settings” or “Site Specific Order Settings” on the “Plan” action pane. Define the Order Multiple on the Purchase Order tab if the item is replenished via PO. If replenished via Transfer or Production, define the Order Multiple on the Inventory tab. See screenshot below.

Dynamics AX Master Scheduling

 

  • However, those settings only work when the item is replenished via a Purchase Order, a Production Order with a Bill of Material, or a Transfer Order.
  • When the item is replenished via a Batch Production Order with a Formula, the order multiple must be defined on the Formula, as opposed to “Default Order Settings” or “Site Specific Order Settings” (see screenshot below)

Formula Multiple

This article was written by Matthew Boese, Partner at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO and surrounding regions.

Dynamics ERP for Craft Beer Production

Craft brewers have a number of system requirements that are typical of many manufacturers looking to deploy an ERP system: material planning, cradle to grave lot traceability, bar-codes for materials handling, production scheduling, etc. However, there are many business processes that are very unique to this burgeoning industry. As breweries begin to grow in size and sophistication, they encounter an increasing need to start managing and controlling their unique processes within the ERP system, as opposed to relying on manual and home-grown systems.

With eight years of experience working in this arena, Tridea has partnered with our clients to solve a number of these unique challenges by utilizing tools available within the Dynamics ERP software systems.  Below are a few examples of requirements that craft brewers may face, along with the solutions to those challenges. 

Tracking Barrel Aged Beer

Small batches of special beer creations are often aged in barrels, which may be stored in a warehouse for extended periods of time and even transferred to different locations prior to being packaged and made available for sale. As the size of a “barrel program” grows, it can be challenging to keep track of:

1) What beer is currently stored in which types of barrels?

2) Where the barrels are located?

3) What types of beer have passed through a given barrel in the past? (thus establishing a “flavor profile”)

With Dynamics AX, we have used the concept of “License Plate Numbers” (LPNs) to assign a unique ID to each of these barrels. We can then track the beer that is assigned to an LPN, track the location and movements of the LPN, and also see a history of how many times a barrel has been used and what types of beers were stored in the barrel.

 

Blending of Batches in a bright tank (“brite tank”)

Bright tanks are where clarified beer is stored after it has been filtered and before it gets bottled or placed in a keg / cask.  It is not uncommon for a quantity of beer from one production batch to remain in a bright tank when a new production batch is added to the tank. As a result, two separate batches of beer that would ordinarily be tracked with two distinct lot numbers, have now effectively become blended into a single “combined” batch, which is then packaged and sold to customers. We have developed an automated routine to merge these batch numbers to reflect the blending of the beer in the bright tank, allowing for a more accurate and true lot traceability.

 

Batch Processing Resulting in the Production of Both Filtered Beer and Unfiltered Beer

In some cases, during the course of producing a filtered beer, a quantity of unfiltered beer is taken out of the tank prior to filtering. Sometimes, this might even be a last-minute decision that is made after the production order has been started. This unfiltered beer might then be barrel-aged or have special ingredients added to it in order to produce a batch of a special limited offering product. Because the process manufacturing functionality within Dynamics AX allows for the creation of co-products on a single production order, we can easily use one production order to produce both the unfiltered and filtered beer, and accurately track them as two distinct products.

 

Integration to Brewing Systems

Because brewers need to swiftly make decisions about which brew systems, fermentation vessels, and bright tanks to use, it is important for them to interact directly with the ERP system if we are to maintain timely and accurate information about the production process. Leveraging MS Dynamics’ strong integration tools, we have been able to build integration points that can take direct feeds from the brewing system (example: quantities of malt that flow into the brew system from a silo can feed directly to the ERP production order, quantities of filtered beer flowing through a filter outlet into a bright tank are fed directly to the production order). We have also built touch-points allowing for brewers to manually record transactions in the brewery floor systems that then get integrated to the ERP system.

 

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

Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012

Positive Pay (commonly called SafePay) functionality from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 allows for the transmission of an electronic file to the bank to provide a list of paper checks which have been approved for payment. The bank then adds this list of sanctioned checks to their master file. Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012 process ensures that checks which are fraudulent will not be paid. The functionality is available out-of-the-box and multiple electronic file types are supported.

Once the functionality has been set up, the user need only generate the file by selecting the file format, company, bank account and the cut-off date for the checks.

Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012

The positive pay file is then generated and submitted electronically to the bank. A simple inquiry can be run to view the Positive Pay files which have been generated and the details of each file.

Positive Pay

 

If the file needs to be corrected, it can be recalled and re-submitted to the bank. If the bank sends a confirmation number to confirm that the file was received and processed, the confirmation number can be entered on the Positive Pay line.

Dynamics AX 2012

 

With the latest release of AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 7, AX 2012 now offers separate Positive Pay statements for Payroll bank accounts.

This post was written by Robin Ellsworth, AX Application Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a Microsoft Dynamics AX partner serving Southern California, Utah, Colorado and surrounding regions.