Microsoft in 2021 Wave 2, Introduced us with exciting new releases. This blog features some of the best functionality released in 2021 Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. The focus areas for 2021 Wave 2 are Enhanced supply chain visibility, multiple business platform support, optimized workforce, agile planning, and distribution processes, combined with maximized asset uptime to ensure safe and cost-efficient business continuity.
Let’s discuss our favourite features for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management releases from 2021 Wave 2
Distributed Hybrid Topology
The distributed hybrid topology extends the supply chain management enterprise cloud hub, with one or more vertical scale units in the cloud or on the edge.
Scale units run business processes in vertical domains near or where the work occurs to increase resilience and provide higher reliability, extra performance, and maximum uptime.
Scale units can run either in the cloud (in an Azure datacenter closer to where the work occurs) or on edge hardware running physically on site. Each scale unit runs one or more workloads, each of which provides support for a set of vertical functionalities (such as warehousing or manufacturing).
One of the most existing releases in 2021 Wave 2 for “The distributed hybrid topology”. It extends the supply chain management enterprise cloud hub, with one or more vertical scale units in the cloud or on the edge. Distributed hybrid topologies for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management have been available since late 2020, and Microsoft has continuously expanded and improved its capabilities with each release since then.
For the 2021 release wave 2, they have introduced these enhancements to the topology platform and the out-of-the-box workloads for vertical functionality:
- Enhancements for the cloud-scale unit platform.
- Capabilities enabling edge scale units, which allow users to run workloads on-premises in the user’s own local facility while being connected or temporarily disconnected from the cloud hub.
- Enhancements for topology deployment and lifecycle management capabilities.
- Incremental enhancements for the out-of-the-box vertical workload functionality in warehouse and manufacturing execution.
Inventory and Logistics
The new 2021 Wave 2 releases have an exciting enhancement for Inventory Adjustment “Post on-hand adjustments using codes connected to offset accounts” This feature adds efficiency, speed, and clear documentation to the inventory adjustment process in warehouses and retail stores. Warehouse and retail store workers doing on-hand inventory adjustments can select the reason for each adjustment while they work. This feature helps businesses post the value of on-hand inventory adjustments to the appropriate offset account based on the reason for each adjustment. It works by enabling the finance department to establish a collection of possible reasons for each adjustment (such as stolen, damaged, or expired), and to assign an offset account to each reason.
The other new release in this category is “Scan barcodes in the warehouse using GS1 format standards”. The GS1 barcode format is a global standard for exchanging data between different companies. The standard defines the data format and the various kinds of data that can be encoded using it. GS1 barcodes can have multiple data elements, so a single barcode can include many types of product information including batch, expiration date, and more. This feature enables the Warehouse Management mobile app to scan a single GS1 barcode and correctly extract all the information needed to process the task at hand. This feature helps to reduce the time associated with the task by eliminating the need to do multiple scans or input information manually while ensuring the accuracy of information logged at the point of scanning.
The “Soft reservation for the Inventory Visibility Add-in” in 2021 Wave 2 adds a soft reservation feature to the Inventory Visibility Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. It enables external systems to query Supply Chain Management for the inventory position of requested items, returns an accurate count of available inventory, and temporarily reserves the requested items. This temporary booking is called a soft reservation. The feature calculates the accurate ready-to-sell quantity by deducting the reserved quantity in near real-time. The feature is implemented as an API that external systems can access to learn whether inventory is available and then invoke the soft reservation. This feature enables order management and point-of-sale systems to communicate directly with Supply Chain Management to find and temporarily reserve requested inventory, thus helping to make sure the inventory can be delivered as promised.
Another exciting release is “Deduction and catch-weight enhancements for rebate management“. We know that keeping track of rebate and loyalty programs and calculating them accurately can become a time-consuming and long process without the right tools. The new enhancement adds a central rebate workbench to help streamline rebate processing, and it integrates with the deduction workbench to let users process rebates as customer deductions. For catch-weight items, the feature also lets users set up rebate conditions based on the catch-weight unit. The feature also provides rebate management support for catch-weight items by letting users specify a unit type of either Inventory unit or Catchweight for each rebate deal. The unit quantity can be based on a different unit type.
One of our favorite enhancements in this category is “Enhanced production floor execution interface for process manufacturing”. This feature helps Process manufacturers, and manufacturers that need to report on batch orders can now take advantage of the production floor execution interface. Workers can use the production floor execution interface to report progress on batch orders, including reporting on co-products and by-products. This feature will help shop floor workers be more effective and reduce registration errors.
This released Microsoft has been focused on Planning Optimization support for production scheduling. The enhancement “Planning Optimization support for capability-based resource allocation” allows Companies using Planning Optimization to optimize resource usage by deferring resource allocation until production is scheduled. This flexible solution automates resource selection during production scheduling based on individual operation capabilities and requirements. Planning Optimization now supports production scheduling with flexible resource allocation based on resource capabilities. A capability is the ability of an operations resource to perform a particular activity. An operations resource can have more than one capability assigned to it, and a capability can be assigned to more than one resource. Capabilities can be assigned to all types of resources, including tools, vendors, machines, locations, facilities, and human resources.
Another amazing enhancement is “Planning Optimization support for priority-based planning” Planning Optimization now supports priority-based material requirement planning and demand-driven planning. Demand-driven planning lets users prioritize replenishment orders to ensure that urgent demand is prioritized over less-important demand. Priority-based planning prioritizes replenishment orders to ensure that urgent demand is prioritized over less-important demand. This enables businesses to increase service levels, reduce inventory levels, and prioritize their usage of supply and available material.
Product Information Management
The enhancement in Product Information Management is “Sharing product information across legal entity boundaries”. Companies with many legal entities and a large product portfolio (such as large sales and distribution networks) often experience a significant level of duplicated product data. With this feature users can share released product data across legal entities, thereby reducing the volume of data that must be maintained while simplifying the task of maintaining product master data. Cross-company data sharing allows users to share released product data among some or all their legal entities. This enables users to manage just one product record and then release and share it with all specified legal entities.
These were some of our favourite releases from 2021, Wave 2 Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Releases.
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