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Monday, April 25, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part I

As part of my continued effort to try and help grow the Microsoft Dynamics Community and Ecosystem, I have reached out to those peers of mine that I trust. The reach out, is an effort to get them to use their knowledge, and expertise to help the Dynamics community at large.

As part of this effort, Brad Edwards, Supply Chain Consultant with Sunrise Technologies, has agreed to do a guest post here on my blog.

With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a lot is changing. That means deeper functional depth, and more possible ways for customers to maximize their investment with AX.

Brad, in this series of guest post, takes us through the new possibilities with product management, for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 comes some rather large, but exciting changes to the way in which products are managed. In previous versions, item masters were kept at the company level by default, often times causing headaches for organizations that wished to share product masters between two or more legal entities.

While technically, the potential existed to share the Item master between companies, this option tended to result in more drawbacks than advantages. This typically caused organizations that desired such functionality to create jobs to synchronize items between AX companies. In AX 2012, products are now managed at the instance level, and released to AX companies as necessary. This series of post, will provide a high level overview of this change, as well as other changes in the area of product management.

Product creation and management
The first major change to notice, is that product management has been moved out of the Inventory and Warehouse Management module (formerly Inventory management), and into a new Product information management module.

Base product information is managed via the menu items highlighted above.

The shared product master can be accessed via the All products menu item.

The form shown above is the new AX 2012 Product master. This is DIFFERENT than the AX 2009 Item master, as this shows all of the products that are used across all companies in the AX instance.

The creation of new products is performed by clicking the New product button in the ribbons section of the form, or hitting CTRL+N on the keyboard. The user is then presented with the following dialog:

The first value that the user must specify is the Product type. Here, the user has two choices: Item or Service. This field is the AX 2012 version of Item type from previous versions of AX.
  • Item type - This option will be selected if the product is an inventoried product

  • Service type - This option will be selected if the product is a non-inventoried product

  • Lack of the BOM type - AX 2012 has done away with the need for the BOM item type.

All Released products (company specific items…to be discussed later in the series of post) of type Item may now have a BOM, and the sourcing of the product is determined by its default order settings

The second value that the user must specify is the Product sub-type. Here, the user has two choices: Product or Product master. This field allows the user to choose whether or not the product will have any Product dimensions (Color, Size, or Configuration).
  • Product master sub-type - Products of this sub-type must have a product dimension group that specifies the product dimensions that are active for the product (color, size, configuration)

  • Product sub-type - Products of this sub-type do NOT have any product dimensions, and therefore do not have a product dimension group

This, in essence, is both a product master and a product variant

If the product sub-type is set to Product, the user need only fill in the Product number, Product name, and Search name (as with previous versions, the Product name, and Search name default to the value of the Product number).

If the product sub-type is set to Product master, the user must specify the fields shown above, as well as the Product dimension group, and the Configuration technology:

That is all for the first part, in the multiple part series. I would like to thank Brad for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share with us his deep dive into Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Check back next week, as the second part of this series is posted!

For reference, the following is Brad's Bio:
>Brad Edwards is a Senior Supply Chain Consultant with Sunrise Technologies. While his specialty is functional consulting in the areas of supply chain management, manufacturing, and warehouse management, he also has strong technical skills that prove to be very valuable during project implementation. Brad has worked on numerous AX implementations in the areas of Food & Beverage, Apparel, and Furniture. He resides in Atlanta, GA and is an alumnus and avid supporter of The Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great intro to PDM in AX 2012. Links to future posts would be helpful. Thanks.

10:44 PM  

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