WM&D Value Added services

This article is about the value added services(VAS) module in To-Increase Warehouse Management and Distribution solution for Dynamics AX 2009.

VAS = Value Added Services

Value Added Services is among the crucial elements of any supply chain management system. It enables companies to adopt postponement strategies and mass customize products at the time of distribution and fulfillment to ensure customer requests are fulfilled correctly at the lowest total supply chain cost. Companies get greater ability to accommodate rapidly changing customer tasks and product requirements, get more flexibility over their inventory, reduce inventory on hand and product obsolescence, highly improve customer service.

The Value Added Services module of the Warehouse Management and Distribution solution enables assembly and kitting right in the distribution center. It facilitates personalization and other product enhancements, single and multi-station kitting and assembly, packaging and labeling operations for existing products, and complex final assembly operations for customer-specific products, all encapsulated in a very intuitive and easy to use interface, from creating Value Added Service by an operator and to guiding a VAS worker though all the required steps with touch sensitive station interface.

Build on Inventory

One important requirement met developing the VAS extension is the customers’ ability to customize which services the company offer and at what price. Because VAS is based on the standard Dynamics AX Inventory functionality, the VAS extension not only offers new functionality to DAX but also exploits the many great features build into the inventory module.

This means that all the standard DAX features, in relation to inventory items, also is available for VAS services – for example setting up multiple languages, pricing, trade agreements and forecast etc. A VAS service is simply an item in the Inventory management module, but of the type “Service”.

To turn an item into a VAS service, simply check the “Value Added Service”-check box on the Item details form (Inventory management > Common forms > Item details, and select the Setup tab page). This automatically creates a VAS template, available in the VAS templates form.

Furthermore, the VAS service, when it’s requested by the setup, will automatically keep synchronized with the corresponding service item on the sales order, enabling you to utilize the standard sales order functionality of fetching the price and discount agreements on the service, as well as invoicing the customer.

Setting up Value Added Services

This section describes how all the VAS related tables are related to setting up VAS and how they influence the way VAS is processed.

The VAS Templates form

The VAS Templates form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Templates) displays the VAS templates, i.e. those VASs that the company has chosen to offer customers.

There are 2 types of VASs in the system:

  • those that are represented by the service item and therefore are offered, then taken as order and finally invoiced to customers,
  • and another type that is not bound to a service item and do not incur customer involvement, but rather can be treated as a service that is not charged and unknown to the customer, but on the other hand is required in the chain of VAS operations and similarly carries a bunch of tasks that a warehouse VAS performer will take as instruction and accomplish.

Field

Description

Service ID

Is bound to a service item, this field is service item id, otherwise it contains VAS id value.

Service

Specifies if VAS is bound to a service item.

VAS

Name of a VAS

Type

Type of VAS, can hold the following values:

  • Item – VAS is related to a source order line (for example, sales line). This type is not available for a template.
  • Action – a default VAS represents an operation that needs to be done and doesn’t fall into other types.
  • Label – service of labeling goods, for this VAS type, label type id field must be filled in.
  • Package – operation of packing goods.
  • Assembly – operation of assembly or bundling goods.
  • Root – root of VAS order, this type is not available for a template.
  • Cost code – VAS representing misc. charges. This type is not available for a template.

Action

VAS Action group, used mainly for filtering purposes.

Sequence

VAS Sequence group, defining the order in which the service will be operated in relation to other services. For example, programming or localization of goods must be done before assembly or packing and other actions.

Action text id

Link to an action text – record containing detailed text and html description of a task in specified languages that a warehouse VAS operator will read and do in line with.

Action

Text description of VAS from Action text.

Quantity

Default quantity of a VAS.

The VAS Action groups form

The VAS Action groups form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Action groups) are a VAS attribute and used for workstation capabilities setup (refer to VAS Processing chapter).

Field

Description

Action

VAS Action group identifier.

Service

VAS Action group name.

The VAS Action sequence groups form

The VAS Sequence groups form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Action sequence groups) are used as a VAS property to establish the order in which services are performed. The less the value field, the earlier a service is going to be performed.

Field

Description

Sequence

VAS Sequence group identifier.

Name

VAS Sequence group name.

Value

Actual sequence.

The VAS Action texts form

The VAS Action text form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Actions) is a set of guidelines specifying all the required actions that a warehouse worker needs to perform to fulfill a VAS. The service fulfillment description can either be placed in the Action field or as an html page, using the Edit button. The latter option enables users to use different fonts and add pictures to the html document.

Since the warehouse staff often speaks different languages, action text supports multiple languages. This is set up in VAS parameters form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Parameters).

When creating a new action text, the system automatically creates records for all languages set up in Parameters, and records with no text appear with a warning icon.

Field

Description

Action text id

Action text identifier.

Language

Action text language

Action

Description of an action.

Html

Description of an action.

Language (Search)

Filter by language.

Text (Search)

Filter by action, separate words in the field are applied as range criteria with OR operator.

The VAS Customer groups form

The VAS Customer groups form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Customer groups) are used for setting up the automatic creation of VAS. A VAS customer group classifies customers into groups for which the same VAS applies. The groups are available for selection on the VAS auto. creation
form, and when orders are created for these groups, the VAS lines are automatically applied to the order.

Field

Description

VAS group

VAS Customer group identifier

Name

VAS Customer group name.

To assign the group to a customer, open the Customer details form and on the Sales order tab page, specify a customer in VAS group field. The group from the customer is automatically transferred to a sales order, and can be found and changed in the Sales order details form, on the Setup tab page.

The VAS Item groups form

The VAS Item groups form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Item groups) are also used for setting up the automatic creation of VAS. A VAS item group classifies items into groups for which the same VAS applies. The groups are available for selection on the VAS auto. creation
form, and when orders lines are created for these groups, the VAS lines are automatically applied to the order.

Field

Description

VAS group

VAS Item group identifier

Name

VAS Item group name.

To assign the group to an item, open the Item details form and on the General tab page, specify an item in VAS group field.

The VAS Parameters tab page

The Value Added Service parameters form (Open the menu: Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Parameters, and then select the VAS tab) displays the setup for the module.

Field

Description

Language

Supported VAS language.

Description

Language description (read only).

Setting up VAS integration on workstations

In the Warehouse Management and Distribution solution a warehouse worker can be bound to a workstation. This defines their functional responsibilities, i.e. operations that they can fulfill.

In relation to VAS processing, a workstation is a required element. Processing different VASs requires different technical, organizational warehouse facilities and different worker skills. That is why workstation capabilities in relation to VAS processing must be defined and setup to process VAS.

To setup a workstation to utilize VAS capabilities, open the Workstation form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Inventory equipment > Workstations) and on the VAS tab page add the action groups (described earlier in this document) that is allowed to be processed on this particular workstation.

Setting up Automatic creation of Value Added Services

Automatic creation of VASs is effective when customers always use some services meeting specific criteria.

You can specify automatic VASs for:

  • A specific customer account, a group of customers, or all customers.
  • A specific item, group of items, or all items.
  • A combination of the above. VASs can, for example, be added when a specific customer buys a specific item.

Open the VAS auto creation form (Warehouse Management and Distribution > Setup > Value added services > Auto setup).

The Level field

There are 2 types of automatically created VASs which correspond to the Level field at the top of the form:

Field

Description

Main

This level, adds VASs to the whole order, not depending on a particular order line. Therefore, for this level, the VAS item criteria tab page is not available. This feature is for example used, if you want heat treated packing materials for all shipping to specific regions.

Line

This level, VAS must be setup on both the VAS relation and VAS item criteria tab pages, and will be applied to every order line that matches the criteria. This feature is for example used, if labeling of some item groups for a particular customer is wanted.

The VAS relation tab page

Field

Description

Auto setup

Description of an entry.

Account code

Specifies whether the VAS is to be created for a specific account (Table), a specific account group (Group), or for all accounts (All). If you select All, the remaining fields cannot be specified.

Relation

If the value in the Account code field is set to Table, specify the account number for which the VAS is to be created. If Group is selected in the Account code field, specify the VAS customer group for which the VAS is to be created. If All is selected in the Account code field, the VAS lines will be created for any customer.

VAS

VAS to be created.

Active

Specifies if the entry is active.

The VAS item criteria tab page

Field

Description

Account code

Specifies whether the VAS is to be created for a specific account (Table), a specific account group (Group), or for all accounts (All). If you select All, the remaining fields cannot be specified.

Item Relation

If the value in the Account code field is set to Table, specify the item number for which the VAS is to be created. If Group is selected in the Account code field, specify the VAS item group for which the VAS is to be created. If All is selected in the Account code field, the VAS lines will be created for every order line.

Quantity criterion

Minimum order line quantity required for VAS to be created.

Active

Specifies if entry is active.

 

Integrating VAS with the Packing station

When a picking list is processed at a Packing station the system checks for the presence of unfinished VASs. If one or more VAS lines are not completed, it is not possible to proceed with the packing procedure, until all VAS lines are completed.

VAS integration on the Packing station form is visualized by changing the label of the Finish-button from “Finish” to “Perform VAS”. When the user selects the button the VAS processing form appears.

Processing Value Added Services

The VAS designer form

The VAS designer form is the main form in Value Added Services. Here you design the VASs attached to an order. This form is opened from a sales order form (Accounts receivable > Sales order > Setup > Value added services).

The VAS tree window

This section displays a hierarchy of all VASs for an order. Each VAS type has its specific icon in the tree.

In order to add a VAS service to an order, simply drag a VAS template line or order line and drop it on the needed node of the tree, the VAS edit dialog will appear and after closing it, the VAS will be created in the system.

There are some rules for creating VASs hierarchy:

  • Root node – is a system node, it cannot be deleted or modified.
  • Assembly and Package type nodes can have several sub nodes.
  • Action and Label nodes can have only one sub node.
  • Item node, representing an order line can have several sub nodes of types Label or Action, called Flat actions, which in their turn cannot have any sub nodes.
  • The total order line quantity cannot exceed the origin order line quantity.

    The VAS details and Dimensions tab page

The VAS details tab page and Dimensions tab page display main attributes of VAS, corresponding to the currently selected tree node.

The VAS template lines tab page

The VAS template lines tab page displays a list of VAS templates currently available. These templates can be used to build up a set of VASs connected to the order.

The set of filter fields includes:

  • Action – Action group filter
  • Type – VASs type filter
  • Acton text – filters by action, separate words in the field are applied as range criteria with OR operator.

    The Order lines tab page

The Order lines tab page shows the lines of the order VAS is designed for.

The Setup tab page

The Setup tab page contains a number of VAS tree options.

Group

Description

Item

Specifies what information should be displayed on tree nodes of Item type.

Setup

  • Confirm deletion – checked, dialog confirmation required when deleting node.
  • Edit when adding – checked, VAS creation form appears on adding the node.

Text format in order items

Displays what data is displayed on tree nodes of Item type.

Used symbols

Shows icons that are used on the tree depending on the node type.

The VAS Designer button panel

The button panel to the left contains buttons representing the following main functions:

Button

Function

Add

Opens the VAS creation dialog. The VAS will be added to the node currently selected.

Edit

Opens the VAS edit form

Delete

Deletes the VAS selected in the VAS tree.

Template

Adds the selected node to the VAS templates.

Order synchronization

The source order is synchronized and kept in consistency with the VAS connected to it:

  • The total order line quantity cannot exceed the origin order line quantity. If the quantity in the order line is decreased and the VAS quantity related to this order line is larger, the user has to adjust the VAS quantity first.
  • When a VAS that is invoiced to a customer is added, the system automatically adds the order line with the corresponding quantity to the order, and vice versa, order line will be deleted or quantity adjusted if a VAS is deleted or its quantity corrected.

The VAS processing form

The VAS processing form, if not opened from the Packing station form, can be opened from Warehouse Management and Distribution > Value added services processing. The form is designed with touch screen capabilities.

Action + Text tab page

The Action grid is comprised of the following fields:

Field

Description

Scan document

A sales order id or a picking list id can be scanned into the Scan document field. As soon as the document is scanned, the user is presented with the first action to be processed.

Tag

Displays the tag that the current item, assembly or package needs to be marked with. When tag is required for an action, a corresponding message appears in the message area below. (Tag is explained in detail in the scenario later in this chapter)

Action tab page

The Action tab page displays the guidelines of processing the next VAS to a VAS operator.

Text

In the Text field there is action description in the current user language.

Processing item tab page

In the Processed item grid the following fields are displayed:

Field

Description

Item

Item number if action is to be applied to an item, or element type (Package or Assembly), if action is to be applied to an Assembly or Package.

Name

Item name if action is to be applied to an item, or element tag, if action is to be applied to an Assembly or Package.

Quantity

Quantity that the action is completed for.

Information grid

At the bottom of the form an information grid log is located which displays all the system messages.

Button panel

The following buttons available in the screen:

Button

Description

Clear journal

Clears the Scan document field and results of previous activity.

Confirm

Confirms the current action.

When the VAS operator completes the VAS they have to click this button to confirm that the service is completed.

The button label have the following format “Confirm X of Y”, where X is the number of current action and Y is the total number of services on this workstation to fulfill.

This is also a progress indicator for the VAS operator.

Confirm all

If the VAS operator has to complete several of the same action, for example if it is required to label 20 of the same items, using the “Confirm all (X)” confirms all 20 actions in one click.

VAS operator prints all 20 labels and sticks them to items, and then, in one click, confirms all 20.

Show instructions

Hide instructions

Toggles between showing the Instructions tab page with HTML rich description or the Text tab page.

Log

Displays the VAS log.

Print label

Becomes available when a VAS of type Label is current. Activating the button prints the label on the workstation printer, using label type and data specified on the VAS.

Print all labels

If the VAS operator must print labels for a number of equal items, using the “Print all labels (X)” button prints all 20 labels in one click.

Instructions tab page

Using the button Show/Hide instructions toggles between showing the Instructions tab page with HTML rich description or the Text tab page.


Log + Overview tab page

The Log + Overview tab page displays the full list of VAS operations that is applicable to the sales order. The user can view all the VAS line details and re-print labels for label services.

In the Log + Overview tab page the following fields are displayed:

Field

Description

Sequence

Sort order, in which the VASs must be completed.

Log type

Operation log type:

  • Process able

    The VAS action can be completed on the current workstation. I.e. no other VAS action at other workstations must be completed before this VAS action can be completed.
  • Confirmed
    VAS action is completed.
  • Other workstation processing
    VAS action must be completed at another workstation.
  • Other workstation processing prerequisite
    VAS action must be completed at another workstation as this VAS completion is a prerequisite to start completing VAS actions at the current workstation.

Depending on the type, the grid-lines are colored with:

  • Gray color when VAS is confirmed.
  • Green when it is Process able.
  • Red otherwise.

VAS

VAS identifier.

Name

VAS name.

Quantity

Quantity of VAS.

Confirmed

Quantity of VAS already completed.

Tag

Tag which this VAS action must be marked with.

Print label

The Print label field holds a printer icon if the VAS action is of type Label. Clicking on the icon prints the corresponding label.

The Processed item tab page

The Processed item grid contents are identical to the one on Action tab page, showing processed items of the log operations.

The following buttons are available here:

Button

Description

Show text

Opens the Text tab page where action text is displayed. Double click on text will maximize the Text form.

Show instructions

Opens the Instructions tab page where html instructions are displayed. Double click on content will maximize the Instructions form.

Show log

Opens the Overview tab page.

Action

Opens the Action tab page.

Scenarios for Value Added Services

Scenario 1 – Creating a sales order with a invoiced gift packing VAS

A customer calls our company and places an order for 1 “Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1” and 1 “Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX”. Besides that, the customer orders some VASs: he requires that this order is packed into a gift package, our service SRV0004.

  1. Susan, the order processor, creates a sales order and adds the needed lines.
  2. She then opens the VAS Designer to add required VASs. She drags and drops the VAS line template with service id SRV0004, “Gift packing”, and clicks Ok in the VAS create dialog.
  3. She then adds (drags and drops), from sales order lines, “Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1” and “Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX”. Quantities are 1 by default.
  4. The VAS structure now looks the following way:

  1. When Susan returns to the sales order form, having refreshed it, she finds that the system has added the service as a sales line. Therefore this service will be included in the invoiced.

  1. This completes Susan’s work.

 

Scenario 2 – Creating and process a sales order with co-packing, labeling and pre-configuration of an item

One of our customers, a retail company, has planned to run a campaign. To boost the sales of the Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1, they plan to give away a Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX. They also want the laptop and mouse packed together (service SRV0006, Co-packing, default band) and the package labeled with a special promotional label (SRV0005, service Color label, 100 X 200). Finally, since they see the growing demand for Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition OS, they want the laptops to be pre-configured with this software installed (service SRV0003, Installing Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition). The customer calls the company and places an order for 20 units.

  1. Susan, the order processor, creates a sales order and adds the needed lines.

  1. She then opens the VAS Designer to add required VASs. She drags and drops a VAS line template, service SRV0005, “Color label, 100 X 200”, specifies the label type in the creation dialog, keeps the quantity 1 and clicks Ok.
  2. Then as a sub-node of labeling, she adds VAS line template service SRV0006, “Co-packing, default band”, with the quantity of 20.
  3. Then as a sub-node of co-packing, she adds items from the sales order lines “Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1”, and “Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX”, both with quantity 1.
  4. Finally, she adds SRV0003, “Installing Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition” as a sub-node to the “Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1”.
  5. The VAS structure now looks the following way:

  1. This completes Susan’s work.
  2. John, the warehouse worker, picks the items into a pick basket and places it at the VAS station.
  3. Sammy, the VAS operator, scans the picking list number into the Scan document field and is presented with the first action on the screen:

  4. Sammy notes that he needs to install Window 7 on the laptop but in the information window he also notes that 20 similar actions need to be done.
  5. Sammy then carefully reads the instructions and installs OS in all 20 laptops.
  6. When finished, he clicks the Confirm all (20) button. This updates all 20 actions and brings up the next action.
  7. The next action is to bundle together one laptop and one mouse. The number of those bundles to be created is 20 (according to the information window) and moreover every bundle must be marked with tag “1”.
  8. Sammy completes the bundling and sticks a tag “1” to every bundle.
  9. When finished, he clicks the Confirm all (20) button. This updates all 20 actions and brings up the next action.
  10. The next action is to label all packages with tag “1”. Those are the packages that he marked with this tag at the previous step. In Order to print all labels in one go, he clicks Print all labels (20) button.
  11. When finished, he clicks the Confirm all (20) button. This updates all 20 actions and brings up the next action.
  12. Finally, Sammy is informed that all VAS lines are completed and that he can scan the next picking list.
  13. Sammy puts the packages into the pick basket and then places it at a packing station.
  14. Lisa, the warehouse packer, packs all the packages into a carton and adds filling.
  15. Lisa, prints and attaches labels to the carton and ships the goods.
  16. This completes the scenario.

Scenario 3 – Explaining the use of “tags”

A customer ordered 5 DVD players. One of those is to be shipped overseas by our customer. As result of this request, and only for the DVD player that is to be shipped overseas, the customer has requested:

  1. DVD player customized to the regional setting required in this area.
  2. Packed with additional filling to make sure it will be shipped unbroken.

The procedure at the warehouse is then:

  1. Susan, the order processor, creates a sales order and adds the needed lines.
  2. John, the warehouse worker, picks the 5 DVD players into a pick basket and places it at a VAS station.
  3. Sammy, the VAS operator, customizes one of the DVD-players, returns it into the pick basket and then places it at a packing station.
  4. Lisa, the warehouse packer, packs;
    4 DVD players into one carton,
    1 DVD player is packed with additional filling into one carton.
  5. Lisa, prints and attaches labels to the cartons and ships the goods.
  6. This completes the order processing.

The issue that arises here is that after customizing one of the players, it will be put back into the pick basket. When all 5 players arrive at the packing station, Lisa is asked to pack the customized DVD player into a separate carton with additional filling. Lisa must be able to differentiate which DVD player that was customized.

This is addressed by introducing tags, or stickers. Tags could be small labels that are attached to items, in order to identify them later on the VAS route. Using the VAS system, all items in the sales order that need recognition among the same items further down the VAS route, will automatically be assigned a tag. The tag is numeric and starts from 1.

The procedure for attaching tags is:

  1. At the VAS stations, the user has pre-printed tags from 0 to 9.
  2. The system assigns a tag for the item; the user is prompted to stick the tag to the item.
  3. The packer at the packing station is informed that specific packaging is required for the item with tag “1”.

Scenario 4 – Automatic creation of Value Added Services

One
of our customers is located in a region where shipping requires usage of heat treaded materials. In addition, it requires that all goods that are sold to them are specifically labeled.

In order to make those services applied automatically, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. Susan, the order taker, opens the VAS auto creation form and creates the following entry on the Main level:

  2. She then switches to level Line and creates a line where she specifies the customer and VAS applied (Labeling) on the VAS relation tab page, and finally activates it.

  3. On the VAS item criteria tab page she then creates a line and specifies Group as an Account code and selects that group in the Item relation field to which a set of items should already be connected. Again she checks the Active field to activate the criteria and saves the record.
  4. Now Susan creates a sales order for Customer 1101, Forest Wholesales, comprised of 50 pieces of “Sony Vaio Laptop, model X1” and 20 pieces of “Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX”. After creating the sales lines and refreshing it she notices that 3 extra sales lines were automatically created.
  5. The VAS structure will be the following

 

This concludes the detailed description of Value added services module with the To-Increase Warehouse Management and Distribution for Dynamics AX 2009.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s