Category Archives: Functional

Setting up Intercompany Trade in Dynamics AX 2012

You all must be familiar with what intercompany is. Here I am going to tell about the setups that are required to run the intercompany trade and the intercompany trade process.

I will be using a scenario throughout this blog and I will map it on Contoso.

For intercompany scenario, we will be needing two companies. CEU is a company that is involved in production of finished goods and CEE is a company that sells the product to the end consumer. So in order to sell it to the end consumers, CEE has to purchase the finished goods from CEU Company.

Let’s have a look at how we can map this in AX.

The first step is to build a trading relationship between the two companies.

For this first create CEU Company as a Vendor in CEE Company.

Then create CEE Company as a Customer in CEU Company.

To set trading relationship, go to the CEE Company

Navigate to Procurement & Sourcing > Common > Vendors > All Vendors

1

Select CEU Vendor, click the General tab and then click Intercompany in the set up on the Action Pane

 

2

 

Click Trading Relationship

 

3

 

In Sales Relation, select CEU Company and select the Customer account that is CEE in my account

 

4

Click Activate to activate the relationship between the two companies.

5

 

This makes the relationship to be activated in both the companies,

Now to record the sales and purchases i.e. the trade between the two companies, following procedure will be followed:

An Intercompany Purchase Order will be created in CEE Company to procure Finished Goods from CEU Company

In CEE, Open Procurement and sourcing > Common > Purchase orders > All purchase orders.

 

6

 

 

Click Purchase order in the New group on the Action Pane to create a new purchase order.

 

7

 

In the Create purchase order form, select the CEU Vendor. Click Yes to copy the details mentioned on the vendor form to the purchase order.

 

8

 

Click OK, an Infolog will appear that an Intercompany Sales Order has been created.

 

9

 

In the Purchase Order Lines, Select the Item number and Quantity information, if required select Product Dimensions, Site and Warehouse.

 

10

Note: only Released Products can be used in intercompany orders.

After the Intercompany purchase order is created, Click Confirm on the Action Pane to save and Confirm the purchase order.

 

11

 

 

Purchase Order Status at Confirmation will be of an Open Order

 

12

Note: when the Purchase Order is Created, the Intercompany Sales Order is automatically Created in the vendor company

On Purchase Order form, in the Manage Tab, in Intercompany Tracing Click Intercompany Sales Order to view Intercompany sales order:

 

13

 

Sales Order form will pop up, which is the auto generated order. The Sales Order will be generated in CEU Company

 

14

 

 

To Confirm an Intercompany Sales Order, In the Sell tab of the Action Pane, click Sales Order Confirmation in the Generate group.

 

15

Click OK to generate the order confirmation.

16

 Note: Confirming the sales order is optional

Sales Order Status on confirmation will be of an Open Order

 

17

 

 

To generate a packing slip, In the Pick and Pack tab of the Action Pane, click Packing slip in the Generate group. The Packing slip posting form opens.

 

18

 

In the Posting Packing Slip form, in the Quantity field, select the All option. Select the Print Packing Slip check box to Print the packing slip and then Click OK on the Posting dialog box.

19

 

Sales order Status will now change to Delivered

 

20

 

Note: Sales order status will change to delivered only if the quantities on the packing slip equals the ordered quantities

On the posting of the pakcing slip, physical on-hand inventory gets reduced. But this of course depends on the setups that we have done for the item model group that we are using.

Now to generate an invoice, In the Invoice tab of the Action Pane, click Invoice in the Generate group

 

21

Note: On product receipt number and the invoice number, packing slip number will automatically get updated.

Sales Order status will now change to Invoiced

 

22

Note: Sales order Status will change to Invoiced only if the full ordered quantity is Invoiced.

Invoice form will appear, in Quantity field, select the Packing Slip option to generate invoice of the quantity mentioned in the Packing Slip and click OK.

Note: you can select other available options as well depending on your process and requirement.

 

23

 

Now generate product receipt to confirm that intercompany item is received in the purchasing company i.e. CEE

In the Receive tab of the Action Pane, click Product Receipts in the Generate group. The Product Receipt form opens.

 

24

 

In the Product receipt form, in the Quantity field, select the Ordered Quantity or any other available option according to your requirement. Select the Print Product Receipt check box to print the product receipt and then Click OK on the Posting dialog box.

 

25

Note: The packing slip number gets automatically appeared on the product receipt

When the item is received, In the Invoice tab on the Action Pane click Invoice in the Generate group

 

26

 

 

A Vendor Invoice form will appear in which Invoice Number will automatically get updated.

 

27

 

Click Post to post the Invoice.

 

28

Purchase Order Status will now change to Invoiced

29

I hope this will be useful for you, thanks for reading it.

I will get back to you with another topic soon :)

 

Questionnaires: How to create Questionnaires in Dynamics AX 2012

This is the second post in the series related to Questionnaires in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Questionnaires are not difficult; they are just extremely flexible. In an ERP solution, you may think that standard and/or best practices should be part and parcel; but Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers some features that are not only extremely flexible, but they allow for a huge amount of creativity as well!

Do you realize that questionnaires could be used for literally anything? One such example is the little case we had talked about last time; a customer opening form. In a real life scenario, a Sales Person sends a request to an Accounts Receivables Manager to create a customer within Dynamics AX 2012. Some preliminary information is requested from this Sales Person as part of the standard operating procedures.

Let us now see how a questionnaire is formulated:

Step 1: Plan your questions for the questionnaire.

We have three questions we need to ask: Customer Name, Customer Contact Number, Payment Terms.

Step 2: Decide on the Types of Answers that will be received.

Customer Name and Customer Contact Number are simple text fields; Payment Terms would be a radio button.

Step 3: Take the “Choice” Type of questions and formulate your answer groups:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Answer Groups

Create a New Answer Group: Payment Terms

answer group

Now click on Answers and create your answer list:

We created two answers: Cash, Credit:

Answers

 

Step 4: Now, create your questions and select the different answer groups where applicable:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Questions

Questions

You’re almost done!

The deal with questions, answers, answer groups and questionnaires is that you create standard solutions for each and then mix and match where required. Say for example, you have several trainings or courses that your company offers. You could create questions that could be mixed/matched as necessary, on several questionnaires to assess these trainings. Makes sense?

Step 5: Now, create your questionnaire for use:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Questionnaires

Questionnaire

Now click on Questions and add the ones that you had created in step 4.

You’re done!

I used these questionnaires in the Cases that Dynamics AX 2012 has; you could use them for any other purpose.

The above tutorial is very simplistic in nature because of the nature of the work that was needed in the questionnaires. More complicated questionnaires can be created as well to add conditional questions, scoring and evaluation criteria; but more on that later!

Was this tutorial of help? Do leave some comments in case you have any questions.

 

 

Dynamics AX 2012: Questionnaires, what are they and why you should use them

In this two part tutorial, we shall explore and evaluate the true potential of the questionnaires in AX2012. Even though Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers a wide variety of mainstream features in relevant modules apt for a tier one ERP solution; some little known features can help you explore the little nooks and crannies that will make your life a little easier. One such feature is questionnaires in Dynamics AX 2012.

Questionnaires are not lengthy pages of questions that your user will have to fill out. Rather, small checklists, one off questions, evaluations, and even scripts for standardized attendance towards service can be made part of, and through questionnaires. Literally anything can be set up in this tiny function:

  1. Evaluation of a course attended by trainees
  2. Employee performance appraisals
  3. Employee satisfaction surveys
  4. Customer surveys
  5. Vendor evaluation or assessment questionnaire

When designing a questionnaire, some key elements required include:

  1. The type of questionnaire for the question – the area where this question will be used (such as employee evaluation, procurement, etc.) – questions and questionnaires are set up separately and then combined before distribution
  2. Input Type: the type of input such as integer– questions and questionnaires are set up separately and then combined before distribution
  3. Answer Groups: Answer groups are the groups based on which questions can be answered
  4. Instruction: You can guide your user to fill out questionnaires according to some specific instructions (example: script for the person who provides troubleshooting service on phone)
  5. Media Type: type of media that can be attached the question
  6. Rights: You can restrict the questionnaire to a particular group of people (Employees, Contacts – Vendor or Customer, Applicants).

Based on the results gathered, statistics can be calculated and you can generate reports for the answers received on the questionnaires.

This was a little overview on how questionnaires function in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. In the next blog post, we shall evaluate a little scenario where the Sales Department fills out a questionnaire for customer evaluation.

This scenario includes the following elements:

  1. New Customer Opening Request
  2. Sales Department generates request
  3. Sales Department fills out questionnaire
  4. Finance Department evaluates request and questionnaire before opening new customer.

We shall only see the questionnaire part of the above scenario.

Human Capital Management in Dynamics AX 2012

Human resource management in Dynamics AX 2012 is still a little explored field and you will not find many blog posts that will cater specifically to the HCM and Payroll modules in Dynamics AX 2012.

If you are looking for an option on how to help your client to manage talent within their organization, this blog post is for you!

Today, many clients are looking for a single solution for their HR problems including talent management. Talent management however, becomes extremely confusing because many HCM applications and resource planning solutions do not provide Talent Management as an option.

If your client is looking for an end to end HCM solution including talent management, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers a whole pack of features that you can pitch to your client:

Recruitment Module: The HR manager can create an internal project for recruitment, for any sort of job opening. Both internal and external job postings can be managed through the recruitment module, with various types of advertisements to obtain application data. The entire recruitment process can be followed with evaluation of applications, interviews and confirmation of applications.

Competency Management: This area allows definition of specific competency elements, skills, education levels and areas of interest that should typically be part of a job. Based on the hiring process, a certain employee when hired can be compared against these competencies and the hiring or rejection decision can be based on these competencies.

Compensation Plans: Dynamics AX 2012 is extremely flexible in terms of compensation plans. From benefits to earning codes or allowances, and from fixed to variable pay plans, a hiring can be done and specific criteria and pay grades can be assigned in compensation plans.

Performance Evaluations: Goals, KPIs and appraisals all can be managed through the performance evaluation and management module. This module is extremely powerful as it allows the alignment of all employees towards certain goals and KPIs that the organization wants to focus on. Moreover, personal development of employees can be managed as well through personal goals and performance appraisals.

Course Management: Course management is a little explored area even though it can be extremely useful. In course management, the organization can keep track of and manage courses and trainings that employees can take. Arrangements, attendance and conclusion, all elements related to courses can be managed through this module.

Next up, we shall explore questionnaire development and management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, which will help you to design an employee performance appraisal form and follow the process for collection of information on the form.

Which elements in HCM are you interested in exploring that we can present you with blog posts on?

 

Using button grids to customize POS behavior

Screen Layouts in Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS help to define the visual appearance of the till. One element of screen layouts is the ability to setup button grids. Button grids help to define both the functionality and visual appearance of buttons used to perform different actions at POS, as well as control the flow of actions. For example, you can setup multiple button grids to appear at POS, and/or define sub-menus that appear on clicking a POS button. Multiple layers of sub-menus can also be setup.

Without divulging in the details of how to setup button grids and button specific actions, which can be further read here; let’s see how button grids can be used to complete a business process.

For example, in case of a restaurant business, “Order Taking” is one of most basic and frequent business processes. As this involves a number of steps, a guided order taking menu helps to facilitate POS user or waiter to ensure completeness of the order and avoid missing any step, especially in case of new users which is a common occurrence in service industry due to frequent employee turnover.

Below screenshots demonstrate how this process typically works

User logs into POS, where user is presented a number of menu options. The options shown are part of a button grid, where each button covers a specific function. Amongst these, a “Place Order” button has been custom created.

1 hz

Clicking the “Place Order” button takes user to a sub-menu of further buttons.

2 hz

In order to place the order, user will select items from “Main Course”, “Toppings” and “Drink”.

User selects “Main Course” and is presented a list of items or meals.

3 hz

Selecting “Pizza” (which has been setup as a Master Product having multiple SKUs) gives user a number of options between ‘Flavor’ and ‘Size’.

4 hz5 hz

User is also prompted to confirm the type of crust, setup as a reason code against the particular meal (pizza).

6 hz

This adds the meal to the electronic journal and displays the current transaction totals.

7 hz

Similarly, user can select “Toppings” from a list.

8 hz

9 hz

In this way, user can complete the order and add more items as required.

The printed receipt with entire information captured can be passed on to Kitchen Staff for meal preparation, ensuring there is no miscommunication in the order placed.

Now let’s see how the menu options and step-by-step order-taking guidance was setup, using Button Grids.

First let’s setup the sub-menu options that will be displayed when user selects “Place Order” button. To do this, create a new button grid titled “Order Taking” as shown below.

10 hz

Once setup, click on ‘Designer’ button in the toolbar. This opens up the design form for the Button Grid. Click on ‘New design’ and define the number of rows and columns (in our case we need a 2 x 2 grid).

11 hz

Click ‘OK’ and this generates the grid of buttons.

12 hz

Right click on any button to define the properties of that button

13 hz

This opens the ‘Configure Button’ form. The ‘Action’ combo contains a list of actions that will invoke when button is clicked on POS.

14 hz

Select the appropriate action required and also fill in remaining fields for defining the visual attributes of the button.

In this particular illustration, for the “Main Course” button, we want user to be presented with a list of meals along with feature to search the list. For this purpose, set ‘Action’ field to “Search”, ‘Search type’ field to “Category”, and select the specific retail hierarchy from the list. Once done, drill down to the category level for which a list of products items/meals (products) should be displayed. In this case, the category “Main Course” has been selected.

15 hz

Click “OK” to complete the changes. Similarly, define button properties for other buttons.

16 hz

Now we need to link the button grid so that it appears as a sub-menu when “Place Order” button is clicked.

Go back to Button Grid form and select the existing button grid “Manager Tasks” and click on ‘Designer’.

17 hz

 

In Designer form, right click on “Place Order” button to modify the button properties.

18 hz

In the ‘Action’ field, select “Sub menu”. This will populate a list of options in ‘Menu’ combo. Since we want our custom button grid to appear as a sub-menu on clicking “Place Order” button at POS, select “Order Taking” option in the combo. (This is also why we setup the “Order Taking” button grid before modifying the “Manager Tasks” grid)

19 hz

Similarly repeat these steps by setting up button grids as sub-menus for “Toppings” and “Drink”. Run “A-1090” (Registers) job to view changes to POS. Make sure to restart POS for the changes to take effect.

In this way, we can see how button grids can be used to achieve a business process for ordering taking for a restaurant retailer. Buttons grids, along with overall Profile maintenance, can be used to customize the layout and functionality of POS specific to the retailer’s need, which shows just why Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is a perfect choice for implementing your retail solution.

Understanding Role Based Security in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Security has a very important role to play in any ERP implementation. The security aspect of an ERP helps the administrator to control and restrict access of different users to data in the ERP. The administrator can control the rights of access to different modules and forms of different users tailoring the access, based on user groups or each individual user. Microsoft Dynamics AX controls security through a role based security system.

Security Architecture of Dynamics AX

1

Role-based security:-

  • In earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX, the IT administrator wasted a lot of time and effort in managing the application security by creating user groups.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now offers managing security within the application by using some predefined roles and providing role based access based on these roles.
  • It also provides predefined business-related duties that are assigned with roles and matched with the users assigned to a specific role

Roles:-

  • All of the users must be assigned at least one security role to have access to Microsoft Dynamics AX. By managing the user’s access through security roles, it saves up a lot of time as the administrators only have to manage the security roles rather than each individual user.

Duties:-

  • The administrator in Dynamics AX assigns duties to the role and the administrator can assign many different duties to any role.

Privilege:-

  • A privilege in Microsoft Dynamics AX specifies the access level that is required to complete an assignment, solve a problem or perform a job.

Permissions:-

  • Permissions group all the securable objects and the different access levels that a user requires to run a function. This includes any forms, server side methods, fields or tables that can be accessed through security points.

Benefit of Having Role-based security:-

  • The new concept of role based security in AX 2012 has made it easier to manage security. Roles can be applied across all the companies and so the administrator does not have to maintain separate user groups for each and every company in the organization.

Assigning users to different roles (adding roles to users):-

  • Go to System administration | Common | Users | Users.
  • Select the required user from the user’s list.

2

  • From the upper left-hand corner of the user list page, click on Edit.
  • In the center of the user form, click on Assign roles.

3

  • Select a role from the list of predefined roles.
  • Select an option in the Role name menu to assign to the selected user.

4

  • Click on OK.
  • Click on Close to close the user form.

User Sentiment and Microsoft Dynamics

Continuing on from the previous post, we will now talk about the user sentiments that were evaluated through the research. The four objectives, while conducting this research to test the users sentiment, included:

  1. Usage of the Microsoft Dynamics products
  2. Relationship with partners and the general sentiment
  3. Next six months plans for spending towards Microsoft Dynamics products
  4. New needs and the customer’s working relationship with their Dynamics partner

The results are generally skewed towards Microsoft Dynamics ERP users as most respondents were either GP or AX users.

Usage of Microsoft Dynamics Products

Approximately 4% of the users indicated that they are making full utilization of their software solution however, 66% indicated that they are either making sufficient or good utilization of the software solution. Despite that, 30% still feel the needs to enhance on their software solution or use more features within the solution.

Relationship with Partners and the General Sentiment

About 80% respondents indicated that they have a satisfactory or excellent relationship with their partners, with about 30% with an excellent relationship with their Microsoft Dynamics Partners.

Six Month Spending Plans

Thirty percent users are still interested in spending at least a little more to a lot more in order to enhance on the solution within their organization. This indicates that the users understand the powerful nature of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM that they have implemented within their organizations.

New Needs in the Solution

The top two challenges and investment areas that most users identify include reporting and upgrades. Reporting and analytics are key areas that most users would like to invest in and focus on as this is the key towards business improvement.

Further on, we will discuss partners’ sentiment which is the next part of the research conducted by Microsoft Dynamics World.

 

 

Time and Material Project – B/S Scenario

MS Dynamics AX 2012 Project Management and Accounting Module leverages different types of projects and its respective accounting treatment based on the given project types and different setup options like Project Group, Line Properties etc.

Time and Materials Project is mainly used where costs can be matched with revenue on each transaction and project in invoiced as work progresses. Possible capitalization related accounting treatments are described below in the form of relevant accounting entries:

Ledger Posting Scenarios –  Capitalization

Setup > Posting > Project Groups

1

 

Setup > Line Properties > Line Properties

2

 

Note: Where Chargeable is not selected on Line Property, Ledger Transactions at the time of Invoice Posting will not occur. Rest will stay the same

Hour Journal 
At the time of posting hour journal
WIP Cost Value
  Payroll Allocation
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Project Cost
  WIP Cost Value
Expense Journal 
At the time of posting Expense Journal
WIP Cost Value
    Offset Account (Mentioned at the time of posting journal line)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Project Cost
   WIP Cost Value
 Item Journal

 

At the time of posting Inventory Journal
WIP Cost Value Item
   Inventory Issue (Inventory Module)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Project Cost
   WIP Cost Value Item

 

Ledger Posting Scenarios – No Capitalization

Setup > Posting > Project Groups

3

 

Setup > Line Properties > Line Properties

4

 

Note: Where Chargeable is not selected on Line Property, Ledger Transactions at the time of Invoice Posting will not occur. Rest will stay the same

Hour Journal 
At the time of posting hour journal
Project Cost
  Payroll Allocation
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Expense Journal 
At the time of posting Expense Journal
Project Cost
    Offset Account (Mentioned at the time of posting journal line)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
 Item Journal

 

At the time of posting Inventory Journal
Project Cost
   Inventory Issue (Inventory Module)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue

 

Time and Material Project – P&L Scenario

MS Dynamics AX 2012 Project Management and Accounting Module leverages different types of projects and its respective accounting treatment based on the given project types and different setup options like Project Group, Line Properties etc.

Time and Materials Project is mainly used where costs can be matched with revenue on each transaction and project in invoiced as work progresses. Possible accounting treatments are described below in the form of relevant accounting entries:

Ledger Posting –  Accrual Scenarios

Setup > Posting > Project Groups

1

 

Setup > Line Properties > Line Properties

2

 

Note: For all accrual scenarios, it is assumed that Line Properties > WIP Posting > Accrue Revenue is checked. If this option is not selected, Accrual Ledger posting will not occur. Where Chargeable is not selected on Line Property, Ledger Transactions at the time of Invoice Posting will not occur. Rest will stay the same

Hour Journal
 At the time of posting hour journal
Project Cost
  Payroll Allocation
WIP – Sales Value
     Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
   WIP – Sales Value
Expense Journal
At the time of posting Expense Journal
Project Cost
    Offset Account (Mentioned at the time of posting journal line)
WIP – Sales Value
     Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
   WIP – Sales Value
Item Journal
At the time of posting Inventory Journal
Project Cost
   Inventory Issue (Inventory Module)
WIP – Sales Value
   Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
  WIP – Sales Value

Fee Journal
At the time of posting Fee Journal
WIP – Sales Value
   Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Accrued Revenue – Sales Value
    WIP – Sales Value

 

 

Ledger Posting Scenarios –  No Accrual

Setup > Posting > Project Groups

3

 

Setup > Line Properties > Line Properties

4

 

Note: Where Chargeable is not selected on Line Property, Ledger Transactions at the time of Invoice Posting will not occur. Rest will stay the same

Hour Journal 
At the time of posting hour journal
Project Cost
  Payroll Allocation
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Expense Journal
At the time of posting Expense Journal
Project Cost
    Offset Account (Mentioned at the time of posting journal line)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
 Item Journal 
At the time of posting Inventory Journal
Project Cost
   Inventory Issue (Inventory Module)
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue
Fee Journal
At the time of posting Fee Journal
No Ledger Posting
At the time of Invoice Posting
Summary Account (AR)
   Invoiced Revenue

 

Microsoft Dynamics – the needs of the customers and partners match

Continuing from our post yesterday, there were some key areas that the survey focused on, both from the perspective of the customers and the partners:

From the perspective of the customer, the areas under consideration included:

  1. Management and ownership of the solution
  2. Six month plans for any new additions to features, capabilities or add ons, or any other investments in the solution
  3. Their sentiment towards their solution partner’s relationship with them

From the perspective of the partner, areas under consideration included:

  1. The needs of the clients in terms of functionality and strategy
  2. The perception that the partners have towards the Dynamics products and their strategic competitive position.
  3. Point of view on deployment strategies
  4. Their own performance towards sale of Dynamics products
  5. Their usage of additional add ons and working with other software vendors or solution providers

The survey results revealed significant emerging trends for the future. One of the key areas of evaluation includes customers responding that they are most likely to consult with their solution provider for Dynamics AX while customers with Dynamics CRM would least likely consult their solution provider.

Another interesting insight which helps to align the goals of both customers and the partners is that both parties are focused on these five functional aspects:

  1. Reporting as well as Business Intelligence
  2. Customer Services
  3. Integration as well as Migration
  4. Business Processes
  5. Inventory Management

Next up, we will discuss the user sentiment that was evaluated during this survey to understand how customers fare in using Microsoft Dynamics products.