Warehousing for AX and Catch Weight: A Match Made in Heaven

Warehousing for AX and Catch Weight: A Match Made in Heaven

With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX R3, many users are excited for the unveiling of the newly acquired Warehousing and Transportation Management functionality built directly into the base AX framework. What some businesses may be disappointed to learn, however, is that, out of the box, these new warehousing tools do not support the use of catch weight items in AX. For those that are unfamiliar with catch weight, it is a term used widely in the food processing and distribution industry, to describe products where the actual weight of a particular item varies. With that in mind, a team of developers, including myself, was recently tasked with finding a way to force the two to operate seamlessly together for a particular customer specializing in food distribution.

We started out by laying down some initial ground rules. First of all, it was absolutely critical that item weight be captured on all inbound and outbound transactions throughout the system. Secondly, it was understood that item weight must never be allowed to go negative. Thirdly, for internal movements within the warehouse, the nominal (expected) weight would be used as a default value on all transactions. Given these regulations, we began breaking down the warehousing module by functional objective. Once we had locked down the areas to focus on, we worked tirelessly to design and develop a solution to incorporate catch weight functionality into the warehousing process flow.

After five long months, and a few sleepless nights, we finally had a system in place to support a majority of the tools available within the base warehousing product. This list includes, but is not limited to, wave demand replenishment, min/max replenishment, load planning, wave building and execution, inventory movements, RF inbound receiving, quality order management, inventory status change, RF outbound picking, inventory adjustments, and cycle counting. What started out as a daunting task, eventually evolved into an innovative, dynamic solution designed to provide improved efficiency in the warehouse far into the future.

If interested, check out an example of RF inbound receiving with catch weight inventory below.

RF Inbound Purchase Order Receipt

We start out with a purchase order line containing 4 cases ordered at a nominal weight of 40 lbs.

From the RF, we will receive all 4 cases, at an aggregate weight of 48 lbs.

We will then go ahead and split the receipt into two distinct batches, with two cases assigned to each.

Looking back at the transactions tied to the purchase order line, we see that they correctly reflect the number of cases, as well as the total weight received via the RF.




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