Recommended settings for materials that acts as consumables in production

The core team has been engaged in a couple of requests about how to set up raw materials that acts as consumables in production. In these requests the following characteristics has been used for consumables:

  • They are never stored in the raw material warehouse, but filled up directly at the production locations, therefore warehouse work for raw material picking is never needed for these materials.

  • They often represent a low value and are not accounted for at time of consumption, but cycle counted at a periodic basis.

  • They are often set up to allow for physical negative inventory to avoid blocking issues when they are back-flushed in production.

As we encountered some issues using items that are WMS-enabled for consumables with the above mentioned properties, we recommend to use items that are NOT WMS-enabled for this purpose. With this item is possible to:

  • Setup a default issue location either at the item-warehouse level or by the resource (resource consumption). This location will be defaulted to the production bill of material line, and act as the production input location i.e. the material will be consumed from this location.

  • Use it in a warehouse that is WMS-enabled, and there is no problem setting up this product to allow for negative inventory.

  • Ensure that warehouse work will never be generated for this item.


The problem with using a WMS-enabled item in combination with allowing for negative inventory is, that warehouse work will be generated in case there is no on-hand on the production input location. This happen instead of deducting the input location with a negative quantity, which would be the expected behavior. An attempt to back-flush the material in a later stage will result in a blocking error “Item XXX does not have enough inventory”.

The recommendation of using a WMS-enabled item for consumables, will not support a scenario where the warehouse processes is applicable for the item in other processes, for example, in the product receipt process. Supporting these different scenarios for the same item is currently identified as a gap, but we are currently investigating possible solutions to enable this capability.

Comments (1)

  1. Jay Yadavalli says:

    Johan- We have been able to accomplish this by using advanced WHS and setting 'Allow pick work center negative' on the released products.  This prevents the work from being created and consumes the item directly from production input location.

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