A number of questions have been asked thought this blog about shipments and the shipment reservation logic. Some of the answers to these questions include information about aspects of these key system components that might be of general interest to our readers.
Shipment reservation for consolidated picking and activation essentials
Question #1 – Shipment activation
When a shipment is activated (Inventory management > Common forms > Shipments > Functions > Activate), the system will reserve the stock first, even though you do not have the “Reservation required” check box selected for the shipment. Is this design logic for consolidated picking shipments? And why is the logic designed in this way?
Activation of a shipment basically means that all picking routes and transports related to a shipment will be activated, and this status indicates that the state of all routes (picking and transports) allows operators to start working.
In order to utilize WMS for picking, picking routes are created based on picking areas and sorted based on, for example, the inventory locations sort codes. If the items were not reserved by the system before the shipment was activated, the picking location cannot be identified and the routes cannot be optimized.
So for activation, without reservation, the operator could end up being sent back and forth in the warehouse by the system and the items to be picked might not even be there.
The same goes for transports. If the items that are going to be transported were not reserved on the system, it would not be possible to identify where the transport should come from, which again would make it pretty hard to even create a transport.
The WMS shipment logic has not been designed for planning of shipments – this is actually more of a “grouping logic” for the warehouse picking operations.
Ordered reservation can be performed for the item picking location if this is defined in the shipment reservation combination.
Regarding the “Reservation required” option, please refer to question #2
Question #2 – “Reservation required”
Please explain why the shipping template which has to be used in conjunction with the consolidated picking method has the “Reservation required” check box if reservations are required whether or not it is selected.
First of all, the Shipment template is not required for a consolidated picking shipment. You can create a shipment manually. But it is really not the Shipment template that is the most interesting part here. This logic just copies the parameter settings to the shipment and controls if output orders should be assigned to shipments automatically. Please consider the following information on the ”Reservation required” logic:
- If activated, it will not be possible to reserve/activate the shipment and thereby create picking routes and output pallet transports unless all shipment lines can be reserved. The shipment status will remain ”Registered”.
- If not activated, it will be possible to reserve/activate the shipment and thereby create picking routes and output pallet transports for the shipment lines that can be reserved. The shipment status will remain ”Registered” (logically this is the lowest line state), if just one of the shipment lines cannot be reserved. This logic is typically used in x-docking scenarios. Instead of waiting to perform the picking operations for all the items that exist on-hand, the warehouse workers can go pick all inventory that is available on-hand. The inventory can be placed at the shipment staging area or loaded into a truck in a waiting position. As soon as the last item gets registered into inventory, the inventory is added to a picking route by the shipment reservation batch job.
The above logic is applicable only for consolidated picking shipments.
Question #3 – InfoLog when running the shipment reservation
Why is the InfoLog message an ‘information only – no action required’ when a shipment reservation is run with the “Reservation required” check box cleared and when the shipment is run with the “Reservation required” check box selected, the InfoLog message is a critical stop.
We hope the above answers this. If you do not have enough on-hand inventory for all shipment lines and the parameter is activated, the shipment cannot process further in this state. But if the parameter is not activated, the shipment lines that can be reserved will be added to picking routes and pallet transports. The lines that do not have on-hand inventory will remain ”Registered” and you will be informed by an InfoLog message about a stock shortage.
WMS refill logic of an item picking location
Question #4 – Group more pallets from bulk locations to refill an item picking location
In our case, we would like the replenishment team to be able to group pallet transports in order to move several pallets in one time for replenishment of a picking location. Let's illustrate this by an example:
The picking location for item A is set for a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 1000. We use pallets to identify carton boxes in the warehouse and a full pallet contains 100 item A (maximum pallet quantity). The current available quantity in the picking location is 600. If we pick 300 in the picking location, the available quantity becomes 200 below the minimum, and a pallet transport is generated to transport only one pallet of 100 from storage to the picking location. It is only when we complete the transport that a second pallet transport of 100 is generated again to reach the minimum. Moreover, as long as a pallet transport to the picking location exists (that is to say, generated but not yet completed), any further picking will not generate automatic replenishment via new pallet transports.
The behavior above does not fit original requirement, and we find it surprising that AX does not allow multiple pallet transports for replenishments. What are the incentives for such a restriction? Is there a specific setting somewhere to override this?
Historically, the functionality of automatic refill leverages big parts of the functionality from the manual refilling of a picking location.
When warehouse workers (pickers) manually request a refill of a picking location, they have no way of knowing if a colleague has just recently ordered a refill, which hasn’t been completed yet. For that reason the system allows only one refill transport to be active at a time
At the same time you can, of course, have more than one registered refill transport (but not more than one active refill transport).
We find this scenario fairly unique. Typically a much higher quantity than you mention here is stored in the bulk areas and you can refill picking location with one transport in one go.
Creation of output orders for reserved physical quantity only
Question #5 – Release to pick for only reserved physical inventory
How can we release to pick multiple sales order lines and at the same time only release what is physically available on hand?
This can be done by utilizing the “Release sales order picking” form where you can use the query that is available on the form and add a range on the inventory transaction status issue field.
If you only want to release order lines which are reserved physically, you can use the option “All orders that have status reserved physical” before you release the orders for picking.
Sales orders can have lines that are partially reserved (with some stock remaining on back order). Rather than transferring the entire sales order quantity, you only want to create output orders for items that are reserved. In this case, you must activate the ”Deduct released for picking” parameter on the Release sales order picking form under Order parameters. This option allows a transfer of partially reserved quantities on the output order and it can be applied with the consolidated picking method.
Production input location
Question #6 – Location type Production input location
When is a location of the type Production input location used?
The Production input location type is used in conjunction with production and internal consolidated picking shipments for raw components that are picked to the production area.
The Production input location must be assigned on a resource. When a BOM line item, then, requests a production operation utilizing consolidated picking, a shipment can automatically be created from the shipment template logic to request delivery of picked items. The destination location for the picked items is the input location at the production line. With this functionality the warehouse picking is guided to deliver the picked raw components that are going to be consumed by the production line at the production input locations.
Hope this helps,
Ievgenii Korovin and Dynamics Ax SCM Team