Product Scanning Confirmation


Introduction

In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 it is possible to enable location and quantity confirmation during work processing through the RF device. Currently with the cumulative update 8, this has been extended to support product confirmation too. In this case the warehouse user will need to confirm that he is processing the right product for each work line. For cases where there are warehouses with mixed products in one location or products with multiple variants it can be hard to distinguish them leading to costly mistakes if wrong items are picked.

The warehouse worker needs to scan a unique identifier in the “Product Confirmation” field so that it can match with the work line that is currently being processed. The following identifiers are acceptable, depending on the product.

  • Item id: Only for distinct products, since this does not uniquely identify a product master.
  • Item Alias: Only for distinct products, since this does not uniquely identify a product master.
  • Bar code: Both for distinct products and product masters. Details are shared in a separate section of the blog post.
  • External item Id (CustVendExternalItem): Only for products, since this does not uniquely identify a product master.
  • GTIN code: Both for distinct products and product masters (currently this process works the same as the bar code)

Consider as an example the product master “Towel”, which has 3 sizes: small, medium and large.

Setup

The product confirmation functionality takes action per process and requires a specific setup in the related menu item. For example, if you have a Sales Order picking menu item, you would need to open the work confirmation setup form for this specific menu item. The “product confirmation” checkbox needs to be selected together with a specific work type, which for this functionality either can be Pick, Put or both.

confirmation1
You can define this setup for any menu item, but it will not have an impact on all of them. Product confirmation makes only sense when there is some work already created for the process that the warehouse user is trying to execute (eg. Sales order picking). If this is not the case, such as Purchase order receiving, then you can still configure the same setup but it will not take any action.

For example, let’s assume that you have enabled the product confirmation when executing the Pick part of the SO picking process, like in the picture above.

Product confirmation gets enabled when there is only one item on the work line which is being processed. There are cases during both picking or putting, when you need to process multiple items at once. For example, during Sales order loading from the Stage area, if you need to pick multiple items the RF displays “Item: Multiple”. In this scenario it is not possible to do product confirmation (eg. to confirm each of the items one by one). You are able to setup the work confirmation, even if you work with multiple item pick, but it will not be effective and will not generate warning or error message.

Product Confirmation using bar codes

If you need it, you can specify multiple barcodes for each released product/variant (Manage inventory -> Bar codes) and each barcode specified can be used to confirm the product during work execution. In order to be taken into consideration during product confirmation, you need to enable the “Scanning” checkbox.

In this version you can specify barcodes for any unit of measure. However, if you e.g. need to pick 100 eaches which equals to 1 Pallet you are not able just to scan the barcode of the 1 pallet, because the conversion between each and pallet will not occur. If you need to pick 100 each, youwill still need to scan the barcode of the each UOM and type the quantity of 100.

conf2
The following bar codes have been defined for the variants of the Towel:

  • 512345678900S for size Small
  • 512345678900M for size Medium and
  • 512345678900L for size Large

General

If product confirmation has been setup, the warehouse worker cannot proceed without scanning the correct identifier.

For example, assume that you have a Sales order created for 10 Pcs of medium Towels. All items have been reserved and released to the warehouse. The following work has been created:conf3 

The warehouse worker starts the SO picking process by scanning the work ID and gets the following display

conf4
He scans a target license plate and tries to proceed. He gets blocked until he also scans the product identifier, which in this case can be a bar code or a GTIN code.

conf5

If he scans a bar code of a variant that is not in the current work (eg. 512345678900L) or an identifier that does not exist he gets blocked with the proper error messages.

conf6
Different tables are queried until the scanned identifier can be accepted or declined. The search engine implemented tries first to find a record with that ItemId in the InventTable. If there is not such record, it searches if there is a record in the InvenTable with that NameAlias. Only if this fails it queries the InventItemBarcode table. The last 2 tables that are queried are the CustVendExternalItem and the InventItemGTIN. If a record is retrieved in any of the above searches, no more queries are executed and the validation passes. If not, we get the error.

The same search engine is used to identify the item scanned in the other processes, like PO item receiving, in which it is most likely that the item scanned will be the ItemId of the InventTable.

Once he scans the correct barcode (512345678900M), he proceeds with the Put part. Note, that he won’t need to scan the barcode again in this step, as we have only enabled product confirmation for the Pick work type.

conf7

 In case of a broken bar code / GTIN code, the only way to get unblocked is to contact the warehouse manager and remove the setup from the menu item. There is currently no support like having the supervisor scanning a unique code etc.

Conclusion

The Product scanning confirmation has been a wish place very high on our backlog as it allows a lot more flexibility in setting up your warehouse – allowing you to support a verification step when setting up several items on the same location. Your location setup is more flexible, and you still get a validation that the correct items are setup.

This requirement is accentuated when supporting variant – so it was added to the product together with the development of variants.

The next steps with product scanning confirmation are:

  1. Adding UOM conversion capabilities for bar code scanning.
  2. Adding support for batch number confirmation.
  3. Adding support for serial number confirmation.
  4. Support for multiple items.

Please give us feedback on our suggested backlog and rate the importance of the above action items.

Comments (31)

  1. Francesca says:

    This was very useful information, thank you for sharing this.

    Regarding the next steps you mention (UOM capabilities, support for batch/serial and multiple items), will it be part of the next release (AX 7)? Thank you

  2. Rosine says:

    very informative. I have a question: I'm trying to do the same setup as I need to scan item for Receiving and picikng too but I can't see the " product confirmation"  field. Any clue??

  3. The next steps are in our backlog, but there is at the moment no ETA. However, it would be interesting to know which of these are of higher priority for you.

    Regarding Rosine's question: During receiving, if there is no work created (eg. PO receiving) the product confirmation does not take action, as it does not make sense to have it. You can use directly in the Item field the barcode and there will be a validation for the item id and the variants (Note that the variant validation in this case is not supported for all the processes currently).

    For all the scenarios where you have work created, the product confirmation field should appear if you have done the proper setup in your menu item. I would expect to get it at least during the picking you mention. For which exact process and menu items are you trying to set it up?

  4. Rosine says:

    Hi Natalia, maybe you can help here. I'm trying to setup my device to always scan Item or Barcode either during receiving or dusring picking process. I was able to use the mobile device to scan the Barcode during the receiving of goods. However , when I'm trying to scan the item during the put away or picking , i can't see the field to scan the item or barcode. Can you help me to setup the menu item on the mobile device to be able to scan the item in all WorkID's during the picking process?Is there any documentation on how to setup menu item ? Thanks for your feedback

  5. Hi Rosine,

    As you have noticed, there is not any specific setup required to use the barcode during receiving (use the barcode to scan your item).

    Regarding the putaway or picking: In the beginning of this blog I explain how to setup the work confirmation for pick and put n order to get the product confirmation enabled. This setup is tight to one menu item. You need to find the menu items you are using for the putaway and for the picking and do the setup for each of them (set worktype = Put / Pick, mark the Product confimration checkbox).

    More information about how to create and setup a menu item is here technet.microsoft.com/…/dn553216.aspx and here technet.microsoft.com/…/dn553188.aspx

    Let me know if you try it out and still does not work.

  6. Rosine says:

    Hi Natalia,

    I dont see any field call  " Product confirmation" on the menu item ( sales picking or purchase put away ) when I open the for Work confirmation setup. WHY?? Wjat do I need to do to unable that field? is it a personalisation? Your help is appreciated. Thanks

  7. Which version of AX are you using? This feature is available in AX 2012 R3 cumulative update 8, not before.

  8. Rosine says:

    I 'm using version 6.3.164.0. Looks like not the right version, right?

  9. No, that is 2012 R3. You need 2012 R3 CU8 for this…

  10. Rosine says:

    Thanks for the update Natalia. Do you know if there is a hotfix for that ? I don't want to move to CU8 yet as we just on 2012 R3.

  11. No there is not a hotfix, you can only get it with CU8.

  12. Rosine says:

    OK. Thanks for your response .You helped me a lot.:)

  13. Natalia says:

    Another question: How big is the modification? Can this be pull out from CU8 quickly? We are not ready  to move to CU8  yet.

  14. Unfortunately not. You need to get CU8 to use this functionality.

  15. Arnoud says:

    Hi Natalia

    Thanks for this information. I have an additional question to this subject. Next to the confirmation of an item in the work confirmation setup, there is an option for a quantity confirmation. When I use this option, the quantity field will be editable and I can enter the quantity (e.g. "35" pce). Instead of entering the quantity I want to scan all individual items like in an POS system. E.g. scan "item A" 35 times to get the quantity of 35. How can I achieve this?

  16. Hi Arnoud,

    In the confirmation functionality, in general, (quantity, location or product confirmation) you have to scan the value which matches with the one on the work line that is created. This means, that in order to do what you want, you will need to have work lines with quantity 1 and then just enable the product confirmation.  Currently, you can only define in the work templates a maximum quantity and unit (in your case, if it is applicable, it will be max qty = 1 and unit = the inventory unit of your item) and get multiple work headers based on this setting (for your example 35 work headers). I am not sure the restrictions of this way are suitable for you though (since you need to set a specific unit, the work creation will take longer and you will get more work headers generated).

  17. Arnoud says:

    Hi Natalia,

    Thanks for your reaction. Creating seperate work headers isn't the solution I hoped for. When working that way, we will get numeous work headers which have to be picked and completed. Goal is that a worker scans a work-header and picks the items. When the work-header only contains 1 item, the worker has to "walk" his picking route for each item individually (when not using cluster picking).

    This change to the work template isn't preferable.

    I was thinking (and hoping) about a solution on the Mobile Device for not having to enter the quantity as a value (e.g. "35") but the ability to scan all individual items until you reach the quantity (similar to the functionality on the Pack form).

  18. Hi Arnoud,

    I totally understand your requirement and I know that the multiple work headers would be just a workaround.

    The setup you describe is a valid and nice to have one, but at the moment we do not support it.

    Best regards,

    Natalia

  19. Arnoud says:

    Hi Natalia,

    Oke, thanks for your reaction(s)!

    Maybe this is an option for the future… 🙂

    I will search for work arounds.

    Regards, Arnoud

  20. Ben Newberg says:

    Natalia, do you have any experience in serial numbers?  I want to have an item confirmation scan for non-serialized parts but I don't need to confirm parts that are serialized because the serial number itself will validate the part and serial number match.  We can scan hundreds of serial numbers for a single order and the system makes me validate the material after every serial number scan instead of even entering the quantity and accumulating the parts.  This will cause way too much time in the picking process.  We have not gone live and we are using CU8 testing in our warehouse.  Any ideas?

  21. Hi Ben,

    It is not possible to have such a setup for the product confirmation. You can only achieve this, if you use for example one menu item for the serial controlled items and a different one for the rest. You can enable product confirmation only for the second menu item.

    Altnernatively, some customization would be required to be implemented and automatically set a value in the product confirmation field after the serial number gets resolved, so that it does not require the user to scan a value.

    The product confirmation, in general, can be extended (check this blog: blogs.msdn.com/…/barcode-scanning-in-the-mobile-device.aspx -> Extension and Customization).

    Best regards,

    Natalia

  22. Maurice says:

    Hi Natalia,

    When do you think the Batch confirmation will be released? I would think that this would be the next priority. The current functionality does not require that the users enters or scans a batch number if the location contains only 1 batch. The batch number is never displayed in the work if the reservation hierarchy is setup with the batch below the location which is fine but we still want to scan the batch we are picking.  

  23. Ben Newberg says:

    Natalia,

    I appreciate your response, I will check out the blog.  Very helpful!

  24. ColeCW says:

    Hi Natalia,

    Thanks much for the article! We've enabled the product confirmation for single line Sales Orders and it works really well.

    Does anyone have any possible workarounds for a multiple line sales order? We are looking to force the user to enter both the item number and quantity to verify at the packing location before they take the goods to shipping.

    Thanks,

    Cole

  25. Hi Cole,

    If the created work line is referring to a single item then the product confirmation should work (even if you have multiple lines like this). If this is not the case (multiple items in one work line) then currently you cannot do product confirmation (It is in our backlog).

    From what I understand, your scenario is in the second case. If not, please let me know more details so that I can help you further.

    Best regards,

    Natalia

  26. ColeCW says:

    Hi Natalia,

    Thanks so much for your help! I have gotten the first case to work and now understand that the second case has not been completed yet.

    For the first case (single line sales order), do you know if product confirmation works for cluster picking? I have gotten the first case to work on user directed picking, but when I use a cluster picking mobile device menu item, I only see location and quantity confirmations, but not product confirmation.

    Thanks for any advice you can provide,

    Cole

  27. Hi Cole,

    Unfortunately product confirmation during cluster picking is something that is also in our backlog and not supported yet.

    Thanks for your feedback,

    Natalia

    1. Patricia Mueller says:

      Hi,
      Are there any updates on product confirmation during cluster picking? It was not in the backlog a year ago but might is now?
      Thank you.

      1. jeroen says:

        Is the product confirmation option already provided for cluster picking?

        regards,

        Jeroen

  28. ColeCW says:

    Hi Natalia,

    That is helpful. Thank you for confirming that and your prompt response!

    Cole

  29. Alex Clark says:

    Hi Natalia, I consider the addition of Batch Confirmation to the work confirmation setup to be incredibly important.  I think that this is even more important than product confirmation.  Any lead time yet?  Any chance that it was part of CU9?  Thanks-Alex

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