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Upgrading to Dynamics 365 ... What Are My Warehousing Options?

By Casey Rebman on

Posted under: Microsoft Dynamics

There is much excitement around the announcement of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Operations. But for AX users, moving to the cloud may be an intimidating thought with new options to consider for warehouse management.   

AX users know what to expect with an on-premise ERP - as it’s typically a one-time purchase installed locally and internally managed. When you look at cloud, you’re typically buying an ERP that is a SaaS product (software as a service), managed remotely and accessed using a web browser. On top of the new cloud model, Microsoft has also announced they will support a hybrid cloud/on-premise version as well.

If upgrading is in your future, let’s take a look at some of your warehousing options, since one size does not fit all with Dynamics 365. 

Inventory Management (WMS I)

With Dynamics 365, you have the option to use WMS I to manage your warehouse. Typically these are manufacturers, distributors, or retailers with less complex needs that don’t need to use the system directed rules of WMS Advanced. With WMS I, you’ll need to utilize a mobile solution like RF-SMART to automate your warehousing processes. 

Advantages:

  • Significantly less complex and faster implementation
  • Proven Solution for 300+ customers worldwide
  • Simple Setup (1 warehouse module, no need to distinguish between multiple warehouse concepts)
  • Transaction Count - 30% fewer transaction load
  • Better interaction with manufacturing operations (Job card workflow, Production order start)
  • Carton-level Container Packing
  • Integrated with TMS

Items to Consider:

  • Potential need for Outside ISV’s vs. customization of included functionality
  • Limited ability for system direction
  • Limited availability for waves/license plating

WMS Advanced (WHS)

If you have more complex warehousing requirements with a preference for system-directed vs. user directed decisions, Dynamics 365 WMS Advanced could be a good fit. Typically, these are Big-Box Customers with heavy distribution needs that plan to use all of the WMS functionality. 

Advantages:

  • RF included in the cost of the AX software
  • RF-enabled if waves and license plating in us
  • Like WMS I, also integrated with TMS
  • Highly configurable using query based configurations
  • Can provide necessary functionality for full WMS needs

Items to Consider:

  • Greater complexity, cost and time for implementation and on-going maintenance
  • For any transactions not using waves and license plating, the included RF does not work
  • Significantly higher setup per transaction (9X+)
  • Extensive coding to add compliance data, custom fields, and screen design changes     
  • Telnet is not supported, so customers with older hardware will have to buy new devices
  • Doesn’t support parsing of EAN/UCC 128 barcodes; Not 21 CFR Part 11 compliant for label tracing; Cannot receive non-stock items; Printing requires code-based integration

WMS Advanced + Enhanced Applications

If you fit into the WMS Advanced profile but have a stock of legacy Telnet devices you’d like to use, there is a third option to consider. Using complementary applications like RF-SMART’s Telnet Enabler allows you to utilize your older devices. You can also maximize your investment with manager dashboards and Label Printing Solution

Advantages:

  • Supports Telnet, so customers with older devices won’t have to purchase new devices
  • Purpose-built label design and printing capabilities 
  • Supports barcode parsing (EAN/UCC 128); Full product dimensions & inquiry capabilities; Item Source Options, Inquiry & List screens
  • Manager Dashboards and Production Reporting
  • Packing on a Mobile Device

Items to Consider:

  • Additional software costs
  • Additional testing time for CRP and UAT


Questions? Our team of warehousing experts can help you determine the best fit for your operations. Speak to our team to learn more