Optimize your supply chain

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Axcite Sales will give you greater control over confirmed delivery dates.

January 2020 // 8 MIN READ

Managing confirmed delivery dates to the end customer is a critical element in the supply chain, which if, handled badly, can result in higher costs and lower customer satisfaction

Problems with managing confirmed delivery dates often cause a lot of frustration, not to mention furrowed brows in many sales and logistics managers! The ability to be able to manage confirmed delivery dates vis-à-vis the supplier and end-customer is essential for maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction, especially in manufacturing and wholesale companies, which are dependent on a supply chain with a number of suppliers.

Many factors can have an impact on the final delivery date – everything from low levels of stock, an inability to deliver on the part of a supplier to transportation delays, and damaged goods, etc.

The right solution helps to provide greater transparency and an overview of the sales process in its entirety, while ensuring that well-defined, automated flows strengthen the supplier chain all the way round.

Standard ATP calculation as the building block

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management provides an out-of-the-box solution for handling sales orders and managing order confirmation dates.

The standard ATP (available-to-promise) feature can calculate a realistic delivery date based on the known and expected availability date of an item.

The calculation takes into account the total amount of inventory held, delivery times, expected availability and planned dispatch date, and provides a snapshot of the realistic delivery date.

”As a sales person in a wholesale business that generates sales orders, it is often difficult to assess the total net demand and prioritize, or what is also known as ”First Come First Served”, for a given product. That´s why the ATP solution has been designed to solve this otherwise complex task automatically”, says Lasse Andersen, Logistics Lead at Bredana Axcite.

There are, however, a number of factors which standard solutions cannot take into account.

”Microsoft´s standard solution provides a good sound framework, but there are certain nuances it cannot build into the calculation. For example, it cannot make allowances for the fact that the supply chain is a dynamic element, and that after an order has been received, a ”fallback” in the actual delivery time of an item may occur”. 

”We also see an increasing demand from our clients for a solution that can work with a warehousing date that is set before the item is picked and dispatched. The standard solution cannot take into account the classic needs a customer has or unplanned fluctuations in the supply chain. That is why we have developed an add-on solution to the standard solution that resolves these customer needs,” says Lasse Andersen.

Be proactive with Axcite Sales

As an add-on solution to Microsoft´s standard sales module, Bredana Axcite has developed Axcite Sales, which is a module that optimizes the sales order process, among other things. For example, the solution contains an extended version of the standard ATP solution.

This extended version gives companies a more exact idea of the confirmed delivery date, which not only takes into account a given warehousing period for an item, but also ensures that the delivery date is continually recalculated and updated depending on new information received; for example, that the expected date of receipt will be delayed or the current item in stock is damaged.

Axcite Sales module gives you a number of extra date fields, so you can easily follow any changes in the delivery dates.

The delivery time is recalculated every night, and if this results in a new delivery date, the system specifies which clients need to be informed of the change in delivery date.

”This expanded version of Axcite Sales eliminates the need for much of the manual follow up that was required before, and removes the need to manage complex invoices midway during the process. This significantly reduces the risk of errors occurring in confirmed delivery dates. The companies can therefore be proactive, notifying the clients of a new delivery date if it changes, which is better customer service” says Lasse Andersen.

Consolidating dates optimizes pick and send management

The add-on solution also includes a consolidation feature that can consolidate sales order lines, so they are handled as one consignment. This feature makes it easier to decide whether the goods should be shipped to the client as one large consignment or should be sent as several smaller shipments.

This consolidation feature is also particularly advantageous when it comes to releasing the items for picking, as it is easier to decide whether the items should be picked and sent together or not. For example, you can choose to release all sales order lines in a batch that have a confirmed delivery date within two days of the current date.

Image 1: Here it shows an order consisting of four sales order lines with four different confirmed delivery dates.

Image 2: Using the consolidation feature, several or all of the sales order lines can be grouped together under the same confirmed delivery date.

Image 3: The new confirmed delivery date is overwritten on all sales order lines which had confirmed a delivery date either on or before the new consolidation date. 

In addition to the expanded ATP calculation and consolidation of sales order lines, Axcite Sales also allows you to reserve sales order links and import sales order lines from the file.

Do you have any questions regarding Axcite Sales or Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you are welcome to get in touch. We would be happy to help you.

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