Quality Refresher for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
Posted on: April 11, 2016 | By: Jarrod Kraemer | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365
Authored by: Dave Occhionero
I was recently scanning through threads on the AXUG website when I came across a post about Quality Management in AX and what it entails. Although you can do copious amounts of research about the setup and configuration of Quality Management in AX (Which I did not want to focus on in this post, but you can email questions), I wanted to take a deeper dive on the functionality and features of it.
To begin to truly utilize the quality features in AX you will need to do initial setup. Most of the setup will be specific to your business and business process. Initially, you will want to setup Quality Orders, all the ancillary items associated with Quality Orders, and you may elect to setup Quality Associations. There are TechNet articles that show you how to set most of this up. Please ensure that the “Use quality management” checkbox is checked under Inventory and Warehouse management parametersàQuality Management. All of the setups I have seen at customer sites are all slightly different. There is not a one size fits all with this business process, so make sure you are capturing all current requirements, and keep in mind that you may need to expand as future requirements arise.
Quality orders are the tool that AX uses to track, and maintain tests on inventory that is, or will be maintained in the system. Quality Orders can either be manually or automatically created. To truly utilize AX’s quality capability the configuration of tests will have to be setup. Again, you can find TechNet articles about setting these tests up, but you can have tests that measure based on values, destruction, enumerate values, or simple Y/N. There is even capability to update batch attributes based on test results. This feature is great because it allows the attributes to flow downstream with inventory. (Note: This feature available if your product setup is configured to track by batch)
Quality associations are configured in Inventory and Warehouse Management. They are the tool used to dictate when a quality order is generated. Common associations that I have worked with are setup to automatically kick off a quality order after inventory has been received off a Purchase order and when Inventory is received off of a Production order. There are a few other setups on the Quality Association where you can set up Quarantined quality order failures, test groups, and sampling. Each of these setups are not required, but would be recommended for data collecting and reporting purposes. There is also capability to create Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to verify any quality testing you may execute.
A quarantine warehouse can be set up to isolate any inventory that should not be shipped. There is also a setup option to decide whether or not inventory in a quarantine warehouse should be included in an MRP run. Physically maintaining this warehouse should be left to a Quality Department, and financially maintaining this warehouse should be handled by a cost account/controller. This warehouse in AX is a virtual warehouse, so it also makes sense to designate zones and locations in your warehouse specifically for quality material. The practice of correctly labeling inventory, and marking it in its correct location goes a long way in terms of saving time searching for material. Inventory strategy and identification can be its own article!
Today “Metric” is the “buzziest” buzzword in business. The word gets thrown around at the office coffee machine, in conference calls, and in board meetings. We have setup ERP systems, they are running and in place, and now it is time to get valuable data out of them. How can AX’s quality help you and your business? From a quality standpoint in AX, there are reports out of the box that will look at all of your base data and give you valuable information regarding on time delivery, non-conformances, and quality orders. The real key is taking those reports a step further and figuring out if the information displayed is valuable, and asking questions such as: Can we get to a root cause on a quality problem? What is my quarantine warehouse velocity? What trends are we seeing? Do we have enough data to statistically identify outliers? Do I have enough information to back up an intuition? We have partnered with clients analyzing these questions and have presented them with a strategy for deciphering data related to quality.
As you can see the features for a robust quality management solution are available at your fingertips in AX. The key to maximizing their potential is identifying which options work best with your business process and management objectives. Each company is unique with their quality setup and configuration. I have setup basic quality environments filled with manual processes, and I have worked within quality processes that have a high degree of automation and integration with other systems. In both cases each solution worked well, but as always there was room for improvement.
If you have a question on quality whether it is setup related or in regards to way to improve your process let me know.
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All the best!
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