Utilizing Route Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to Streamline Automotive Production

Posted on: July 24, 2023 | By: Fred Liu | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365, Microsoft Dynamics Manufacturing

In the automotive industry, manufacturing routes describe the sequence of operations necessary to assemble a vehicle or its variants. These routes encompass necessary resources, time estimates for setup and operation, and cost calculation methods. A well-structured route management system allows you to use a single route for various models or create unique routes for specific models or variants. For example, the assembly line for a sedan might differ slightly from that of an SUV. You can even design multiple routes for the same vehicle model, depending on factors like demand or production capacity. Here’s how you can utilize route management to streamline automotive production processes:

Breakdown of Routes

A route represents the sequence of operations necessary to manufacture a particular automobile model or variant. Each operation in the route outlines the resources needed, the time for setup and execution, and the method for cost calculation. The same route can be used for several vehicle models, or you can create unique routes for each model or variant. It’s even possible to establish multiple routes for the same automobile model. Defining a route in Supply Chain Management is a four-pronged process, with each element collaboratively portraying the production process:

  • Route – A route defines the order of operations.
  • Operation – An operation identifies a named step in a route.
  • Operation relation – An operation relation defines the operational properties of an operation, such as the setup time and run time, cost categories, consumption parameters, and resource requirements.
  • Route version – A route version defines the route that is used to produce a product. Route versions enable routes to be reused across products or changed over time. They also enable different routes to be used to produce the same product.

Constructing the Route:

There are primarily two types of routes: simple routes and route networks. You can adjust the Production control parameters to decide if you wish to employ only straightforward routes or if you wish to engage more intricate route networks.

  • Simple Routes:

    • Simple routes follow a sequential order, originating from a single starting point.
    • When you activate only simple routes via the Production control parameters, the Supply Chain Management system will autonomously assign operation numbers (10, 20, 30, and so forth) as you delineate the route.


  • Route Networks

    • By enabling route networks, a more advanced form in the Production control parameters, you gain the flexibility to design routes with multiple initial points. This flexibility allows for simultaneous execution of operations, increasing overall efficiency.

2. Managing Operations and Operation Relations:

Operations represent identifiable steps in a route, and each operation has an ID and a simple description. An efficient route management system allows for the same operation to be used in multiple routes, with different operation numbers.

The following operational properties of an operation are present on the operation relation:

  • Cost categories
  • Consumption parameters
  • Processing times
  • Processing quantities
  • Resource requirements
  • Notes and instructions

You can define multiple operation relations for the same operation. However, each operation relation is specific to one operation. The scope of the operation relation is defined through the Item codeItem relationRoute code, and Route relation properties.

4. Leverage Route Versions

Route versions serve to adapt to production variances or to enable superior control over manufacturing processes. They determine the appropriate route to employ for manufacturing a particular released product or variant. The following factors can guide the selection of the route for a released product:

  • Product attributes (such as size, color, style, or configuration)
  • Volume of production
  • Manufacturing site
  • Date of production

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more about utilizing route management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain Management, contact us here to find out how we can help you grow your business. You can also email us at info@loganconsulting.com or call (312) 345-8817.

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