Loads, Shipments, and Waves Oh My! Part 2: Many Orders to One Shipment


PART 2 of 3-  Multiple Orders: One shipment to many sales orders

As stated in Part 1, Dynamics 356 for Operations offers the flexibility to manage outbound warehouse processes from the most basic order and ship processes to the most complex load planning requirements.  D365O uses a variety of concepts that allow this flexibility through configuration and management processes.  

This blog series will cover scenarios which represent several common practices used in warehouses today.  These scenarios will illustrate how key D365O Warehouse Management concepts and configuration considerations used to enable the desired process design to meet the most simple and complex requirements.

We will address three process scenarios regarding outbound order management:

The focus of this blog series is to illustrate how the concepts of loads, shipments, and waves are related to each other as well as to show their relationship to sales orders. 

Below is a diagram that illustrates a somewhat complex scenario that can be achieved in D365 for Operations Warehouse Management.   While this illustration represents an advanced process that is quite plausible, we will break this process into simple parts and simple processes before revisiting it later in the series.  The diagram below is meant to represent an overview of the “big-picture” process.

To put the illustration below into words, think of a load as the object the delivery will be carried in.  This can range from a shipping container or semi-truck to a single package that is delivered via parcel.  These loads can contain one or multiple shipments.  Shipments represent the portion of the load that will be delivered to a single destination; generally, a customer.  One or more sales orders can be in a single shipment.  Consider the load and shipment to be an empty truck and an empty pallet at this point.

This nested, hierarchical relationship must be created for shipping waves and work to be created.  Consider a wave as instructions to the warehouse as to how to fulfill a sales order, shipment, and/or load.  These instructions include “work” which represents lines on a pick list(s) for shipment(s).  Once the work is completed (picked and packed), the truck and shipment are now full and ready to be shipped to the customer.

While the above scenario represents the “big picture we will demonstrate the middle ground between the “big picture” noted above and the basic discussed in Part 1: Single Order Picking: One-to-One relationship between Sales Order and Shipment. 

Multiple Order: One Shipment to Many Sales Orders

As shown in PART 1:  Single Order Picking: One-to-One relationship between Sales Order and Shipment, the basic fulfillment scenarios have been explained.  This next scenario will take the previous scenario one step further and combine multiple sales orders into a single shipment.  To do this, the sales orders must have matching delivery addresses.  The process begins similar to the above scenario, but the additional order will be added to the shipment.

Imagine, if you will, three orders from the same customer that have been taken throughout the day.  Rather than creating three shipments and waves, we will combine those orders into a single shipment, wave, and subsequent pick list rather than three picklists; one for each order.  Also, this can potentially result in a more efficient packing process if the picked products can be packed together.

BLOGGERS NOTE:  While the scenario above is quite common, the D365 process demonstrated below would prove to be very cumbersome in a real warehouse application.   The manual process documented below will NOT utilize automated functionality regarding wave processing or releasing.   These steps will be performed manually to demonstrate key concepts.  However, these manual steps could be used in a “live” environment to make “on-the-fly” changes to loads, shipments, and waves (i.e. last minute change to a sales order).  The use of automated features will be demonstrated later in this blog.

Just as in Part 1, this scenario will be executed two ways.  First, the manual method followed by a more automated approach.  Second, shipments will be combined manually followed by the automated process.

For a shipment to be eligible for consolidation, its wave status must either be “Created” (not processed), or the wave must not be created yet.

In this “Manual” process we will demonstrate consolidating shipments in which the sales orders have been released to the warehouse thus creating a shipment and a wave.  However, the waves will not be processed and/or released.

Throughout this blog series, scenarios will be presented in both a manual process and an automated process whenever practical.  The manual process will be demonstrated to illustrate key concepts and functions and how they work independently of each other.  While the automated demonstrations will show how they key concepts and functions interact with configuration settings to create the automation. Download the manual process instructions by clicking here

About the Author

Tim Downie, Dynamics AX Consultant

As one of Western Computer's Dynamics AX Consultants, Tim Downie is involved in every type of project from end-user technical support to ERP consulting. With over 16 years of Information Technology experience, Tim is proud to be a creative problem solver for even the most complex business issues.

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