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Discovering Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management 2021 release wave 2: What’s new?

October was the official release month of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management 2021 wave 2. We have looked at some of the new functionalities and key features that, based on the recent conversations with our Dynamics Partners during the projects, would be the most useful and applicable to their growing business. To learn about all the new functionalities of this 2nd release wave, read the Microsoft documentation.

In this blog we’ll take a deeper dive into the following functionalities:

  • Distributed hybrid topology
  • The calculation service
  • Detailed pricing models for sales price calculations
  • Global Inventory Accounting Add-in
  • Warehouse Management mobile app
  • Scan barcodes in the warehouse using GS1 format standards

Distributed hybrid topology

First, I would like to draw attention to the major updates that ensure business continuity. Microsoft invested time to enhance supply chain visibility, multiple business platform support, optimized workforce, agile planning, and distribution processes. All this, combined with maximized asset uptime, ensure safe and cost-efficient business continuity. With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management running on the hybrid distributed topology, companies can design their supply chain system to follow the topology of their business.

Companies must be able to run business-critical processes without interruption – especially those that work with warehousing and manufacturing. To ensure that, Microsoft has transformed its ERP system to a hybrid model, which enables companies to run key mission-critical manufacturing and warehouse processes interruption-free, even when faced with occasional network connectivity or latency issues. The distributed hybrid topology extends the supply chain management enterprise cloud hub, with one or more vertical scale units in the cloud (in an Azure datacenter closer to where the work occurs) or on the edge (hardware running physically on-site).

Distributed hybrid topology for Supply Chain Management
Figure 1: Distributed Hybrid Topology for Supply Chain Management

For the 2021 release wave 2, Microsoft is introducing these enhancements to the topology platform and the out-of-the-box workloads for vertical functionality:

  • Enhancements for the cloud-scale unit platform.
  • Capabilities enabling edge scale units, which allow you to run workloads on-premises in your local facility whether connected or temporarily disconnected from the cloud hub.
  • Enhancements for topology deployment and lifecycle management capabilities.
  • Incremental enhancements for the out-of-the-box vertical workload functionality in warehouse and manufacturing execution.

Tax calculation service

Tax Calculation service is a configurable globalization microservice that enhances the tax determination and calculation capabilities in Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and Dynamics 365 Project Operations. This service is especially important for companies that have their warehouses or branches abroad. In this case, companies have different VAT ids for different business locations. The new Tax Calculation is fully integrated out of the box, and enables you to:

  • Automatically determine the correct sales tax group, item sales tax group, and tax codes through an enhanced determination mechanism.
  • Support multiple tax registration numbers in one legal entity, and automatically determine the correct tax registration number on taxable transactions.
  • Support tax determination, calculation, posting, and settlement for transfer orders.
  • Define configurable tax calculation formulas and conditions for your specific business requirements.
  • Share the tax determination and calculation solution across legal entities to save maintenance effort and avoid errors.
  • Support customer and vendor tax registration number determination.
  • Support list code determination.
  • Support tax calculation parameters at the tax jurisdiction level.

Detailed pricing models for sales price calculations

The pricing service enables businesses to establish detailed pricing models to calculate the right sales price for all the items in each sales order. It adds significant flexibility, and quickly performs calculations that take into account a wide range of business factors, including prices, discounts, discount priorities, promotions, trade agreements, and more.

The pricing service supports pricing models that can account for a wide variety of product and customer attributes when calculating the final price. The models can calculate discounts based on concurrent modes using compete or compound rules. You can also set up mix-and-match discounts that support bonus buy and complex assortment buy promotion scenarios.

The service lets you inspect the details of each final price calculation at the order level to confirm it has been done correctly.

Global inventory accounting add-in

Global Inventory Accounting lets you account for inventory in multiple representations by applying the appropriate valuation method (standard cost, average, or specific identification) and the selected accounting currency per instance.

Organizations, especially those with international operations, often prefer to account for inventory by standard cost as part of their management accounting setup. However, local governments, tax authorities, and the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) typically don’t recognize standard cost as an accounting principle and often require average or specific identification. In addition, organizations often want to account for inventory using a local currency and the functional currency. Collectively, these requirements must be addressed in a comprehensive solution that supports the ability to perform inventory accounting in multiple costing ledgers, where each ledger can be configured with a specific set of accounting policies. With this new functionality, organizations can define as many costing ledgers as required. Inventory accounting in dual currencies and dual valuations are both supported. Inventory accounting is performed in individual ledgers. Several costing ledgers can be created for each legal entity in an organization as needed, thereby ensuring that multiple inventory representations can be obtained. All documents (such as purchase orders, sales orders, transfer orders, and so on) posted in a legal entity will be accounted for in all the costing ledgers associated with that legal entity.

Warehouse Management mobile app

Microsoft has redesigned its Warehouse Management mobile app with a focus on improving the user experience.

The first feature is Warehouse Management mobile app step instructions. This feature allows create and display of custom instructions for each step of each task flow that you set up in the mobile app. When provided with well-written instructions, warehouse workers will be able to start using new flows right away, with no prior training. You can choose which field values to display for each step, and you can highlight the most important ones. This will help workers focus their attention on the most important fields as they work through a flow. With this feature, organizations can:

  • Ramp up workers faster by letting them follow simple instructions for each task step. Each step of a flow provides instructions that allow front-line workers to understand the task.
  • Provide instructions that match your processes. Write your instructions to match your own business and warehouse processes. You can make the terminology fit your physical space, local abbreviations, and so on.
  • Increase productivity by highlighting the most important parts of each step. Choose which fields and information should be highlighted for each step to help focus workers’ attention

The second very useful feature is that workers using the Warehouse Management mobile app can temporarily pause the current task. They can then start and complete another important task before safely returning where they left off with the previous work. For example, a warehouse worker performing a sales picking flow might arrive at a specified location only to find that the required item is no longer present. Previously, the only option would be to abandon the current pick flow and do an item inquiry to find out if more of that item is available at some other location. As a result, the worker would lose their sales pick information and run the risk that another worker might grab and restart that same picking work, thus creating inefficiencies. With this feature, the worker can instead park the current task and go to a secondary flow (the item inquiry flow) to find a new location that contains the item, replenish the location, and then continue the sales pick work. This means that no information is lost and the warehouse pick work is more efficient.

Scan barcodes in the warehouse using GS1 format standards

Warehouse workers often have to complete several tasks when they use a mobile device scanner to register the movements of an item, palette, or container. These tasks can include both scanning bar codes and manually entering information on the mobile device. The bar codes use a company-specific format that you define and manage by using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

The GS1 barcode format is a global standard for exchanging data between different companies. The standard defines the data format and the various kinds of data that can be encoded using it. GS1 barcodes can have multiple data elements, so a single barcode can include many types of product information including batch, expiration date, and more.

This feature enables the Warehouse Management mobile app to scan a single GS1 barcode and correctly extract all the information needed to process the task at hand.

We hope that with this blog we helped you discover some of the newly released features that will make your business even more successful and efficient with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at service@1clickfactory.com.

And, if you are considering moving to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management and would like to know how much time and effort it will take, and determine the best possible approach to the transition, check out 1ClickFactory’s BestPath Assessment service, available for all Microsoft Dynamics partners!