Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 New Features – Master planning

In previous article we have covered the several features that are added or changed in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3. In this article we will cover the detail of the features that are added or changed in module Master planning.

Master planning is used to perform the following business processes:

  • Forecast scheduling to calculate gross requirements for forecasted demand.
  • Master scheduling to calculate net requirements for items to fulfill actual demand.
  • Process the action messages and futures messages that are generated during master scheduling. This information can be used to modify planned orders.
  • Process planned orders and kanbans (The kanban framework for lean manufacturing in Microsoft Dynamics AX is based on kanban rules. A kanban rule is a supply policy that defines when kanbans are generated and how they are replenished).

Following are the new features in Master planning:

Demand forecasting: Demand forecasting is a set of tools that enable you to estimate future demand and create demand forecasts based on historical transaction data.

The demand forecasting process includes the following tasks:

  • Complete the prerequisite setup tasks
    • Intercompany planning groups must be configured before you start
    • Select the items to include in the demand forecast: Demand forecasting uses the item allocation key to calculate forecast at the aggregated item level. Item allocation keys make it easier to manage multiple items, and manage the grouping of items that share the same forecast setup. To include an item in a demand forecast, you must assign it to an item allocation key.

Follow are the steps to assign item allocation key:

    • Click Inventory management > Setup > Forecast > Item allocation keys.
    • Create or select an item allocation key. For more information, see Item allocation keys (form).
    • Click Assign items.
    • In the Available items list, select the item that you want to assign, and then use the arrow buttons to move the item to Assigned items. An item can be assigned to only one item allocation key. When an item has been assigned, it is no longer available.
    • Repeat these steps for all items that you want to include in the demand forecast.
    • Assign items to the demand forecast of a specific company: Demand forecast is calculated for all companies that are part of an intercompany planning group. Demand forecast is calculated, by default, for all items that are assigned to all item allocation keys and for all companies. Therefore, to specify which item allocation keys to forecast per company, you must assign the item allocation keys to the company

To assign an item allocation key to a member of an intercompany planning group, follow these steps:

    • Click Master planning > Setup > Intercompany planning groups.
    • Select the intercompany planning group and the intercompany planning group member to which you want to assign item allocation keys.
    • Click Item allocation keys.
    • In the Unassigned item allocation keys list, select the key that you want assign, and then use the arrow buttons to move the key to Assigned item allocation keys.
    • Repeat these steps for all intercompany planning groups for which you want to assign item allocation keys.
    • Define the level of detail to use in the demand forecast: Use forecast dimensions to specify the level of detail for which a baseline forecast is generated. The forecast dimensions for item allocation key, company, and site are always used by default. In addition, you can assign forecast dimensions, such as warehouse or customer account, to create a greater level of detail in the demand forecast. Defining forecast dimensions is part of the initial setup for demand forecasting, you can modify the forecast dimensions at any time and then regenerate a baseline forecast to apply them

To assign forecast dimensions, follow these steps:

    • Click Master planning > Setup > Demand forecasting > Demand forecasting parameters.
    • Click Forecast dimensions.
    • In the Available forecast dimensions list, select the dimension that you want to assign, and then use the arrow buttons to move the dimension to Assigned forecast dimensions.
  • Set up the parameters to use in demand forecasting:Select the parameters to apply when baseline forecasts are generated. The parameter setup is global and applies for all companies that are members of the specified intercompany planning group.
    • Click Master planning > Setup > Demand forecasting > Demand forecasting parameters.
    • In the Demand forecast unit field, select the unit to use for forecast quantities. This field is required because demand forecasts are generated based on quantities of items. Also, make sure that there is a conversion rule defined for the forecast unit and the item unit.
    • In the Excel demand forecast file path field, enter the file path location that is used to save the Excel demand forecast file.
    • In the Include these historical transaction types to generate the statistical baseline forecast field group, select the types of historical transactions to include when the baseline forecast is calculated. For example, select the Production line check box to calculate the dependent demand for BOM line requirements. The items on lower BOM levels must be assigned to an item allocation key to be included in the forecast generation.

If you do not select any transaction types, there is no history with which to calculate the demand forecast.

  • On the Forecast algorithm parameters FastTab, in the Forecast generation strategy field, select one of the following options.
    1. This field is required.
    2. SSAS time series forecasting methods: Use the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Time Series algorithm to calculate a statistical baseline forecast. For more information about Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services
    3. Copy over historical demand: Use historical demand data to calculate a baseline forecast. This option does not use the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Time Series algorithm.
  • If you select the SSAS time series forecasting methods option in the Forecast generation strategy field, you must select the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services cubes in the Demand forecast cube and Demand forecast accuracy cube fields. These cubes are used to analyze the historical demand transaction data and generate the statistical baseline forecast.
  • Select the Do not allow gaps in historical data check box to fill any gaps in the historical data with 0 (zero) before the data is passed to the SQL Server Analysis Services. Gaps are forecast buckets that do not contain historical data. For example, a month during which there are no sales for a specific product. For better system performance, clear this check box.
  • On the Item allocation keys tab, you can define demand forecasting parameters that are specific to a particular item allocation key. For example, for an item allocation key that is created for TVs, you can forecast only sales demand.

Forecast reduction for a customer or customer group: You can specify whether a customer forecast is included in the overall forecast. This setting determines how actual demand reduces the forecasted demand. You can use this setting to ensure that master planning covers the supply of items that are purchased by specific customers.

  • If a customer forecast is included in the overall forecast, actual customer demand reduces both the customer forecast and the overall forecast. Master planning generates planned orders to cover only the overall forecast quantity.
  • If a customer forecast is not included in the overall forecast, actual customer demand reduces only the customer forecast. Master planning generates planned orders to cover both the overall forecast quantity and the forecast for each customer quantity.
  • They Include customer forecast in the demand forecast check box is located in the Coverage groups form.

Start time for production scheduling: You can select the start time to schedule production orders.

  • The start time can be the start of the calendar work day or the current time. The current time option is used with the delivery date control and capable to promise (CTP) feature. The Scheduling start time field is located in the Master planning parameters form
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