AX 2012 Product Information Management Conceptual Overview
In AX 2012 Item Master is not just a master under the Inventory Management Module. It is part different module called “Product Information Management”. There has been significant change both technically & functionality.
Product information management in AX 2012 targets the creation and maintenance of an Enterprise Products Repository. It supports larger organizations in a centralized structured approach in creating and maintaining core master data such as product definitions. Smaller organizations that require a more decentralized approach can, with some restrictions, create and maintain their products while they are automatically added to the shared products repository.
For e.g. AX 2012 supports following enterprise scenario
As depicted on the above chart is the typical Enterprise Product Lifecycle which determine the following
1) Enterprise Level Base Product Data
2) Release Product to Legal Entities
3) Legal entity Specific Product Master
4) Finalize Product for Sales / Purchase Transaction
1) Enterprise Level Base Product Data: AX 2012 supports defining the Enterprise Level Base Product Data which includes base definition of the product to identify product uniquely and does not have any variants / pricing component attached to it as it varies at each legal entity level. Base product data act as a central repository for the enterprise and it cannot be used for any sales / purchase / inventory transactions until released to legal entities. As AX 2012 has support for Single world-wide instance Base Product Master can be defined at the corporate level (shared company level in AX 2012) and released to each legal entity on need basis in centralized environment. In Decentralized environment products can be created directly as released products under the legal entities.
AX 2012 classifies Base Product by “Product Sub Type” field under the products screen.
When “Product Sub Type = Product” system allows only following options to be added to product and no variants can be added.
a) Translations – Product Descriptions & Multi Lingual conversion for description
b) Dimension Group – Attach Predefined Dimension Group
c) Product Attributes – Attach Product Attributes
d) Product Image
e) Product Categories
f) Related Products
g) Unit Conversions
When “Product Sub type = Product Master” System allows adding additional of variants & dimensions to the product.
h) Product Variants
i) Product Dimensions
Note: Please don’t get confused between a ‘Product’ and ‘Product Master’; they are two different product types in AX 2012.
Users can assign Product ‘Dimension Group’ to ‘Product Master’ but can’t assign ‘Dimension Group’ to ‘Product’. ‘Product’ is a unique item which doesn’t have any variants. One should be very careful while defining the product sub type as this cannot be changed after master is defined. Only option will be to delete and re-create the product provided there does not exist any transactions.
Options a to i will be covered in detail on upcoming posts.
Base Product Can be created in a following way
Step 1 – Navigate to Product Information Management -> Common -> Products -> Product or Product Master
AX 2012 classifies Base Product by “Product Sub Type” field under the products screen.
Step 2 – On Products Screen Click on “Product Button” under “New” Section
AX 2012 restricts Base Product Master only to the following options. System does not allow defining any other options such as “Purchase”, “Sell”, “Plan”, “Manage Inventory” etc. We will see about these options in detail on released products section.
2) Release Product to Legal Entities: In AX 2012 Base products can be release to the legal entities on need basis using the Release Product function. When Product is released it is attached to the required legal entity and this authorizes the product setup in a legal entity. System allows releasing single / multiple products at a given point of time. When product is release it is available only to the legal entity however it still cannot be transacted under purchase / sales / inventory.
Products can also be release to more than 1 legal entity. When product is released system allows defining the following options
c) Manage Inventory
f) Manage Projects
g) Manage Costs
Adding above options will make products specific to legal entity. Options a to i will be covered in detail on upcoming posts.
If there is an error during the released product process, the product will be displayed in the Product information management > Open product releases form. For example, you will receive an error if you release a product variant that already exists in the legal entity.
From the Open product releases form, you can view all open product release sessions, view the error, change the session, and initiate the release. A session is deleted if there are no more existing errors. Product can be released to Legal entity on the following way.
Step 1 – Navigate to Product Information Management -> Common -> Products -> Product
Click on Release Products button and select product and product variants to be released. Note:- to release more than 1 product at a time select multiple products and click on release button.
Select companies (Legal Entity) to which product should be released.
Note: Be careful while releasing products to companies (Legal Entity) as once product is released it cannot be un-released or taken back.
Click ok and to have better performance in case of multiple product release please select the batch job and schedule release as part of batch job.
Step 1 – Navigate to Product Information Management -> Common -> Products -> Released Product
You will notice lot more fields while creating new released products when compare to Product master.
3) Legal Entities Specific Product Master: In AX 2012 products can be specialized by Legal entities by adding several Options to the product.
a) Purchase – Use this option tab to specialize product for procurement process and includes Purchase Prices, Trade Agreements, View Open Purchase Orders & Supply Overview, Define Invoice Matching policy and price tolerances, Supplementary items and vendor external description, Approved vendors.
b) Sell – Use this option tab to specialize product for selling process and includes Sales Price, Trade Agreements, ATP Information & Open Sales Orders, customer external description & commission calculation, Supplementary Items.
c) Manage Inventory – User this option tab to specialize product for Site Settings, Order Settings, Warehouse Items Strategy, Product Bar codes, Quality Management & Non Conformance, Compliance Regulated Products, Restrict Products and Batch Attributes.
d) Engineer – Use this option tab to specialize product for Manufacturing (Production) purpose such as Bill Of Materials Definition, Bill Of Materials Designer, Formula Definition for process manufacturing, Define Report as Finished & Max Report as Finished.
e) Plan – Use this option tab to specialize product for Planning purpose such as Supply Schedule, Forecasting – Demand, Supply & Inventory, Item Coverage, Default Order & Site Settings, Net Requirements & Gross Requirements
f) Project – Use this option tab to specialize product for managing Projects & Project Costs
g) Manage Cost – Use this option tab to specialize product for defining the Standard cost for the product, applicable only when product costing model is defined as Standard Cost.
h) Retail – Use this option tab to specialize product for defining the Retail such as Shelf & Product labels, Linked Products, Check Product for Retail, Competitor prices and Price List.
i) General – Use this option tab to specialize product for defining general settings for a product such as Maintain & Manage exception through cases, Share & Send data through AIF, Setup Product Presentations through enterprise Portal.
4) Finalize Product for Transaction: In AX 2012 once products are released it needs to be validated to make sure that it can be used in transactions such as Sales, Purchase & Inventory. When validated system check for the following
a) Item Model Group
b) Item Group
c) Storage Dimension Group (only for Product Master)
d) Tracking Dimension Group (only for Product Master)
If any of these fields missing system validates and display error message.
Setup Dimensions Group and validate again.
Dimensions & Model Groups for released product can be applied from Templates.
If Template does not exist, create a new template from any existing items
On Edit Mode Click on Template and enter Template name.
2 types of template can be created
a) Create Personal Template – Visible Only for current logged in user
b) Create Shared Template – Visible for all the users among the company.
Swaps “If you think you can….you can”