By Scott Hamilton, Consultant and Author
Editor's Note: The following
article is drawn from Scott's
new book covering process industry
capabilities within Dynamics AX 2012, and represents an extension of his previous column
about "what's different in AX 2012".
Many AX solution
architects may not be familiar with the process industry capabilities within
Microsoft Dynamics AX, especially the newest updates in AX 2012. Two of the basic questions facing AX
solution architects are "What's different about the process industry
capabilities?" and "How can I learn it as quickly as possible?" I have tried to answer these questions across
the past year of prior research for my new book about Dynamics AX 2012.
One of my goals was to
help knowledgeable AX professionals quantify, plan, and streamline their
incremental learning about the process industry capabilities of AX 2012 by
building on what they already know. In
particular, I wanted to provide a rough measure of the nature and magnitude of
supply chain management functionality for process manufacturing and
distribution firms, as well as a detailed list of these changes so you can
selectively review the extended explanations.
article focuses on the specific feature areas where you will most benefit from
incremental learning if you are not yet familiar with the process industry
capabilities of Dynamics AX. However,
for readers already familiar with these capabilities in AX 2009, the
capabilities are largely the same in AX 2012.
The slight changes reflect much tighter integration and build on the AX
2012 functionality for enterprise- versus company-level information for an
item. As one example, you designate a
catch weight item as part of the enterprise-level information, and the related
policies (such as a nominal weight and an allowable weight range) as
company-level information. There are
also a number of smaller changes, including the designation of an item's
production type (such as a formula item or planning item) and a new approach to
the cost calculations for co-products.
But for anyone new to AX 2012, a helpful
starting point for building up your knowledge involves a rough measure about
the magnitude of functionality within standard AX versus the process industry
capabilities. One rough measure can be
based on a page count analysis of my new book to indicate the proportionate
amount of functionality, which reflects an extension of my previous analysis
about what's different in AX 2012.
The heat map
displayed in Figure B.2 summarizes the book topics, and a bar chart portrayal
of standard functionality (shown in light grey), the incremental
functionality for process industries (shown in dark grey), and the new AX 2012 functionality
applicable to both (shown in white). The entire length of a bar represents a
complete walkthrough of the topic using AX 2012, so you get a proportionate
sense of magnitude.
Figure B.2 Heat Map for Incremental Learning of Process Industry
As you can see by the yardsticks within Figure B.2, the magnitude
of standard versus process industry functionality varies by topic. For example, the largest proportional differences
involve formula information, catch weight items, batch tracking considerations,
sales order processing and batch/production orders. As illustrative detail, the unique aspects of
formula information include a formula size, multiple and yield percentage as
part of an item's formula version policies, substitute ingredients, co-products,
by-products, planning items, different approaches for defining an ingredient's
requirements, and support for bulk/pack production and catch weight items.
apply to this heat map. First, the
topics reflect supply chain management and do not include accounting/human
resources and software development/system administration. This caveat reflects the scope of book topics
described at the beginning of the book. Second,
the topics reflect the process industry context of food products. The heat map for another context such as chemical
products would be slightly different.
However, the topics do reflect a reasonably complete summary of the
process industry capabilities. With
these limitations in mind, the analysis can still provide rough yardsticks of incremental
In summary, the rough yardsticks of
incremental change suggest that the process industry capabilities represent an
approximate 17% change to the embedded conceptual models within standard AX, so
that you can build on what you already know.
A comprehensive list
of the process industry capabilities within AX 2012, and the extended
explanations to assist your incremental learning, are provided in the new book.
similar heat map in a previous
article covered the incremental learning of process industry capabilities
within AX 2009, and provided similar results.
Other Microsoft Sites
I'm a Customer
I'm a Partner
Use the official Twitter tags:
#MSDYNCOMM | #CONV13