I am currently experimenting with automatic replenishment of picking locations in AX2009 - Advanced Warehouse Module - and I've come across a behavior that I do not understand. According to my tests, Axapta will only generate pallet transport orders one pallet at a time for replenishment. Let's illustrate this by an exemple:
The picking location for item A is set for a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 1000. We use pallets to identify carton boxes in the warehouse and a full pallet contains 100 item A (maximum pallet quantity). The current available quantity in the picking location is 600. If I pick 300 in the picking location, the available quantity becomes 200 below the minimum, and a pallet transport is generated to transport only one pallet of 100 from storage to the picking location. It is only when I complete the transport that a second pallet transport of 100 is generated again to reach the minimum. Moreover, as long as a pallet transport to the picking location exists (that is to say, generated but not yet completed), any further picking will not generate automatic replenishment via new pallet transports.
In our case, we would like the replenishment team to be able to group pallet transports in order to move several pallets in one time for replenishment of a picking location. The behavior I described above does not fit this requirement, and I find it surprising that Axapta does not allow multiple pallet transports for replenishments. What are the incentives for such a restriction? Is there a specific setting somewhere to override this?
Thank you for your kind help!
Still no answer?
I can't offer much advice on the subject as I have not used WMS deeply but what I've inferred from the base AX documentation is that it is not very tooled for batching pallet processes. I can only imagine that it is built with the idea that a forklift can move one true pallet at a time which (I think) is generally the case. However, I can see the dillema this presents if you are using pallets for other storage uses like cartons (which is suggested in the manuals) in which case you could move many at a time. We also use box cartons but have have not used the pallets to model them (at least not yet) though if we did, we would have the same requirement. I would imagine that this would be a customization or something that a more advanced 3rd party WMS might provide as they typically pick up where WMSII left off.
I would be interested to know if you come up with a solution for this.
Thanks for your insight on this issue. I've come up to the same conclusions regarding the way pallets are supposed to be used in Dynamics AX, that is to say as a single unit that can be moved by a forklift at a time. I have found that my concerns are usually dealt with by third party vendors under the term "license plate" identification as opposed to "pallet" identification. You can have a look at the WM&Distribution solution proposed by To-Increase, which would apparently allow the unique identification of each carton box independently from its pallet. Any further explanation by anyone working for or with this product would by the way be greatly appreciated in this post. :)
As far as I am concerned, I have continued to work using one pallet id per carton box with all the limitations it implies so far. Moreover, I've created a small patch to override AX standard limitations on the maximum number of pallets to move for one replenishment order. This allows AX to loop on the refill pallet selection process until the total item quantity to be moved reaches the maximum set for the item in the picking location. However, given Microsoft's model choices concerning pallets, this fix could be eventually dangerous or slow down some processes if used on a live environment. For now, I just keep it on the side, until I can be 100% assured that this will not conflict with the rest of the software.
Historically, the functionality of automatic replenishment leverages big parts of the functionality from the manual refilling of a picking location.
When warehouse workers (pickers) manually request a refill of a picking location they have no way of knowing if a colleague has just recently ordered a refill, which hasn’t been completed yet. For that reason the system allows only 1 refill transport to be active at a time
In the same time you can of course have more registered refill transports (but not active).
I also think your case is kind of special. Because typically there are much more quantities are stored in the bulk areas and you can refill picking location with one transport in one go.
Hope this clarifies system behavior.