by Nicholas Jackson, TrinSoft Senior Dynamics Consultant
TrinSoft exists to “provide value to organizations by using technology to solve business challenges…” This series of blog posts details some of the many customizations (often called extensions) TrinSoft has made to Business Central to fit our clients’ needs, solving simple and complex business challenges.
Current supply chain issues across the globe are creating shortages in materials and supplies for organizations. Even in normal times, there are item restrictions that cause limited inventory on frequently sold items. In a competitive sales environment, salespeople will take any advantage they have, including selling an entire quantity of a given item, often before it even arrives. This competitiveness is an attribute that should be fostered, but restrictions should exist to prevent overselling by certain salespeople. Many ERPs, including Dynamics 365 Business Central, do not support this out of the box.
TrinSoft has built an extension called “Inventory Allocation” on top of the Business Central platform. At its most simple level, this extension limits the quantity an individual salesperson can sell of a given item on a given day. Daily, the managers allocate quantities of any item to any salespeople, giving them the max quantity to sell for that day.
Here are a few features of this extension:
Managers can set which items do and do not require allocation. A flag has been added to the item card called “Requires Allocation”:
This feature allows the managers to skip certain items during the allocation process, allowing salespeople to sell as many of these items as they wish, while limiting access to new and hot items.
Each day has its own allocation template. In that day’s allocation template, the sales managers review a list of items that require allocation. The system pulls a list of all items that require allocation and have a quantity available (quantity on hand minus quantity on sales order) greater than zero. Each of these items is listed as a rows on the allocation template page.
Across the columns will be each salesperson’s name. The sales manager will simply enter the quantity of that item each salesperson can sell.
While filling out a template, the sales manager may determine that an item which usually requires allocation may not need it, in efforts to clear out backstock. On the allocation template, the manager has the option to check a box called “Unallocated” which disables allocation for that given day for that particular item but will still need the “Requires Allocation” flag on for the item for future dates.
If a salesperson tries to release a sales order with a quantity greater than what is allocated to them, the user receives a warning, stating that a sales manager must release this order. A user with a special permission set can then go in and release the order anyways even though the quantity is over the allocated amount. Upon doing so, a log entry will be made to the “Inventory Allocation Override Ledger” which records who approved what and when it was approved.
Filtered Lists for Salespeople
Salespeople will often want to know what has been allocated to them for that day. If a sales manager opens the “Dimension Allocation” page, they will see all salespeople for a given location. However, if a salesperson opens the “Dimension Allocation” page, they will only see the allocation quantities assigned to them.
Filling out these templates may be a laborious task, especially if there are hundreds of items allocated to a dozen different salespeople. To help alleviate this, the extension includes a “Copy Allocation” function which copies the lines from the previous day to the current day, giving the sales managers a head start on daily allocation.
These are just a few of the features for the “Inventory Allocation” extension we have for our clients. This extension allows sales managers to encourage competition between salespeople while still providing a level playing field.
Are you and your sales staff being restricted by the global supply chain issues? Do you have a highly competitive sales team that could benefit from this extension? Contact TrinSoft today for a free consultation to see how this extension can benefit your organization!