Part 2: How do you need to reserve using Dynamics NAV reservations?

So first question really should be, in what circumstances should you reserve? Well Microsoft give you the option of always, optional or never against either the account or the item. None of these are the right answer for me.  Which customer is so important that you want to reserve everything for (down to the smallest item that you always have millions of because they cost next to nothing), so the common scenario is that you leave the customers on their default of optional and set it on the item.

So which items? Well obviously ones which are either in constrained supply or/and high value. But what happens in those periods where you have plenty, are you complicating things for no reason?

I would advise that ideally you want to reserve based on time not just a straight yes or no. The system should be making the decision if you need to reserve for you not leaving it to the operator, as the optional setting suggests.

To explain let me use the most straightforward example of a sales order. If the date requested for that item is three months in the future and my lead time for purchasing or manufacturing the item is just two weeks then why do I want to reserve it? I can sell or use the inventory that I have for another customer and still replenish this requirement with plenty of time to spare.

If however the items need to be supplied in a just one week’s time then I need to reserve them when the sales order goes on in order to keep my commitment to the customer. Making sure that no other sales order with a requested date on just a couple of days ‘nicks’ the stock before it is picked ready for shipment.

This means that the inventory that you do have can be worked to satisfy as many customers as possible and maximises your ability to be on time in full shipments, while enabling you to keep your inventory levels as lean as you need them to be these days.

Does Dynamics NAV do reservations based on the items lead time window? No, not as standard but it’s not a huge customisation to make a sales line apply the timing criteria before it invokes the standard reservation routines. In addition you have to schedule a process, typically overnight, that looks at sales orders (or other demand) that have now come into the ‘lead time window’ for an item and reserves it.


This post is part of a 6-part series. A link to rest of the posts in this series are below (updated as published);

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]

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