We are only days away from the official launch of the R3 Release of Dynamics AX, and it is chock full of new functionality. Everyone has been talking about the new Warehouse and Transportation Management functions that are included in this new release, but if that’s not the half of it. There is so much more that you should be looking forward to, and here is a quick review of some of the other features that you should watch out for.
Customer Service & Retail
There are a whole slew of new features that you should be watching out for with regards to customer service, and although they are labeled as Retail enhancements, everyone should be able to take advantage of them. The new Call Center area page is one of my most favorite features because it has new features for the customer service people to make their life so much easier. It includes new functionality like:
- Order Holds – Allowing you to place orders on user definable holds that can remove or retain inventory reservations. So if an order is marked as fraudulent then it may be immediately suspended and send to the Fraud department, or if the customer just wants you to hold off on processing the order until they confirm the details then you can suspend the transaction until they drop you a note to release it, or if the customer is placed on credit hold then they can have their orders suspended, and then release all inventory commitments until they pay their bills. And all of this is managed through a new nifty Credit holds Workbench.
- Customer Service – Another new screen that you will probably want to take advantage of right away is the Customer Service Workbench. This is a new screen that the Customer Service group can use when working with customers because it allows the users to search quickly for customer account information using keywords like the phone number, email address, customer account etc.
Additionally though this screen becomes a one stop shop for the customer service representative to see all of the information relating to the customer including all of their past sales orders, invoices, and also archived orders. So when the customer calls up then you immediately can just click on their transactions and start helping them.
- Coupons & Gift Cards – Now you can also track coupons and gift cards against customers through loyalty programs. You don’t have to be a mass retailer to take advantage of these features either, because this makes the tracking of balances a synch.
Supply Chain Management
There are a lot of new features within the operations side of the application as well that you will probably want to take advantage of as well that will make your life just a little bit easier. One of the cooler features is the inbuilt statistical forecasting that has been lacking for a while within Dynamics AX.
- Forecast Management Through Excel – There is now a function in Dynamics AX that will create forecasts for you based on statistical models and then allow you to update the models using pivot tables within Excel. This allows you to slice and dice your forecasts every which way you can think of, aggregate and update the values through excel, and then publish them back to Dynamics AX as forecasts. This is a much easier way to update forecasts than what I used to do through the Excel Add-In.
The procurement module has a few extra bells and whistles as well that will be useful for everyone. One area that I am particularly excited about is within the Request For Quotation area of Dynamics AX.
- RFQ Ranking – Now you are able to rank responses based on the evaluation criteria that you can record against your vendors. This makes the rating system within Dynamics even more useful because it integrates directly into the selection process.
- Open Registration – A new feature that is also part of the vendor portal is the ability for the vendors to respond to RFQ’s even if they have not been explicitly invited to respond to your solicitation. That way, you can let the vendors search through their vendor portal for RFQ’s that they want to respond to and you can just wait for the offers to roll on in.
Another new area within Dynamics AX is the Trade Management area. This is a very cool addition to Dynamics AX and improves the pricing capabilities to include Rebates and Allowances. In addition it includes features like the deduction management and reconciliation.
- Deductions Management Workbench – One of the major headaches for the Accounts Receivable department is probably handling deductions from the customer payments, and also reconciling them back to promotions and agreements. This is made a lot easier through the Deductions Management and the Deductions Management workbench. Now when cash is received, the user is able just to write off any remaining dollar amounts as a deduction, clearing the invoice through the deduction offset, and then the deduction is moved to a deduction workbench. From there, the deduction may be investigated, and then wither approved, denied, or split into multiple deductions for analysis. If the deductions are valid and can be lined to trade promotions then you can do that from here as well.
These are far from an exhaustive list of all the new features that you should look out for within the R3 release, but they are some of the exciting ones that you can take advantage of right now.
Drop me a note with your favorite additions while you explore the R3 release yourself. I would love to hear them.