Introduction

Dynamics 365 for Operations allows you to configure your own Vendor Evaluation Criteria and then track the vendor performance against any or all the criteria that you have defined.

In this worked example we will show how to configure the Vendor Evaluations groups and criteria and how you can record evaluation results against vendors.

Creating Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups

The first step in configuring the Vendor Ratings within Dynamics 365 for Operations is to create some Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups. These will be used to group common sets of evaluation criteria together and allow you to get summary results on the evaluations at the criteria group level.

In this worked example we will show how to set up a set of new Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups.

How to do it…

To do this, open the navigation panel, expand out the Modules group, and click on the Procurement and Sourcing module to see all the menu items that are available. Then click on the Vendor evaluation criteria group menu item within the Vendor folder within the Setup menu group.


Alternatively, you can search for the Vendor evaluation criteria group form by clicking on the search icon in the header of the form (or press ALT+G) and then type in vendor eval into the search box. Then you will be able to select the Vendor evaluation criteria group maintenance form from the dropdown list.


This will open the Vendor evaluation criteria groups maintenance form, and we will see that we don’t have any records yet.


To add your first Vendor evaluation criteria group record, just click on the New button on the menu bar.


Now enter your Criteria Group code in the Name field.

For example, here we set the Name to QUALITY.


Next, give your Criteria Group a more detailed Description.

For example, here we set the Description to Quality Ratings.


Now we can continue and add a few more Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups.

When we are done, we can just exit from the form.


Sample Data

Name Description
OVERALL Overall Evaluation Criteria
SERVICE Service Evaluation
PRICING Pricing Criteria
DELIVERY Delivery Performance
QUALITY Quality Ratings

Creating Vendor Evaluation Criteria

Once you have set up your Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups, you will need to set up some Vendor Evaluation Criteria codes that you will use to rate your vendors.

In this example, we will show how to set up some Vendor Evaluation Criteria.

How to do it…

To do this, open the navigation panel, expand out the Modules group, and click on the Procurement and Sourcing module to see all of the menu items that are available. Then click on the Vendor evaluation criteria menu item within the Vendor folder within the Setup menu group.


Alternatively, you can search for the Vendor evaluation criteria form by clicking on the search icon in the header of the form (or press ALT+G) and then type in vendor eval into the search box. Then you will be able to select the Vendor evaluation criteria maintenance form from the dropdown list.


This will open the Vendor evaluation criteria maintenance form, and we will see that we don’t have any records yet.


To add your first Vendor evaluation criteria record, just click on the New button on the menu bar.


Now enter your Criteria code in the Name field.

For example, here we set the Name to Competitive pricing.


Next, give your Criteria a more detailed Description.

For example, here we set the Description to “The prices paid should be comparable to those of vendors“.


Finally, we will want to assign the Criteria to a Vendor evaluation criteria group.

For example, here we set the Vendor evaluation criteria group to “PRICING“.


Now we can continue and add a few more Vendor Evaluation Criteria records.

When we are done, we can just exit from the form.


Sample Data

Name Description Vendor evaluation criterion group
Sensitive to costs The vendor should demonstrate respect for the customer firm PRICING
Consistency Supplier’s ability to exhibit quality and reliability OVERALL
Cost Total acquisition cost, not just price OVERALL
Cash resources Financial resources and stability of the supplier. Profit OVERALL
Control Effective management control and information systems OVERALL
Commitment Supplier’s willingness to commit physical, intellectual OVERALL
Capacity Supplier’s ability to meet physical, intellectual OVERALL
Competency Managerial, technical, administrative, and professional OVERALL
Problem resolution The vendor should respond in a timely manner to resolve SERVICE
Emergency support Does the vendor provide emergency support for repair SERVICE
Good vendor representatives have sincere desire to serve Vendor reps display courteous and professional approach, and SERVICE
Emergency delivery Does the vendor demonstrate extra effort to meet requirement DELIVERY
Documentation Does the vendor furnish proper documents DELIVERY
Packaging Packaging should be sturdy, suitable, properly marked DELIVERY
Lead time Is the average time for delivery comparable to that of other DELIVERY
Quantity Does the vendor deliver the correct items or services DELIVERY
Technical support Does the vendor provide technical support for maintenance SERVICE
Inside sales Inside sales should display knowledge of buying firms needs SERVICE
Time Does the vendor deliver products and services on time DELIVERY
State-of-the-art product/service Does the vendor offer products and services that are consist QUALITY
Warranty The length and provisions of warranty protection offered QUALITY
Support Is quality support available from the vendor? QUALITY
Durability Is the time until replacement is necessary reasonable? QUALITY
Reliability of repairs Is all repair and rework acceptable? QUALITY
Reliability Is the rate of product failure within reasonable limits? QUALITY
Conformity to specifications The product or service must conform to the specifications id QUALITY
Compliance with purchase order The vendor should comply with terms and conditions as stated QUALITY
Billing Are vendor invoices are accurate? PRICING
Advance notice of price changes The vendor should provide adequate advance notice of price PRICING
Price accuracy There should be a low number of variances from PO’s PRICING
Price stability Prices should be reasonably stable over time PRICING
Competitive pricing The prices paid should be comparable to those of vendors. PRICING

Configuring Vendors for Evaluation

The final step in the setup process is to link the Evaluation Criteria with the Vendors within Dynamics 365 for Operations. This is done through the Procurement Categories.

In this example, we will show how to setup the Evaluation Criteria within the Procurement Categories and how to select the Vendors that you want to evaluate.

How to do it…

To do this, open the navigation panel, expand out the Modules group, and click on the Procurement and Sourcing module to see all the menu items that are available. Then click on the Procurement categories menu item within the Vendors menu group.


Alternatively, you can search for the Procurement categories form by clicking on the search icon in the header of the form (or press ALT+G) and then type in procurement cate into the search box. Then you will be able to select the Procurement categories maintenance form from the dropdown list.


This will open the Procurement categories maintenance form. Here we will see that we have several categories already configured.


Within the Procurement categories maintenance form select the top-level node of your Categories and then open up the Vendor evaluation criteria groups tab within the detail area. Here we will see that there are no evaluation criteria associated with this procurement node.

To associate your Vendor Evaluation criteria groups, click on the Add button in the tabs menu bar.


Select all the Evaluation Criteria Groups that you want the vendors to be measured on, and click on the -> button to add them to the selection box.


After we have done that we can just click on the OK button to return to the main form.


When we return to the Vendor Evaluation Criteria Groups we will be able to see the groups are associated with the procurement category.


Now we will want to associate the vendors that we want to evaluate at this procurement category.

To do this open the Vendors tab within the detail panel and click on the Add button within the tabs menu bar.


This will open an Add vendor dialog panel where we will be able to see all the vendors that we can add to this node.


All we need to do here is select all the vendors that you want to include in the evaluations, and click on the -> button.


This will add the vendors to the procurement category.

When you are finished, just click on the OK button to return to the main form.


You can continue this process for any of the leaf nodes in the Procurement Hierarchy.


Recording Vendor Evaluations

Once the evaluation criteria have been configured, you can start recording the vendor ratings.

In this example, we will show you how you can add Evaluation Ratings to your Vendors.

How to do it…

To do this, return to the Procurement Categories form, select the Procurement category that we have associated the vendors to.

Then select the vendor that you want to record the evaluations against and click on the Evaluations button within the tabs menu bar.


This will open the Vendor evaluation maintenance form with all the Evaluation Criteria Groups listed on the left, and all the Evaluation Criteria for that group on the right.


To update any of the vendor ratings, just select the rating for the criteria that you want to update and select the rating that you would like to apply.


Continue this process for all the evaluation criteria that you want to report on.


Repeat this for all the Criteria Evaluation Groups.

Notice that the Average Rating for the Evaluation Criteria Group will change as you enter in the results.

Once we have finished, we can just exit out of the form.


Conclusion

The Vendor Evaluation Criteria is a little hidden gem within Dynamics 365 for Operations. It allows you to start recording subjective ratings against the vendors and track the overall rating for the vendor based on performance.


There are times where you want to create alerts or notifications triggered off the data within Dynamics 365 for Operations. There are a number of different ways that you can do this, but one of the simplest ways to do this is through Flow which allows you to create simple integration points that trigger other events that you may want to chain off the data. All of this can be done without even having to resort to a single line of code, and also without touching the base Dynamics 365 for Operations functionality.

In this walkthrough we will show an example of how you can take advantage of Flow to create a simple email alert that is triggered off the creation of a new customer within the system.

Topics Covered

  • Create a new Entity within the Common Data Service
  • Creating a Flow to Add Operations Customers to the Customer Accounts Entity
  • Submitting the Flow to the Template Gallery
  • Viewing the Customer Accounts Entity Data
  • Creating an Email Notification Flow triggered on New Customers Being Added
  • Seeing it in Action

Read More

Recently I came across a problem where I realized that all of the e-mail addresses within my system were incorrect. The default email addresses that come with the demo environment are @contoso.com, and my demo tenant has the domain name of @contosoeastfoxtrot.onmicrosoft.com.

I wanted to change them all so that when I try to skype any of the other employees in the demo system, that all of them would work. I could have been minimalistic and just change one of the users, but if you are going to do a job, then you should do it right.

But editing each of the 500+ user accounts seemed a little bit daunting,

Luckily Dynamics 365 for Operations allows me to update the database through Excel, and if there isn’t a default template that I can get my hands on right away, that’s not a problem because we can make a new one on the fly.

In this article we will show how you can do this and make updating mass amounts of data a breeze.

How to do it…

So here is the problem – I don’t want to open up each and every worker record in order to make a quick change to their email account.


So we will want to create an Excel template that allows us to perform a mass update.

To do this open up the Organization administration menu and click on the Excel workbook designer menu item within the Office Integration menu group.


This will open up the Excel workbook designer utility and we will be able to see all of the different entities that we can create templates for.


To find the right entity we can just filter them out by typing in a search term into the filter box. The contact information is associated with the Party entities so we just type in party and we will be able to find the PartyContact entity which stores all of the phone numbers and email addresses for the contacts.


We will just select all of the fields from the Available fields list and put them in the Selected fields column.


Then all we need to do is click on the Create workbook link within the menu bar. This will allow us to choose where we want to save the file. For this example we will just create a local copy and select the Download option.


Within a couple of seconds Excel will open and we will see all of the fields that we selected from the entity. To make this live we just need to click on the Enable Editing button.


Next thing you know we will have access to all of the contact information that is stored within Dynamics. Since this is Excel we can just do a global search and replace for the domain name that we want to change and after updating the records within Excel we can click on the Publish link in the Microsoft Dynamics Excel Connector panel and all of the changed records will be pushed back to the Dynamics system.


Review

This is a super useful tool to have in your back pocket. There are always times that you want to make mass updates to data within Dynamics and being able to have a direct link through Excel is a great way to do this. You can save a lot of time, and also reduce your chances of getting an RSI through repetitive updates to records.

How cool is that!


As we have started to upgrade all of the Bare Cones Configuration Guide series to Dynamics 365 for Operations, we forgot that you all might want to know how to deploy out a new training environment through Lifecycle Service so that you can start this new journey of learning as well.

So as a result we sat down and created that guide just for you all. If you want to check it out here are all of the details.

BBCG.01.01.D365.1.D: Configuring a new Dynamics 365 for Operations Training Environment
Module 1: Creating a new Environment through Lifecycle Services

Creating a new demonstration or training environment for Dynamics 365 for Operations depends on you having an Office 365 tenant for authentication, and also for managing users etc.

Once you have your new Office 365 tenant you can then access Lifecycle Services, create a Dynamics 365 project and then deploy out a new Dynamics 365 for Operations environment that is linked to your Azure account.

In this walkthrough we will show you how to do this so that you can start your demonstration and training environments out the right way.

Topics Covered

  • Creating a new Lifecycle Services project
  • Link your Azure Subscription
  • Deploying a Dynamics 365 Environment
  • Logging into Dynamics 365 for Operations

If you are interesting in checking this guide out then here is the link to the digital version of the guide: http://bit.ly/2gMcZmU

If you are a premium subscriber then remember, you can download this guide for free.

Additionally, we have made this guide available as a PowerPoint which the industrious ones of this group can use as the basis for your own training and education programs. The PowerPoint version contains the same content as the guide except you can edit any of the content and also update any of the formatting to private brand it to your own organization.

To check out the PowerPoint version of the training guide, then click on this link: http://bit.ly/2gbEGoa

If you want to see all of the guides that show you how to set up a training environment for Dynamics 365 for Operations, and also Dynamics AX 2012 then just click here and you will be taken to the resource page with all of the different content including sample data to help you with the project: http://bit.ly/2gK4nzC

If you are really up for a challenge then you may want to take on the Bare Bones Configuration Challenge. You can start with this guide and as we start releasing out the other 15 guides in the series then you can work through them as well. These guides will teach you how to configure a bare bones installation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 from scratch. If you complete all sixteen modules then you will become a Bare Bones Configuration Privateer and we will send you a badge to prove it.

If you want all of the content on the site and all of the new content that we are delivering then you may want to think about signing up for a Premium Membership. Once you have that you can plunder the entire site and download any of the books at any time. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/2fYMgTW

Watch out for use to release more modules as we get them finished over the next weeks.

This week we have started working on our next project for the Bare Cones Configuration Guide series, which has been to start uplifting the Configuring the General Ledger guide from the Dynamics AX 2012 version to the Dynamics 365 for Operations release. Rather than wait to finish all of the 8 chapters before releasing out this content we have decided to release them out individually as we get them finished.

We are happy to say that the first module for the General Ledger is available and if you want to check it out here are all of the details.

BBCG03: Configuring the General Ledger within Dynamics 365 for Operations
MODULE 1: Configuring the General Ledger Controls

Before we can start posting to the General Ledger, there is a little bit of housekeeping that we need to do in order to set up all of the codes and controls. We need to configure our accounts that we will want to use within the ledger, set up our chart of accounts and also configure some of the defaults for posting to the ledger.

In this guide we will step you through the initial configuration of the General Ledger so that you can then start using it.

Topics Covered

  • Adding Currency Codes
  • Configuring the System Parameters
  • Adding additional Main Account Categories
  • Importing Main Account Categories through the Excel Add-In
  • Configuring a new Chart of Accounts
  • Adding a new Main Account to the Chart of Accounts
  • Creating a Main Account Import Template
  • Populating the Import Template
  • Configuring Account Structures
  • Creating a new Fiscal Calendar
  • Configuring a Company Ledger
  • Configuring the Accounts for Automatic Transactions

This module actually shrank a little from the AX 2012 version because of the improved way that we can import data from Excel and even create custom import templates using the Workbook Designer. That feature by itself is worth a peek at this guide.

If you are interesting in checking this guide out (or the earlier versions like the one for AX 2012) then here is a link to the all of the versions of this guide: http://bit.ly/2gHSjjv

If you are really up for a challenge then you may want to take on the Bare Bones Configuration Challenge. You can start with this guide and as we start releasing out the other 15 guides in the series then you can work through them as well. These guides will teach you how to configure a bare bones installation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 from scratch. If you complete all sixteen modules then you will become a Bare Bones Configuration Privateer and we will send you a badge to prove it.

Or if you want to go retro then you can do exactly the same thing with Dynamics AX 2012 – all of the guides are already available.

Also, if you want all of the content on the site and all of the new content that we are delivering then you may want to think about signing up for a Premium Membership. Once you have that you can plunder the entire site and download any of the books at any time. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/2fYMgTW

Watch out for use to release more modules as we get them finished over the next weeks.

In the past importing data into Microsoft Dynamics has been a little bit of work. The Data Management tools within Dynamics 365 for Operations makes it a little easier to package data up into data sets.

But if we want an easier way to import in data then there is a second option which is the Excel Workbook Designer which allows us to create Excel templates directly from the data entities and then use them to access and even import data within minutes.

In this walkthrough we will show how you can use this feature to do this by creating an import template that imports in Main Accounts in to the ledger.

Creating a Main Account Import Template

The first thing that we will want to do is create a new Excel Workbook that we will use to import in the data. Luckily this is a super simple task.

How to do it…

To do this, open up the navigation panel, expand out the Modules group, and click on the Organization administration module and click on the Excel workbook designer menu item within the Office integration subgroup of the Setup menu group.


Alternatively you can search for the Excel workbook designer form by clicking on the search icon in the header of the form (or press ALT+G) and then type in excel into the search box. Then you will be able to select the Excel workbook designer maintenance form from the dropdown list.

This will open up the Workbook designer form listing all of the data entities that we can create template from.


We want to create an import template for the Main account data entity so we will start off by filtering down the entities by typing in main into the filter box.

That will filter out most of the data entities and then we will be able to select the MainAccount data entity.

Also within the Available fields list box we will see all of the fields from the entity that we can use within our import template.

Start off by selecting the Chart of accounts field and click on the right arrow button.


This will move the Chart of accounts field over to the Selected fields list box.


Then add the Main account, Name, Main account type and Main account category fields over to the Selected fields list.

Now that we have all of the fields that we need to set up the Main Accounts we can click on the Open workbook link within the menu bar.


When the Open in Excel panel is displayed we will then be asked where we want to save the file to.

In this example we will just download the file locally and click on the Download button.


This will open up a dialog box and allow us to save the Excel file locally, or just open it up. In this example we just click on the Open option.


This will then open up the Excel template for us. In order to see all of the data and also use the Office Add-In you may be asked to Enable Editing buy clicking on the button in the header.


The add-in will now link up with Microsoft Dynamics, retrieve all of the metadata for the Main Account entity and then retrieve all of the data for the entity as well.

We can now see all of the data within Excel that we had within the main interface.


Populating the Import Template

Now we have a template that we can use for the import. All that is left to do before we start importing in all of our Main Accounts is to fill in all of the data into the template.

How to do it…

Step 1: Open the Main Account template

To do this we will return back to our Excel workbook and refresh the connection.


Step 2: Enter in the Main Accounts and save the file

Now can now enter in all of your main accounts into the templates columns.

If you want to use a standard set of main accounts, then we have made this a little simpler and have created a CSV file with all of the necessary Main Accounts that will be used throughout these guides. We have posted them on the Dynamics AX Companions (http://www.dynamicscompanions.com) site. If you don’t want to manually enter in a few hundred accounts, then just download this version them and then copy and paste the data over into the import worksheet.


To update the Main Accounts within Microsoft Dynamics, all we have to do is click on the Publish link within the Office Add-In.


When we return back tour Chart of accounts we will now see that all of the Main accounts have been added to our Standard
Chart of accounts.


Conclusion

This is a huge improvement over what we used to have to do in order to import in data. We don’t have to even create the connections within Excel, the Worksheet designer does all of this for us.

How cool is that!


Office Teams are a great new collaboration tool that we can take advantage of within Office 365, and if we are using Office Groups then we can convert them into Teams and start taking advantage of the collaboration that it adds, but still take advantage of the Groups at the same time.

In this walkthrough we will show how you can start doing this.

Prepping your Office 365 Group for Teams

Public Groups cannot be converted into Teams, but Private ones can. So the first thing that we need to do is to make sure that the Group that we want to convert is a Private group.

How to do it…

To do this start off by opening up the Office Group that you want to make available as a Team.


Then click on link on the group and select the Edit group option.


And then when the Edit group panel is displayed, check that the Privacy setting is set to Private – Only approved members can see what’s inside.

Then click on the Save button to close the panel.


Review

Once we have made sure that the Group is Private we can move on.

Converting an Office Group to a Team

Now that we have a Private team we can convert it to an Office Team.

How to do it…

To do this, open up Teams and then click on the Create team button in the bottom left of the screen.


When the Create your team form is displayed, rather than creating a team from scratch, click on the Yes, add Microsoft Team Functionality link at the bottom of the form.


This will open up a list of all the Groups that you can enable through Teams and then click on the Choose team.


That will then make the Group show up in the Team list.


Review

How cool is that. Now we can access the Group, or collaborate within a Team.

Moving files to Your Team Channel

One piece of housekeeping that we need to take care of after we have surfaced the Group as a Team is to move any files that you have stored away within the group. The file structure will change a little with each conversation creating a folder within the group files. So to make them available within Teams we just need to move them a little.

How to do it…

For example when we create the team then by default a General conversation is created.


If we swap over to the Group we will see that there is a folder for the General Conversation.


If we have any files then just click on the option button for the file and then click on the Move to link.


This will open the Move options panel and we can select the conversation folder that we want to move the file to.


Then click on the Move here button.


That will move the file to the conversation.


Review

All you need to do is move any other files over to any other conversations that you have.

Summary

How cool is this – Teams supercharge the Groups functionality.