Dynamics 365 Field Service is part of the broader Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service platform, which provides an optimized solution to facilitate on-site service deliveries and enhanced customer experience.
The Dynamics 365 Field Service is a SaaS application with several features, including inventory management, automated and optimized scheduling, IoT integration, and more to help technicians provide quick fixes on the first try. It is an efficient tool that can significantly boost your team’s productivity, on-site customer service operations and enforce SLAs effectively.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management
The Dynamics 365 Field service inventory management is a specialized feature provided by the Dynamics 365 Field service solution that efficiently manages your assets and tracks asset movement and related work orders. It helps reduce the costs associated with each service operation making sure you make the best use of your existing inventory. Some benefits of employing the Field Service Inventory Management include:
- Inventory measurement at all levels including truck, depot, and warehouse
- Automated inventory management can be configured based on field use, transfers, new purchases, replacements, returns, and so on.
- Efficient inventory forecasting and cost management
- Integration with IoT for implementing connected inventory and automated work order management
Types Of Inventories Supported By Dynamics 365 Field Service
As mentioned earlier, you can work with inventory from all different levels using the Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management. It allows you to efficiently keep track of all your assets in transit or warehouses.
- On-road inventory management
A truck inventory can be managed by creating a warehouse entity and attaching it to your truck details. You can store all details regarding the transaction history, equipment, and items used by the technicians at the customer site.
Technicians can quickly add items to a work order and get accurate billing for every service operation performed on-site. The integration with mobile devices allows for greater mobility and ease of use, further enhancing the speed of on-site services and work order closures.
The centralized 360-degree data views allow for quick adjustments if required. For instance, if a service technician needs a particular item, he can quickly get the details of any nearby technician or truck with the said item in possession, contact them and get it assigned to his work order for quicker issue resolution on the go.
- Warehouse inventory
Every item in your warehouse can be accounted for by adding it to your warehouse inventory with all the relevant details. For every new item purchased, warehouse managers can create a purchase order and track its progress from approval to final installation at the customer site.
Your entire supply chain management can be optimized as every return or replacement is properly tracked.
Inventory And Purchasing Settings
The key capabilities of the Field Service Inventory Management include being able to create inventory entries and quickly connecting them with work orders. You are allowed to configure the settings for each item to help track its life cycle efficiently.
To manage inventory from your Dynamics 365 app, access the Field Service App from My Apps > Field Service App and navigate to the Field Service settings. You will be able to view all the settings, among which you will have to select the Inventory and Purchase settings for inventory management.
The sub-settings available with the inventory and purchasing settings are:
- Products – Details about each item
- Price lists – Associated pricing and billing information
- Warehouses – A warehouse is any location that holds company inventory. It can be a static physical building or a mobile truck in transit. Warehouse, trucks, distribution centers, and loading docks will all be treated as a warehouse entity.
- Purchased order substates – The state of a purchase order such as on order, in stock, in transit, in use, return, and more.
- RMA sub-statuses – Refers to the Return merchandise authorizations states
- RTV Sub-statuses – Return to Vendor operation sub-stauses
- Ship via. – Used to specify the various shipping methods to be used when initiating a Field Service RMA.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: What Can We Do?
A lot of inventory management operations can be simplified and made efficient by using the field service app. Here are some ways Field Service Inventory Management can be used effectively.
Warehouses And Product Inventory
You can easily enforce warehouse purchase order checks and ensure the inventory is ready when required by a technician. The entire process of placing a purchase order and seeing to the completion of a work order can be automated.
Once you create a purchase order, it will be automatically sent to the manager for approval, and then the request will be placed to the supplier. Once received, the item will be notified to the technician and can be picked up for the work order execution. The inventory will be tracked throughout the process, with its status being updated after the completion of each step in the process.
Automatic Inventory Adjustments And Transfers
The up-to-date inventory allows for making on the go adjustments and transfers a lot easier. For instance, a technician in need of a special part can search for it in the inventory database, locate the nearest warehouse where it is available, and quickly get it delivered to the customer site. The Field Service Mobile App lets you access the inventory list from anywhere and anytime, thus allowing technicians to easily create and follow up on purchase orders.
Work Order Inventory
You can attach purchase orders and inventory to a work order in progress and thus be able to create accurate billing information at no extra time or cost. Invoices can be generated automatically without missing any detail regarding the inventory associated with the work order.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: What Can Be Tracked?
With inventory management, each product in your warehouse, either static or mobile, can be tracked. The Product Inventory entity can be created for any product you add to your inventory and can be updated depending on its status and availability. Some of the trackables with respect to each product are listed below:
- Quantity available
The number of units that remain in the warehouse
- Quantity allocated
The number of units allocated to any work order but are yet to get sold.
- Quantity on hand
The total number of units available and allocated.
- Quantity on order
The number of units listed but yet to be added to the inventory.
- Reorder point
The quantity value at which you should be placing a new purchase order to replenish stock.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: Ability To Purchase Orders
Purchase orders are created when you make an order of an item to be added to your warehouse stock or for the purpose of a work order execution. Once you create a purchase order, it will be sent for approval from the authorizing manager, and the required product order will be placed with the vendor.
To create a new purchase order, go to Field Service > Inventory tab > Purchase Orders. And create new by clicking on +New on the Active Purchase Orders screen. Add products to your order as required, save and send it for approval.
You can check the status of each purchase order by viewing it from the Active Purchase Orders list. If you have the authority to approve, you can change the status to approved. You can also add the relevant bills, vendor invoices, and more details to the approved purchase order.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: Ability To Do Returns
Every product return can also be easily tracked with the relevant information for return along with the customer feedback. Field service supports returns of type:
- Warehouse returns
- Vendor returns and
- Change of ownership
To create an RMA, you should go to Field Service > Inventory Tab > RMAs and create a new RMA entry. You should fill in the details and add products to the RMA and also the related receipts.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: How Does The Inventory Journal Works?
An inventory journal keeps track of all the assets of the organization. It acts as a ledger of information containing all the details related to the inventory changes, such as product additions, returns, and replacements. By associating every inventory journal to a relevant purchase order or work order, proper checks can be enforced.
But there may be usage scenarios when you may want to add inventory journals independent of such operations. Using the manual inventory journal lets you create and fulfill purchase orders without creating transfer records. This feature can be useful when you have lost documents or inventory by accident. It also makes integrations with an external system easier.
To make use of manual inventory management, you need Field service above version 8.2.
Dynamics 365 Field Service Inventory Management: Forecasting Future Inventory Needs
This feature lets you make sure you never run out of product in stock when in need. It helps balance the inventory cost by predicting the potential need for a particular product in the future and planning your purchases accordingly. You can set up inventory forecasting using the azure AI platform in Business Central.
Despite the many features provided, the Dynamics 365 Field Service inventory management has certain limitations.
- Product accounting cannot be done using the Field service inventory management
- There is no financial/monetary field provided. But it is possible to merge with an ERP software and achieve this functionality.
Are you interested in knowing more about the Dynamics 365 Field service management? Take full advantage of your D365 Field service implementation by getting expert help from Gestisoft. Contact us today to learn more about the D365 Field Service Management.