Out of Stock Products - can I use them?

I like implementing Dynamics 365 Field Service for clients in various industries because, in any field service organisation, there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of rules, approvals and specific processes, and therefore every implementation is unique in many ways. It also underlines how broad and deep the landscape of the product is, to be able to fulfil business requirements in various business verticals.

This article is related to one of those many rules and processes. The question here is:

Do you want system to restrict using an out-of-stock-product or only warn users (field technicians, dispatchers, supervisors etc.)?

An example: Car mechanic (field technician/resource) will need 'Oil filter' product to complete a 'Car Servicing' Work Order. Currently, there are no Oil filters in the warehouse. Now as the work is being executed, Dispatcher tries to add a filter to work order. At that point:

  1. System can throw an error to say product is not in the warehouse, or

  2. System can let the product be added but warn about stock level.

Note: Approach 2 might seem odd but is actually very common due to challenges in keeping various level of inventory synchronized.

It turns out above scenario is all passing through a simple flag in the system.

The flag

Go to Settings → Purchase tab. There is a flag ‘Use of Products Out of Stock’ with two values: Restrict and Confirm

Play

In our setup, we’ve got a product that currently sits with zero levels in the warehouse.

Let's set the flag to 'Restrict'. As you try to add this project in a works order, system throws the following error:

Let’s just got back and update the flag to Warn. This time when you add the product, it lets you do that with a warning

How does it impact the inventory? It adds the added quantity as -5 (same quantity as mentioned in Work Order Product).

Above commonly-used scenario is implemented using out-of-the-box flag only. Further approvals (as part of the business process) can be added through configurations.


Thanks for reading!

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