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To run an effective manufacturing and distribution operation, you need an accurate understanding of your inventory and where it’s located along the supply chain. What’s more, having clear visibility into your inventory has become critically important as organizations shift to omnichannel order fulfillment and distribution and therefore need to manage inventory located in multiple places at any given time, such as in different warehouses or on delivery trucks.

The Inventory Visibility Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, now available for preview, helps large volume retailers and manufacturers accurately track global, cross-channel inventory in real-time. Built for scalability, the add-in can handle a high volume of transactions every minute. With the Inventory Visibility Add-in, you can mitigate stockouts and overstocking that tend to happen when you lack visibility into all the inventory you have on hand at any given moment.

Feature highlights

The Inventory Visibility Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management (preview) enables real-time global inventory visibility with external systems:

  • All information that relates to on-hand inventory is exported in near real-time through low-level SQL Server integration. On-hand inventory changes post to the inventory service with a specified index, modifier, and dimension values. Real-time queries on RESTful APIS enable the retrieval of a list of available positions. You can also query across legal entities to get a single global view of inventory positions.
  • Partitioning defines a scheme that allows for small groupings of data while still allowing for meaningful data queries, thus significantly improving the performance of the inventory visibility. Site and warehouse are the default partition keys for the Inventory Visibility Add-in.
  • Indexing provides the flexibility to configure queries on the dimension or a combination of the dimensions.

The add-in is highly scalable as a microservice and built on Microsoft Dataverse, which supports extensibility, provides better data management, and gives you the ability to build Power Apps and use Power BI for advanced customizations.

Integration with third-party and ancillary systems

The Inventory Visibility Add-in is extensible and integrates easily with third-party systems:

  • Configuration of the add-in standardizes how inventory changes are posted, organized, and queried across the multiple systems.
  • Supply Chain Management is the default data source for the add-in. You can add new data sources to the inventory system configuration entity to connect with third-party systems.
  • When a data source posts an inventory change, the add-in posts with the physical measure, which is a list of modifiers that reflects a summary of the inventory transaction status. New physical measures can be configured for custom inbound or outbound change modifiers from the new data source.
  • The custom calculated measure allows the configurable calculated quantities for the query output.

Source & credits: Sherry Zheng, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

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