This article describes the "Package Number" item tracking dimension in Business Central, and how it can supported from the Mobile WMS devices.
Package Number in Business Central
A new tracking dimension was introduced in Business Central in April 2018 (Version 18).
That new third dimension is implemented in Business Central exactly as described above:
- The new dimension is implemented like an almost exact clone of the existing Lot No. dimension.
- Package Tracking Required is setup by Item Tracking Code, meaning its primarily by item (and secondarily by business processes).
- Added functionality out-of-the box is non-existing. You may enter and post the new tracking dimension, but the dimension is entirely “stand alone”: No new functionality has been introduced to the standard application based on package numbers.
- The dimension is intended as a foundation for vertical solutions and Microsoft will rely on partners to create verticals to implement any meaningful use of the new dimension.
- Unlike existing Serial No./Lot No. dimensions the new “Package No.” dimension can be renamed directly from setup. Intention is to make the new dimension useable for other purposes than packages, including when no new functionality is added to the dimension.
Package Number in Mobile WMS
One might say the new “Package No.” dimension could as well have been named “Dimension 1” in the standard application, since there is no functionality attached and the dimension is very likely to be renamed by customers and partners for entirely different purposes.
For customers and partners with no prior knowledge the current dimension name easily creates some expectations about what a “Package Number” can do, when in reality there is no such standard functionality (for example “when I scan the Package Number the system will derive all the items in that package based on that package number”).
From a Mobile WMS standpoint, we won’t know how partners implemented such additional functionality in their verticals and how the dimension is being used for other purposes.
Choosing an implementation
All-in-all this makes it difficult to create a single and unified implementation for Package Numbers in Mobile WMS that fits all customers, won’t break verticals, and meets the indirect expectations that comes with standard “Package No.” name of the dimension.
For this reason, we decided to keep Package Number functionality in Mobile WMS disabled out-of-the box and require you (customers and partners) to make a conscious choice about how package numbers should be used and implemented in Mobile WMS.
Option 1: Enable the Mobile WMS standard implementation for Package Numbers
We do include a standard implementation for Package Numbers in Mobile WMS, disabled out-of-the-box, that can be enabled on the Mobile WMS Setup page.
This standard implementation for Package Number is using the new dimension exactly as it is implemented in Business Central with no extra functionality included.
- The Package Numbers are registered in new steps when required, exactly as current implementation for Serial No./Lot No.
- No added functionality is included, and no other data is automatically derived from the Package Number when it is being scanned: It is just a simple tracking dimension that can be registered and posted.
- Our standard implementation should only be enabled when customers indeed are using the Package Number dimension exactly as it is implemented in standard Business Central. We expect this to be almost exclusively when the dimension was renamed to something else from setup – renamed to fit some other purpose that reasonably can be registered without the need for additional customizations in Business Central.
Learn more about our standard implementation here: How-to: Enable the Mobile WMS standard implementation for Package Numbers
Option 2: Create a custom implementation for Package Numbers
You may have created a new vertical solution or customizations for a customer that expands the functionality of the Package Number dimension in the standard Business Central application. Your customizations likely changed workflows and added new functionality derived from the Package Numbers.
In this case enabling our standard implementation for Package Numbers in Mobile WMS is likely to do more harm than good. Our standard implementation supports a specific standard workflow, and when this changes it is likely you rather should create your own custom implementation for Package Numbers in Mobile WMS.
Learn more about creating a custom implementation here: Case: Create a custom implementation for Package Numbers
Option 3: Use or create a custom implementation not based on Package Numbers
Consider if Package Numbers in its current state is the correct solution for your needs. Third party addons may provide some or all functionality in Business Central you are looking for, and may not be based on Package Numbers or Item Tracking Dimensions at all. In either case any modified workflows would need to be customized for the mobile devices.
Tasklet Factory has developed a feature to enhance the pick, packing and shipping workflows in the warehouse when Mobile WMS and mobile devices are used. This “Pack & Ship” feature is an alternative to namely the outbound processes in Mobile WMS and includes the changes needed for mobile devices.
Learn more about the Tasklet Pack&Ship feature here: Pack & Ship