Greater control and transparency with enhanced item categories functionality in Food Manufacturing and Distribution

In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017, Microsoft made a number of updates that have not been widely discussed among the user communities. One of them eliminates the Product Groups functionality and instead provides a hierarchy of item categories. What’s more, posting groups settings and the Costing Method feature move to the Item Template. As you may know, in previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV categories and posting groups existed side by side.

This change may be seen as relatively minor, but becomes important in how you work with To-Increase Food Manufacturing and Distribution, our industry solution suite for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The pairing of product groups and item categories is common in the food industry. However, the product group as a key base data component can no longer be used in the solution, and filtering on item and product group categories no longer works the same way. If you use the new hierarchy in Microsoft Dynamics NAV to filter, item descendants will drop off.

Imagine an item category called fresh produce. It has a child, apples. It also includes different types of apples, like Braeburn and Golden Delicious. Now, if you use a filter on fresh produce in Dynamics NAV 2017, the child apples is not mentioned, so it does not show in the results. You only get apples if you filter on the lowest level, say, Golden Delicious.

To-Increase has modified certain key-areas using this functionality for the food industry, so you don’t run into issues when you run filters. We have moved the current product group values and features to the item category children. Most of the functionality in Food Manufacturing and Distribution that relied on both item categories and product groups will simply use the item category for filtering starting with the 2017 release. You can then filter on a specific hierarchy and see those values and their descendants as you should.

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That change also entails that all settings are only available at the level of item categories.

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For the 2017 release of Food Manufacturing and Distribution, we made changes and added functionality in ten areas of the solution to make filtering more intuitive and simpler. We expect these updates with extended filtering capability to make the most difference in three task categories:

  • Pricing: The solution provides you with more control and flexibility when you record and manage pricing for recipes and products with their constituent ingredients and materials.
  • Accrual management: In accrual accounting, you find increased visibility for specific accounts and types of accounts.
  • Lot specification: In specifying lots, you can be more precise and comprehensive, with a better choice of options for filtering to present meaningful information.

As you work with the solution, we believe that this enhancement will prove its value many times in these three scenarios and other instances of filtering.

In other updates to Food Manufacturing and Production, we greatly extended the allergen management capabilities and adapted our lifecycle management solutions for the food industry.

If you would like a solution demo, or have questions or feedback, please get in touch. Send me a note at mbotje@to-increase.com or simply contact To-Increase.