31 May 2022

How to Manage Intermodal Dimensional Inventory with Software Embedded in D365

Intermodal dimensional inventory management with software embedded in Dynamics 365

Managing a complex inventory, coordinating with various teams across different geographies, and ensuring the quality of your products is maintained to the highest of standards are some of the common challenges faced by companies dealing with intermodal dimensional inventory.

When you are unable to manage your inventory with precision, care, and efficiency, you could risk losing huge international clients, incur major revenue losses as each order is expensive, and ultimately take a hit on your business.

Intermodal dimensional inventory management is dynamic, with a diverse set of stakeholders, and usually requires complex tracking before the product reaches the end customer. This lengthy process, where a single shipment of variable capacity goes through multiple locations and sometimes continents, calls for software that could easily track and handle your mobile shipments.

With deep global expertise, we at To-Increase have worked with organizations in industries such as construction, crane, high-tech, tool-hire, manufacturing, and more to streamline their operations by leveraging the power of rental-specific software embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.

This article will discuss how intermodal dimensional product companies or businesses dealing with variable capacity inventory can easily manage their lead-to-cash process, inventory, renting, and selling with a single software solution.

What is meant by intermodal dimensional inventory?

Also known as variable capacity inventory, intermodal dimensional inventory could broadly be defined as an inventory with specified dimensions, in which each dimension is tracked, has attributes or components attached to it in the form of sub-items, and has a long transit from the source to the destination.

It is usually a complicated process, as there are multiple layers of inventory that must be managed always with different sets of teams involved during each stage of the Intermodal dimensional inventory.

Before we begin explaining how to manage this inventory, let’s look at which businesses can fall under the umbrella term — intermodal dimensional inventory.

You are dealing with intermodal dimensional inventory if your product:

  • is sold or rented,
  • has significant volume (length, width, height),
  • has components attached to it such as oil, crops, goods,
  • has different line items,
  • is tracked, and
  • moves through multiple locations.

What businesses commonly deal with intermodal dimensional inventory?

Some examples of businesses that fall under the variable capacity inventory model:

1. Modular or prefabricated rooms and buildings

There are many ways of saying modular rooms — off-site construction (OSC), pre-assembly, hybrid systems, but it all comes down to using manufacturing facilities away from the site to construct building components which are transported back to the customer site for installation.


Some examples of modular rooms are home space, office space, portable washrooms, modular hospitals, and so on.

2. Intermodal containers

Also known as shipping containers, freight containers, or transport industrial mobile storage, it is a container that moves through several geographies using multiple types of transportation (ships, airplanes, trains, trucks, etc.) without changing the actual ‘container’ from the point of dispatch to the point of arrival.


Such containers improve cargo maintenance, security, and time. They are usually used to ship huge portions of domestic goods or export goods from one country to another, such as oil, machinery, electronics, etc.

3. Concierge storage facilities

These storage facilities or storage condominiums are suitable for customers who have changing inventory or storage needs. It can be used to store a wide range of products such as couture, high-end fashion, antique furniture, fine art, sculptures, vehicles, collectibles, and more. The facilities usually come with state-of-the-art amenities for providing an exclusive service to their clients.

Below you can see some examples of intermodal dimensional inventoryIntermodal dimensional inventory examples include modular rooms, concierge storage facilities, and intermodal containers.

How software embedded in D365 solves the common challenges faced by intermodal dimensional inventory companies

Challenge: Handling vast and complex inventory

Companies dealing with dimensional inventory have operations of large magnitude. They must handle inventory such as the manufacturing plant, machinery, building equipment, formwork, placement tools, and transportation.

Each dimension could have 2D elements (walls or panels) or 3D elements (fully furnished modules) associated with it.

The solution: Software embedded in the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM) environment with comprehensive inventory management, supply chain, and logistics management functionalities can handle complicated inventory with ease. Companies can carry out inventory control, inventory adjustments, quality assurance, and inbound and outbound operations.

Challenge: Coordinating with a diverse set of stakeholders

In this type of inventory, there are always multiple parties involved with a single piece, be it a container, modular room, or storage facility.

For instance, with modular rooms, you must coordinate with transport teams to ship the modules, a crane company to place the modules on-site, and builders to install the modules. This requires a complex level of communication among different teams.

The solution: Rental software built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&SCM allows you to easily manage all the communication by streamlining your processes. You can have a single database for all your different teams and departments, and this unified location makes information more accessible.

You can have your CRM and ERP systems synced, allowing your sales team to have real-time access to relevant pricing, quotes, contacts, and invoice information.

Additionally, you can carry out your entire human resource management in the software, making it easy to assign, track, and close tasks for different teams.

Challenge: Keeping up with various local legal codes

Since your product will move across different geographies and several types of transport, you are liable to comply with the local legal codes of the shipment, such as:

  • Offering structural warranty to the end customers
  • Inspection by a third-party licensed inspector of each module box before it reaches the site
  • Insuring your project with insurance policies for bidders
  • Meeting the transport and traffic regulations for the site delivery

The solution: A software solution embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&SCM offers advanced project management capabilities with subcontracting and integrated planning. With this, you can easily document and manage a multitude of business processes, helping you adhere to different regulations.

Challenge: Maintaining the highest quality standards

It is critical that variable capacity inventory companies always maintain the highest grade of quality of their shipments.

Some standards you must always maintain:

  • Airtight containers to avoid any leaks, vandalism, or ruin of goods
  • Sturdy materials, as the shipment travels long distances before reaching the end customer
  • Weather-resistant products, as the goods in the containers should not be affected by the varying climatic conditions across geographies
  • Well-secured areas with proper surveillance and security systems, especially if they contain expensive items for customers like millions of dollars of art or huge volumes of crops

The solution: Software embedded in Dynamics 365 F&SCM combined with the internet of things (IoT) can control all the above.

With IoT, you can:

  • Use precise machinery for cutting with CNC machines
  • Measure the climate control environment in the containers
  • Track the container through each step of its journey with serialized tracking
  • Provide data points of your shipment, which are fed back into your database for reports
  • Maintain both the front-end and back-end quality of your cargo

Challenge: Managing manufacturing, purchasing, distributing, renting, selling, and sub-renting

With a vast and complex inventory at hand, it’s natural that you will have to be involved in several supply chains. You may offer your products on rent or lease for a fixed period through product-as-a-service or standard rental models, or you may directly sell your products to the end customers.

Depending on your capacity and inventory, you could either manufacture and produce your products, purchase products, or sub-rent some products.

You could be involved in the distribution and transport of your products or outsourcing this part of your business to third parties.

Nevertheless, you have to manage all the above operations in an organized manner.

The solution: Rental-specific software in Dynamics 365 F&SCM can manage all the above processes, and more with ease. You can rent or sell your shipments and manage revenue from both channels. You can also manage manufacturing and distribution as the solution supports production planning, manufacturing, and supply chain management.

You can read more about how a single software in Dynamics 365 can manage the manufacturing and rental side of your business.

Looking for an efficient solution to manage intermodal dimensional inventory?

Needless to say, companies offering variable capacity products must handle multiple operations, people, and products to have a successful business.

If you’re interested in a rental solution embedded within Dynamics 365 that can address all the above and more, you could explore the cloud-based software we offer, DynaRent.

Here is a testament to our solution by CP ApS, a company specializing in renting office and crew modules, containers, and construction equipment to clients in the public and private sectors:

“DynaRent has empowered us to focus even more on the quality of service we provide to our customers. Aspects like operations, transportation, service, and maintenance have been streamlined completely.”

With DynaRent for Dynamics 365 F&SCM, you can:

  • Easily look for equipment with the ‘attributes feature’ based on storage volume
  • Manage multiple revenue streams and your entire lead to cash in a single solution
  • Provide timely repair and maintenance services to remote field workers with the DynaRent mobile app
  • Offer your sales team quick and easy information access by syncing your ERP and CRM systems with DynaRent for D365 Sales
  • Report on the monitoring and tracking of your shipment’s movement by attaching each of your products with a unique identifier with IoT sensors

You could explore more about the DynaRent solution by checking out our factsheet.

This factsheet will share information on:

  • How DynaRent can support your business
  • The combination of DynaRent with Dynamics 365
  • Key benefits that you can gain
  • The features of the solution

Curious to explore how our DynaRent software can manage intermodal dimensional inventory?

Cor Tiemens
Cor Tiemens,
Cor Tiemens,
Rental Industry Specialist

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