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Using Methods in Table Filters & Query Ranges – Dynamics AX 2012

In Dynamics AX, there is a class called SysQueryRangeUtil that can be utilized in both query ranges and table filters. Using methods from this class allow you to be very precise about what dates you want to use in reports or for filtering your data.

Let’s say you have a report that you always want to run to see orders with shipping dates of the next day. It is possible to do so by using one of the methods from the SysQueryRangeUtil. The use of the letter ‘t’ will work for today’s date, but when you try to add days to it, it doesn’t work in reports. Instead, I will use the currentdate() method and add 1 to it.
Note: All methods & expressions must be surrounded by parentheses as shown below.

Figure 1 – Filtering the requested ship dates in an AX query for tomorrow (current day + 1)

On any form with a grid, you filter your data by pressing Ctrl+G. If I were to want to see open customer invoices from the last 90 days, I would filter my open customer invoices form and use the method (dayRange(-90,0)). The first number represents how many months backward from this month, and the second represents how many months forward. The same sorts of things can be done for the monthRange(), yearRange(), and dateRange() methods. The best part about this is that you can of course save these filters to create views that you might use on a daily basis.

Figure 2 – Searching the grid for the past 90 days

If you are creating your query ranges in code, these methods can also be utilized whenever you are setting them. Definitely be sure to check out the SysQueryRangeUtil class as there are many more methods to use.

Here are some of them:
currentCustomerAccount()
currentVendorAccount()
currentUserId()
currentDate()
dateRange()
day()
dayRange()
greaterThanDate()
greaterThanUtcDate()
greaterThanUtcNow()
lessthanDate()
lessthanUtcDate()
lessthanUtcNow()
monthRange()
yearRange()

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Developing Distribution Networks to Meet Customer Needs

The MODEX show was in Atlanta last week, and many members of the TransTech Division were speaking and working in our booth. Conferences are a great opportunity for our team to reconnect with past clients, connect with new clients, and spend time with our vendors learning about their new product offerings. When you are at a conference like MODEX, or CSCMP, or WERC for that matter, you often hear people asking, “Why are you here?”

That is a great question, but oftentimes I think the answers that people give overlay the true reason they are there.

Consider many of the responses that one could get when asking such a general question:

  1. I want to see what is new in the industry.
  2. Our company needs to find a solution to our inventory problems.
  3. We need to better manage our costs.

Those are all valid answers, but they leave out one important person . . . customers. In reality, many of the decisions that we make as supply chain experts have an ultimate goal of fulfilling customer needs. Whether we are doing an inventory optimization study, putting in a voice picking system, or implementing the latest ERP solution from Microsoft, we are trying to improve part or all of the distribution network that services our customers.

How do you do that?

In our engagements, we work with our clients on a three step process to help them meet customer needs:

  1. Strategy – What is the long term distribution strategy for your company, distribution network, or even just one facility that will meet customer needs? When we are in this phase, we are looking at as much data as we can get our hands on, reviewing operations, talking to customers, and providing a deep dive into your network. After we have reviewed the data, we construct a model of how your network currently services customers. After validation, we then provide different strategies for improving your network to meet customer needs.
  2. Design – Once the design project is complete, we will work with companies to develop a final design for their company. In this phase we can be designing facilities, producing bids for vendors, or creating detailed specifications for a software vendor. The goal of this project is to create a project that is ready to implement.
  3. Execution – When the final design is complete, we will then work with companies to execution the distribution improvement project. From overall project management to onsite supervision of implementation, we have worked with clients around the globe to help them implement projects.

All solutions require a focus on developing the best solutions that meet your customer’s needs. Consider your network. Is everything working exactly as you want? Are your customers excited about doing business with you?

Let’s talk and see how we can take your network to the next level.

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Top Logistics Trends for 2014 – Part 3 of 3

According to Amazon, the supply chain of the future will have swarms of drones filling the sky making deliveries. While drone delivery is not immediately available, Amazon’s public announcement of continuing research during the 2013 holiday season demonstrates a culmination of automation research that will come to the forefront of discussions in 2014. Automation is one of the enabling trends that we see being important in 2014 and leads our discussion for this part in our series of 2014 trends.

8. Automation

Amazon made headlines in late 2013 when they announced that they were developing drones to deliver products. What hasn’t gotten as much press is that both Amazon and Google have made acquisitions of automation and robotics companies. Both of these companies are looking to develop solutions that will drastically change how companies operate their supply chains. The automation companies are developing includes driverless delivery vehicles, automated picking systems, and manufacturing robotics. These developments will continue to get press coverage in 2014 and this can lead many companies to consider the role of automation in their supply chain in the form of automated picking systems, redesigned conveyor systems, and automated vehicles to assist with picking.

The TransTech division of Blue Horseshoe has over 25 years of experience in helping companies determine their automation needs, selecting the right partners, integrating systems, and delivering the solution around the globe. From voice picking to fully automated AS/RS warehouses, we have assisted companies big and small with determining the right solutions.

9. The War for Talent

2013 showed signs of an improving economy in the United States and Europe. As the economy grows, companies are going to be competing for a limited pool of available resources to develop and lead supply chain projects. How companies hire, train, and retain talent will be a major topic for top executives this year.

So what do you do when you have more projects than you have the resources to manage? Blue Horseshoe has been continuing to hire and train some of the top Supply Chain strategy and implementation consultants in the business. If you find yourself lacking the resources required to get your projects planned and delivered, let us help you overcome your resource challenges and deliver results quickly and effectively.

I also wrote an article on what companies can do to help over overcome the “Supply Chain Talent Gap,” that was published this month in the CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly.

10. Big Data Security

It is another year and another discussion of how big data will change the way business is done. While 2013 the discussion of big data was focused on implementing large scale analytics projects, 2014 will move the focus to big data security.  There seems to be a daily barrage of reports on data loss, storing of information by governments, and social media hacks. This barrage demonstrates that our rush to get as much online as possible has consequences to data security and many professionals will be spending 2014 putting their fingers into the leaks to try and stop a worldwide problem.

What is, “The Next Big Thing,” for Supply Chain Management?

It can be hard for busy professionals to keep track of a changing supply chain environment. As this series of articles has demonstrated, change is constant and what is a trend today might not be one tomorrow. When considering partners for your future supply chain initiative, you should select one with deep experience in the tools and technology that is required for the supply chain of the future. That is why you should select Blue Horseshoe.

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Chris Elliott, Consultant for Blue Horseshoe TransTech Division published in CSCMP Supply Chain Quarterly

Chris Elliott is a featured contributor in the Quarter 1, 2014 edition of CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly Magazine. The magazine covers research and analysis on the latest topics impacting supply chain management.  Chris’ article is titled, “Too-great Expectations?”

Article Overview

By 2018, one prediction has the number of unfilled Supply Chain Management positions reaching 200,000 jobs. Many companies are also reporting that new hires expectations are not fitting with the available roles. Current research does identify how to overcome the talent gap and align the misconceptions between employers and their employees. The article sets forth a background of what employers and employees are seeking in supply chain talent, how academics influence the expectations, and what employers, employees, and educators can do to overcome the looming talent gap.

Key Takeaways

* Identifying the differing expectations of employers and employees in supply chain management.
* How academic institutions have been focusing on grades rather than the soft skills that employers are looking for in new employees.
* Steps employers, employees, and academics can take to reduce the impact of the looming talent gap.

Access the article at: http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/topics/Strategy/20140311-too-great-expectations/

What is CSCMP?

Founded in 1963, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) is the preeminent worldwide professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management. With over 8,500 members representing nearly all industry sectors, government, and academia from 67 countries, CSCMP members are the leading practitioners and authorities in the fields of logistics and supply chain management.

Supply Chain Quarterly

CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly, the award-winning magazine, has quickly become a leading literary source for over 15,000 SCM professionals seeking unbiased and valuable industry information and insight. With only two years of circulation, it has already been awarded a gold and silver medal for content and design by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

The Quarterly is filled with articles and editorials about current supply chain hot topics ranging from warehousing to off shore sourcing management. The publication is designed and written by a variety of practitioners, thought-leaders, academics, consultants, and seasoned industry journalists.

The Quarterly is the official magazine of CSCMP. Members receive a free subscription and access to online article archives.

ABOUT BLUE HORSESHOE, TRANSTECH DIVISION

Blue Horseshoe TransTech Division is a management consulting firm that has been providing expert supply chain consulting solutions to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world since 1983. Based in North America, Blue Horseshoe, TransTech assesses business needs and applies world-class business applications to improve profitability and increase efficiency. For more about Blue Horseshoe, TransTech Division, visit www.transtechconsulting.com.

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Jim Butler, Account Director, Partner at Blue Horseshoe presents “Bucket Brigade Picking” at the 2014 MODEX Supply Chain Conference

Jim Butler will be a featured presenter at this year’s MODEX exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 19, 2014.  The event will feature presentations from industry experts on the latest trends and technologies impacting the order fulfillment and supply chain.  Jim’s presentation is titled Bucket Brigade Picking with Pick-to-Light & Voice Picking Technologies:

Often companies do not achieve their maximum productivity potential due to barriers imposed on their associates through fixed zone picking methods. Blue Horseshoe’s TransTech Division will present a real-world case study outlining the implementation of “Bucket Brigade”, or flexing work zone picking, to produce optimal results and payback. Included will be discussions of successfully integrating “Bucket Brigade” with both Pick-to-Light and Voice Picking Technologies across a variety of retail and wholesale distribution operations.

What is MODEX 2014?

MODEX 2014 will be one the largest expositions for manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the Americas in 2014. The show is designed to offer supply chain efficiency solutions, learning opportunities and information by showcasing the products and services of over 800 leading providers.  The MODEX show floor is divided into three solution-specific centers: Manufacturing and assembly solutions, fulfillment and delivery solutions, and information technology (IT) solutions.

An extensive educational conference will run concurrently with the show and include sessions on improving operational efficiencies and visibility in manufacturing, distribution and for the overall supply chain. This format allows attendees to learn about various manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the educational sessions and then actually see the equipment, systems and services that can implement those solutions.

ABOUT JIM BUTLER

Jim has over 30 years of experience in operations strategy and process improvement; working both as a client and a consultant.  Previous projects have included strategy development, network design/optimization, operations improvement, ERP and SCM software justification and vendor selection, as well as the implementation of solutions in service operations, stores, distribution, and manufacturing.   Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Phoenix. He speaks frequently at regional and national conferences on operational leadership and continuous improvement.

ABOUT BLUE HORSESHOE, TRANSTECH DIVISION

Blue Horseshoe TransTech Division is a management consulting firm that has been providing expert supply chain consulting solutions to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world since 1983. Based in North America, Blue Horseshoe, TransTech assesses business needs and applies world-class business applications to improve profitability and increase efficiency. For more about Blue Horseshoe, TransTech Division, visit www.transtechconsulting.com.

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YOUR INDUSTRIES
Blue Horseshoe is the best in the business at selecting and implementing the right software solutions for your company. We have created some of the most successful and efficient processes for your industry and we work together with you to create any custom applications you require.

Learn more about solutions for your industry>
• Food and Beverage • Manufacturing
• 3PL: Third Party Logistics
• Wholesale Distribution
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• Retail • Automotive • Publishing
What our clients say...

“We chose Blue Horseshoe because of their vast experience with the supply chain and with implementing supply-chain solutions. Blue Horseshoe was very knowledgeable, and their team’s experience made the decision very easy. In addition, the implementation team Blue Horseshoe sent out here was great.”


Rob Lakatos, Purchasing Manager
Forney Industries