Automated Material Handling Integration in Microsoft D365 Wave 1 SCM


With Microsoft D365's 2021 wave 1 release, D365 Supply Chain Management delivers on its promise to be an "end-to-end supply chain solution by adding new inventory and logistics features to help organizations gain visibility, resiliency, and efficiency in their supply chain."

Microsoft is releasing a material handling equipment integration interface (material handling). This functionality, developed by Blue Horseshoe and licensed to Microsoft, acts as a middleware for D365 and various material handling equipment or systems.

Before this new feature, you had to develop integrations from scratch to each piece of equipment and system. These integrations typically required developing custom communication methods, front-end forms, and error handling for each system pairing. Then, as you upgraded your material handling and automation equipment, you would develop a new project and new integration.

Save Money and Time With Built-In Material Handling Automation Framework

The material handling equipment interface, now built into D365, provides you with an integration framework. Think of it as a pre-built set of tools that you can use to make D365 talk to other systems. With the material handling functionality, tables and error handling are built-in, saving billable hours and improving the ability to add additional systems quicker and cheaper.

By connecting your material handling equipment with D365 Supply Chain Management, you will:

  • Expand your warehouse automation platform and practices for more customer- and market-responsive performance
  • Reduce the need to expand the warehouse/maintain a smaller footprint
  • Improve productivity times, control labor costs, and allow workers to focus on higher-skilled functions, which pads the bottom line
  • Enhance warehouse safety by eliminating repetitive motions

Blue Horseshoe Licenses Material Handling to Microsoft

In 2012, Blue Horseshoe developed the material handling equipment integration for a food distributor in Europe. This distributor was building a state-of-the-art, connected warehouse with the goal of totally optimizing the efficiency for a throughput facility and maintain a small footprint to circumvent expensive land costs. The strategy emphasized minimal human intervention from receiving to distribution.

The client's value was in the ability to scale and keep up with technology, the market, and competitors. Material Handling for AX, or MHAX, allowed the distributor to speed the pay-back period/ROI of future additions to their material handling equipment.

Microsoft realized the value in material handling for a digitally connected supply chain and licensed MHAX from Blue Horseshoe in 2018. This licensing agreement also included small parcel shipping (SPS), which is part of the D365 2021 wave 1 release.

Material Handling Automation Solutions For Your Enterprise

Companies that adopt a strong focus on warehousing and manufacturing processes coupled with technological advancements are poised to enjoy greater productivity and improved worker safety. While challenges to growth like technical issues associated with software integration and hardware components exist, these are manageable barriers that you can overcome to achieve market growth.

Your implementation of technically advanced automation solutions is likely to favorably change market dynamics in your business sector. At the same time, the combination of material handling equipment with electronic intelligence will positively change the market outlook.

Material Handling Consulting & Engineering Services

With the development of the material handling module, the Blue Horseshoe team understands the challenges you face when optimizing your warehouse operations. We help design, source, and engineer the material handling equipment so you can take advantage of the application.

What's Next?

Looking for more information about new functionality in the Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1 Release? Check out these resources:

                 Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1 Guides        Microsoft D365 2021 Wave 1 Guides Supply Chain

Chris Taylor is a Senior Manager with 25+ dedicated years of experience in industrial engineering, manufacturing science, and optimizing processes and workflows in corporate and manufacturing environments. Chris has a deep understanding of real-world processes and functional flows from a business analyst perspective and turns that into usable configurations within ERP, WMS, TMS, and other software systems.

Learn How Others Have Improved Their Supply Chain Operations With Blue Horseshoe

Blue Horseshoe, part of Accenture, presenting at Modex 2022

Read More

Microsoft Extended Support for Dynamics AX 2012 R3: What's Next?

Read More

Supply Chain in the Spotlight at SuiteWorld

Read More