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Chris Brons, Senior Supply Chain Consultant
Chris Brons, Senior Supply Chain Consultant

Helping companies do more with D365 Supply Chain

Social distancing. It’s more than a good idea. It’s a must-have in your warehouse.

With the CDC recommending social distancing of at least six feet, zone or aisle picking helps maintain the health and safety of your workforce. Zone picking keeps a team member’s work contained in a specific area within your warehouse. It’s a strategy that promotes social distancing and provides efficient order fulfillment processes.

However, if your warehouse team is clustering around printers and grabbing pick tickets to get their work assignments, it defeats the purpose of zone picking. The solution? System directed picking.

What is System Directed Picking?

System directed picking uses a mobile device to assign work to your warehouse teams and keeps your fulfillment processes moving while maintaining physical distance between your workforce.

System directed picking in Microsoft D365 for Supply Chain allows you to setup preset logic to define what work to execute via a certain mobile device menu item. System directed menu items guide the picker through their work assignment in a specific zone or aisle.

Here’s an example of how it works:

A user signs into the Menu item for Zone 1 and a piece of Work is automatically pushed to his device. This eliminates the need to touch a physical pick ticket. Due to the predetermined logic, the device only shows Work IDs within Zone 1.

At the same time, a different user signs into the Menu item for Zone 2 and executes the Work IDs that are within that Zone.

You can configure System directed picking in many ways, for example a Menu item to show work by shipping carrier, customer, order priority, ship date, etc. By leveraging additional criteria, a warehouse manager can ask their workforce to focus on certain orders (i.e. UPS orders) by giving them access to the related Menu item.

How to Configure in D365 Supply Chain Management

Mobile device configurations are setup from D365 Supply Chain warehouse management module (WMS). Here’s how:

Mobile Device menu items

  1. Navigate to the Mobile device menu item form.
  2. Create the new Menu item by clicking New in the ribbon.
  3. Select Work in the Mode field.
  4. Select Yes in the Use existing work field.
  5. Select System directed from the Directed by dropdown menu. This step tells the system to guide the user to the next Work ID.

Set the Query on the Menu item

Setting the Query controls what Work ID’s are sent to the Menu item or in other words, what work is executable from that Menu item.

If the “System directed work sequencing” is not enabled via Feature management, the following processes will change slightly. Click “Edit query” on the Mobile device menu item form. Start on Step 3 on the instructions below

  1. Click System directed work sequence queries on the ribbon

  2. Click New

Enter the System directed query description
Enter the System directed query description.  The description should relate to the Query you’re setting. In the example below the Query is going to pull Work for picks within Zone 1.

3. With your new line in the grid highlighted, click “Edit query” in the ribbon

  1. Set your query and click “OK”.

Set your query

  1. Navigate back to the Mobile device menu item.

  2. Make sure the rest of your configurations are set properly on the Menu item, then the next time you access this Menu item it will only pull Work that matches this query. It will keep prompting the next piece of Work until there are no more Work IDs to be executed in Zone 1.

Zone Picking with a Mobile Device

Zone picking with a mobile device promotes social distancing between warehouse workers while improving pick efficiencies. When using a modern mobile device to pick orders, users report 60% fewer errors.

Zone picking with a mobile device is just one of the ways you can decrease costs and overall efficiencies using base functionality in D365 Supply Chain. Here are some other tips our experts recommend using to safeguard your workforce while maintaining profitability:

How to Safeguard your warehouse workforce

Forecasting inventory during uncertain times

Cycle Count Plans in D365

Inbound Inventory Quality with D365

How to Set Work Header Breaks in D365 

Cluster Picking with D365

Have Questions? We are here to help.

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