Dynamics 365 – Engineering Change Management – Part 3 – Product Change Process

Are you ready for Part Three of our series on Engineering Change Management in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain? What happens when a product needs to be updated or modified and the supply chain is interrupted? What if a customer wants a different size for an existing product? Or does a product’s minor dimension need to be changed to allow the product to work better? There can be so many reasons to start a change request for an existing product.

Let’s first review when to decide if a product needs a new variant or a new version. If the change impact (defined as form, fit, or function) is severe enough, a possible component replacement or major dimension change, then a new version should be created. If the change impact is a request for a new size or color, then the business can create a new variant. And that’s the basics, now let’s get into the Dynamics Change Management feature.

Let’s not forget the required setup. The business must turn on the related features in the D365 Feature Management workspace: Engineering Change Management and Managing changes to formulas and their ingredients. Refer to the first installment of this blog series for further setup required. Since the only supported production types for engineering product categories are: BOM, Formula, and Planning items, let’s check a few setups in our test environment.

To begin the ECM process, a procurement clerk has created a change request to replace a formula component of the acoustic foam panel. A disruption in the supply chain has forced the procurement clerk to buy a newer version of the chemical used in the production process. The purchasing manager reviews the change request via a workflow process and passes the request to the Engineering department or Product Manager.

The Engineer assigned to the change request reviews the information and approves the form. During the change request approval, a business impact to open transactions screen will appear. This screen will show any transactions that will be affected by the proposed changes. As the engineer or product manager, open transactions can be blocked or notified of pending changes to avoid further business impact until the ECM process is complete.

The next step is to create the change order from the request. This will ensure details like attributes and items are added as requested by the purchasing department in our example.

In the change order product details, we can add the reason code (Supply Chain) with a short description of the vendor details. By adding the change reason code and description, reports can be run from D365 to identify why change orders are created.

The formula details can be updated within the product details section as well. In our case, we are deleting item M0018 (in pink) and adding item M0031 (in green), ensuring our quantity and per series information is changed as needed. After all the changes are made, the formula will need to be approved in the product details of the change order. Don’t forget to activate the engineering version from the released product details.

All that is left to do for the ECM process is validate, approve (usually completed by a workflow), and process the order to release the product in the Engineering Company. When the engineer or product manager is ready, the product can be released to the operating company within the change order using the Release product structure option in the Product Release grouping. The process of releasing to the operating company can also be completed with a workflow process.

Once the product has been released to the operating company, it will need to be validated and accepted for transactional use. Navigate to the Open product releases form in the Product Information Management module and find the related product number from the ECM process. Product details and a Readiness check can be verified by opening the Released product details and Engineering versions (in yellow), then using the Actions group to complete the Validate and Accept process so the product can be used in open transactions for the Operating Company.

Phew… that was a lot of information and can be an intimidating task to set up on your own. Our team at Ellipse Solutions would be grateful for the opportunity to help your company successfully implement the D365 Supply Chain Engineer Change Management features. You can review the first two installments of this blog series in the links below. And don’t forget… in the not-too-distant future our last blog of this series will be: D365 SCM – Engineering Change Management Product Obsolescence.  

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