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What is Supply Chain Management in Business Central?

Supply Chain Management in Business Central: Purchasing and Payment, Inventory, and Supply Planning modules

If a few months ago we talked about the financial module of Dynamics 365 Business Central, in this article we want to break down everything that the purchasing and payment, inventory and supply planning modules can offer SMEs. With them, small and medium-sized companies can carry out optimal management of their supply chain .

Purchases and payments

Invoicing of purchases

Set up – print and purchase invoices.

Purchase order management

Manage purchase quotes, backorders, and purchase order processes. Note that creating a purchase order differs from directly creating a purchase invoice. Thus, in Dynamics 365 Business Central , the available quantity is adjusted as soon as an amount is entered on an order line, but is not affected by a purchase invoice until it is posted.

Use this functionality to manage one-time receipts, receive and invoice separately, and create prepaid invoices for the purchase order, and use quotes and open orders at the purchase stage. Quotes and backorders do not affect inventory figures.

Management of purchase return orders

Business Central allows you to create a purchase return order to compensate your own company for erroneous or damaged items. Items can be taken out of the purchase order.

Additionally, you can set up partial return shipments or combine return shipments into a single credit memo, and link purchase return orders to return purchase orders.

Alternative order addresses

Set up multiple addresses to handle orders from vendors who, in addition to a primary business address, have more than one place they ship orders from. These additional locations can be selected by the purchasing agent when creating an order or invoice.

Discounts on purchase invoices

In the Microsoft ERP you can automatically calculate discounts on invoices. It should be noted that the discount may differ from one provider to another with different minimum amounts (also in different currencies) and different rates, depending on the size of the invoice. On the other hand, the discount is calculated on the individual line items and becomes part of the net sum of the invoice.

Discount on the purchase line

Manage discounts on the purchase price of various items that you have negotiated with individual suppliers, based on parameters such as minimum quantity, unit of measure, currency, item variant and time period.

The best unit cost, based on the largest discount, is calculated for the purchase line when the order details meet the conditions specified in the purchase line’s discount table.

Alternative providers

Dynamics 365 Business Central offers the ability to manage the purchase of the same item from different vendors. Establish alternative suppliers for items, specify typical delivery times, and record prices and discount agreements with each supplier.

Supplier Catalog Items

You offer customers items that are not part of your regular inventory, but that you can order from vendors or manufacturers on a one-off basis. Record these items as non-stock items, but treat them as regular items.


basic inventory

Set up inventory items and specify properties such as their unit of measure, costing method, inventory posting group, and unit cost and price. Additionally, you can post item transactions such as sales, purchases, and negative and positive adjustments.

Dynamics 365 Business Central also allows you to store the quantity and cost records of posted transactions in the inventory book, and use it as the basis for inventory valuation and other cost calculations.

Item Categories

Group items in a hierarchy and define custom categories that include specific attributes.

Item Attributes

Add specific data such as the color, the country of manufacture or the size of the product, in order to complement the fields of the incorporated articles. Use Azure AI so that Business Central analyzes the images of your items and automatically suggests their attributes.

Also, Business Central offers the ability to define attribute options, including list and text, and integers and decimals (can include units of measure). It also allows you to translate attribute and option names into multiple languages. Lastly, you can lock attributes or attribute options from being used, for example, if they are no longer applicable.

Item Tracking

Effectively manage and track serial and lot numbers. In this sense, assign serial or batch numbers manually or automatically, and receive and ship multiple quantities from a single order line entry.

multiple locations

Manage inventory across multiple locations whether it be a production floor, a distribution center, warehouses, showrooms and points of sale.

Stock keeping units

Microsoft Dynamics ERP gives you the ability to manage stock-keeping units (SKUs). Thus, identical articles with the same article number can be stored in different locations and managed individually in each location. Add cost prices, replacement, manufacturing information, etc. based on location.

location transfers

Track inventory as it moves from one location to another. Accounts for the value of inventory in circulation and in various locations.

shipping agents

Set up multiple shipping agents (for example, UPS, DHL, third-party carriers, or your own carrier) and match their services (express, overnight, standard) to shipping time. Associate default shipping agents and their services with individual customers or specify those details on sales and transfer orders to improve the accuracy of promised orders.


Set up calendars with working and non-working days. Assign a base calendar to customers, vendors, locations, companies, shipping agent services, and service management settings, and make changes as needed. Use calendar entries in date calculations on sales, purchase, production transfer, and service orders, and in requisition and planning worksheets.

Item Charges

Manage item charges. Include the value of additional costs, such as freight or insurance, in the cost or unit price of an item.

Article Cross References

Identify the items customer orders based on item numbers other than your own. Store and easily access customer, supplier, and manufacturer cross-reference information, as well as generic numbers, Universal Product Codes (UPCs), and European Article Numbers (EANs).

Item Substitutions

Link items that have the same or similar characteristics to suggest alternatives for out-of-stock or out-of-stock items on orders. Provide an additional service to customers by offering lower-cost alternatives.

Planning and Supply

supply planning

Plan material requirements based on demand with the help of production scheduling and material requirements planning functions. Generates optimal suggestions for replenishing inventory transfers based on current and future item demand and availability, as well as a variety of planning parameters: minimum and maximum quantities, and replenishment quantities.

Use automatic assembly, purchase, production and transfer orders and action messages to balance supply and demand. Use time slots when planning material requirements.

demand forecast

Manage demand forecasting based on items. Enter the forecasts of demand (sales) of products and components in the most comfortable way: daily, monthly, or quarterly. Create production and purchase orders that take into account forecast demand, available inventory, and plan requirements.

Sales and inventory forecast

Get deep insight into potential sales and a clear view of expected stock-outs using the “Sales & Inventory Forecast” extension. Leverage its built-in Azure AI capabilities to generate reliable forecasts that make it easy to manage replenishment.

order promise

Promise precise shipping and delivery dates for orders based on the current and future availability of an item. When items are not available to meet a customer-requested delivery date, calculate the earliest ship date: either an available-to-promise date or a promise-ability date, which is when items can be available.

direct shipments

Manage orders that are shipped directly from supplier to customer without having to physically store items in your inventory. Track the costs and benefits of orders. Link sales orders to purchase orders to control the sequence of posting tasks.

order planning

Plan supply for all types of demand on individual orders using a simple supply planning tool.

That’s all there is to the Business Central purchasing and payment, inventory, and supply planning modules. Does your company need an ERP that meets all these features? At Dynamics Square, we are a Microsoft Gold Partner and we make customized solutions to meet all your demands. What are you waiting for? Visit us and Fill in the form without any commitment and we will contact you!


John Smith is a Marketing Manager for an UK & USA leading Microsoft Dynamics Partner, Dynamics Square. The company help enterprises seamlessly manage, and drive their operations with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Power BI Pricing UK, Dynamics 365 Finance Implementation, Supply Chain, Sales, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Power Apps, and Microsoft Dynamics GP.

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