Quality Management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Improved quality management is every executive’s desire. One of the best features of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is that quality management lies at the very heart of the program. In this series, we’ll explore these various features, starting with an overview, followed by more details in subsequent blogs.

Overview

Dynamics AX 2012 offers a set of processes around Quality Management and Quality Control. While most people use the terms “Quality Management” and “Quality Control” interchangeably, it is important to note that in AX 2012 “Quality Control” deals with tests, standards, specs, what to test, when to test, how to test, etc. On the other hand “Quality Management” deals with nonconformities; i.e. what to do when a quality standard is violated. This includes diagnostics, repair and rework charges, and more. Microsoft uses the term “Quality Assurance” to refer to everything related to Quality: Image1

Setup Overview

The Quality Management and Control processes can be setup from the Inventory Management module. First, you will need to turn the Quality Management master switch on. The following screenshot shows you the path: Image2   After the Quality Management is activated, you can start setting up the process parameters as per the following screenshot:   Image3   Through these setup elements, you can do the following:

  • Define Test Instruments and measurement devices on which tests will be performed.

Image4

  • Define Tests, their possible results (Test Variables), and group them into Test Groups that can be performed in sequence. Test Groups represent Quality Specifications.

Image5

  • Define Quality Sampling (both fixed and dynamic)

Image6

  • Use Quality Associations to link Test Groups to supply chain triggers (like receiving a PO, producing an item, etc.) Dynamics AX 2012 uses Quality Associations to automatically generate Quality Orders (and block inventory).
  • Define Diagnostics and Problem Types that are associated with nonconformities.
  • Define Quality Charges.
  • Define Quarantine Zones.

After completing these setup elements, Quality Management and Control features in AX will be ready for business.

How it works

Based on the Quality Association setup, the system will automatically generate Quality Orders. A Quality Order represents the test(s) that must be performed on a defined quantity of an item. The automatic creation of Quality Orders depends on the triggers defined in Quality Associations. Quality orders can also be created manually when needed. It is important to define clear quality guidelines that tell the system and the users when to create Quality Orders automatically, and when to use the manual option. Quality Order can be viewed using the following path: Image7   The following screenshot shows a sample list of Quality Orders. Notice the following

  1. You can create a new quality order manually by clicking on the “New” button (or by pressing CTRL+N)
  2. The “Validate” button validates the entered results against the specs (for both test results and quantity being tested). If everything is within the specs, the system will change the status of the order to “Pass”. If not, it will be “Fail”.
  3. A Quality Order may have more than one test. Users can enter results to each Test, and validate each test separately. As you can see in the example below, one test may pass (green checkmark), while another may fail (a red x mark).  The system can be configured to pass a Quality Order even if some (or all) of its individual tests fail.
  4. This form also allows the creation of Certificate of Analysis (CoA).
  5. A non-conformance can also be created from this screen.

Image8   This is a high-level overview of some of the features of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. More details will be looked at in following blog posts.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Amer Dalain

Insight written by Amer Dalain

Director, Manufacturing at Rand Group

Amer Dalain has over 9 years of experience with various ERP platforms, including Microsoft Dynamics AX & NAV, which he couples with his 12+ years of work in Information Systems, Supply Chain, Business and Management. Strong exposure to business practices and challenges in manufacturing, retail, and global supply chains enable Mr. Dalain to tackle the toughest of ERP challenges

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