What is Inventory Value Report Storage?
Inventory value reports have always been around and provide a wealth of information. However, they take a long time to run if you have inventory in a lot of different items, in multiple sites and warehouses. For instance, executing the Inventory value report in the USMF company in the Contoso data set took me about 50 seconds to create the report and render it. Not too bad, but if you are having to execute this multiple times a day or run it for subsets of your inventory due to your unique ledger posting profiles, 50 seconds a crack can add up.
If you run this report today in Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, or whatever Microsoft calls it this month, you have been presented with this lovely alert telling you that your precious report is getting deprecated in the future:
What exactly is this Inventory value report storage feature and how do you get it? This is a feature that can be enabled in the Feature Management workspace and was made available on August 31, 2019; almost 18 months ago.
This is a feature that can be disabled after it is enabled and requires no other features. Also, it does NOT remove the existing inventory value report so there is no reason to not turn this feature on.
Once added, this can be accessed via new menu items that can be found by going to Cost management → Inquiries and reports → Inventory value report storage. For those long time AX users, the Cost management module isn’t really new or different functionality, just a grouping of setups, inquiries, and reports specific to costs from other parts of the system.
When creating an entry in the Inventory value report storage form, the user is presented with a dialog very similar to the old Inventory value report. Enter a description in the Name field. I would suggest this name link to the purpose of the report, or the inventory value report ID used to calculate the data. You will see why later. Select the ID. This is the Inventory value report layout; these are the same layouts used for the value report. Select a period interval code or enter the desired date range. Click ‘OK’ and this sends the report to the batch server to be executed.
This dialog has the Records to include section so the user can build a specific filter that uses the same criteria as the inventory value report. For example, to run the report for a specific item group, enter the item group in the Resource group criteria. This process must run in batch which made me think, run this with a recurrence. That feature is available however subsequent runs of the batch do not change the date range even when using a Date interval code that should calculate a new End date such as a Current period to date. Once the Date interval code has been selected, it writes the dates and executes on those dates.
Once the job is sent to the batch queue, the report is generated surprisingly fast. About 5 sec after ‘OK’ was clicked a Refresh provided the results. This obviously will depend on how busy the batch server was at the time. The record in the Inventory value report storage provides the details that were selected on the value report ID used to execute the report so that is kind of nice.
Some things that don’t seem so nice to me.
- The point of this is to have a repository of value reports that can be referenced and reviewed without having to rerun the report every time. The list of reports in storage is sorted based on the execution time in Ascending order. Meaning the most recent is always at the bottom. In my testing, I ran a report for the current month and then ran a report for the prior month. Since the prior month ran second, it is second on the list. Using the Advanced Filter Sort this can be adjusted to sort based on the data available. The only way to open this form and apply the saved sort is to save it out to a workspace.
- The data available in the list by default is the name and the execution date. This may or may not be helpful to find the report of interest. Remember the suggestions from above about how to enter the Name. Having one report is not so bad. Having a year’s worth of reports for inventory and WIP, it may become difficult to find the desired data. Fortunately, personalization can help by adding pertinent data to the list.
Clicking the View details menu button at the top of the form opens the report details. Here is the big difference between the old Inventory Value report and the Inventory Value report storage. Instead of printing out in an SSRS report, it’s a native form in D365. Meaning it can be sorted and filtered and interacted with. The columns that are displayed are based on the selections in the value report layout that was selected.
In the example above, the report layout selected Summarized the physical and financial values. Those intimate with how D365 treats the difference between physical and financial transactions are likely familiar with the confusion this report can bring when the user sees negative financial quantities when negative inventory is not allowed. Summarizing these values is a good practice in my mind, but sometimes you want or need to see both. If the report was generated to summarize the two transactions the data is still there. Both sets of data can be added to the display using the insert columns…command from right-clicking on any column heading.
If this data needs to be summarized by Resource group or Site, as often it is for month-end reconciliation, the only way to do that using a single value report is to export to Excel and do whatever summarizing is necessary. Nine mouse clicks provided me with a simple pivot table by item group:
Another option is to create an additional Inventory value report ID that only displays the Resource group, not the Resource. If this data needs to be printed, as this is usually provided to our auditors, it will have to be printed from Excel as there currently is not a way to print directly from this feature.
Based on my experience in using the Inventory Value Report these are a couple of key features that the current report offers that this new feature lacks.
I hope this helps you understand what this new feature does, how it works as well as its limitations. There are two similar features for Inventory on-hand report storage and Inventory aging report storage that are also out there waiting for you to discover!