Business Central: Key Fields for Work Centres

At its most simple, any manufacturing requires the resources to make it possible. Work Centres represent the locations that make that possible. Work Centres can consist of a room filled with mechanical, ear-busting drills, or alternatively a room with a sole person equipped with a hammer. The beauty of Business Central’s flexibility to define what the Work Centre is allows you the opportunity to reveal what a Work Centre is to your company. But the simple premise stands, this is where the manufacturing will take place.

The Work Centre Card in Business Central has a lot of fields which cater to the uniqueness of each business situation. This blog hopes to break down some of those key fields into bitesize pieces and show you how you might want to use them within your system.

Shop Calendar Code

For each Work Centre record, you must establish a calendar and working hours. This field allows you to capture working days and hours for each week, but also holidays.

You can also enter in any other non-working days too. It’s vital that the users keep on top of this. To access this, click ‘Shop Calendar Code’, ‘Select from full list’. Make sure you click on the correct Shop Calendar record and then press ‘…’, followed by the ‘Related’, ‘Shop Cal.’, then either ‘Working Days’ or ‘Holidays’.

The Unit of Measure field is a massively significant field. It’s advisable that against a routing which is taking place in a work centre, make sure the unit of measure matches. It’s incredibly easy to slip up where you’ve got a routing down as ‘8’, which is minutes for the Routing but hours for the Work Centre! You may need to go into ‘Settings’ and then ‘Personalise’ to add Unit of Measure field to the Routing Line.


The efficiency field displays how accurately the people or machines are keeping to schedule. The routing will not be confined to what’s been entered. Where a Work Centre’s Efficiency is lower than 100%, the routing time will be affected. Let’s look at an example.

The image below displays the Work Centre Card. The Efficiency is set to 50. The Work Centre in question has a standard 9-5pm open time, defined by the Shop Calendar Code.

The Scheduling tab on the Work Center Card allows you to dictate the efficiency of the work center where production takes place. The Shop Calendar Code dictates the hours per week the work center is open and running.

The second image shows the Routing Card for the relevant item, showing it has a Run Time of 10 hours and is made within the Work Centre ‘CAP’.

Image three shows a Line on a Released Production Order. It takes 20 hours to create the item.

Whether you use this or not is largely depends on the data setup. If there’s a Run Time of 10 hours but that factors in necessary checks after manufacturing and relevant toilet and coffee breaks, then you might not feel the need to use the Efficiency field. But where the Routing is 10 hours with people working as fast as they can, lowering the Efficiency to say, 80% can be a great way to take into account those inevitabilities which take up the designated time.

Capacity and Concurrent Capacity fields

The Capacity field defines the maximum output a Work Centre can produce. Having a Capacity set to ‘one’ will mean that work will occur on that task, and only after finishing that task will work begin on the next. By virtue of this, having a Capacity of 10 means that 10 things could occur at any time.

The Concurrent Capacity is what determines how many people or machines can work at the same time. You’ve determined that there’s a Capacity of 10 and so there are 10 people or machines available. But it might not be efficient to do so. A helpful analogy I’ve found helps when considering this, is the idea of painting a wall. Imagine in a building, the Capacity is 10 as that’s the number of painters available. But, the Concurrent Capacity is five. The reason for this is that with 10 painters all up ladders at once, they are bound to get in each other’s way. So in this instance, a maximum of five painters working at once is the most efficient way of working.

Where you change the Capacity of the Work Centre, make sure you change the Concurrent Capacity on the Routing where it’s appropriate. Keeping the capacity and calendars accurate are so important to keeping the schedule data accurate.

Consolidated Calendar

When using Machine Centers, tied to a Work Center, the Consolidated Calendar field accumulates the working hours of the machines each day. In order to do this, enable this field. Then go ‘Related’, ‘Planning’, ‘Calendar’ and ‘Show Matrix. At this stage, the relevant Work Centre is likely invalid or empty. To refresh, ‘Actions’, ‘Functions’, ‘Calculate’. Afterwards, it may not show the difference immediately. Come out and then ‘Show Matrix’ again and it should have updated. Below is an example using three Machine Centres we set up, each with 8 hour working day. 

As you can see above, there are several Work Centres with a combined working time of 24 hours or more per day. This is only possible by specifying the individual Machine Centres. If we click into the entries themselves, we can see this laid out for us clearly.

Whilst the Galvanise Work Centre has a Capacity of one, there’s three machines attached to it. Each of these Machine Centers are working 8 hours per day. This makes up the 24 hour time displayed on the Work Centre Matrix.

Closing remarks

Hopefully this blog has helped clear up a few doubts regarding Work Centres and the individual fields you can use to accurately manage your production. If there are any lingering doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Lastly, we greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this. To never miss our future posts, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.