Investigating Item Card Fields in Business Central: Part Two

This is the second instalment on Item Card fields. This post will cover the ‘Replenishment’ tab. Make sure to read the first post covering the ‘Item’, ‘Inventory’ and ‘Costs & Posting’ tabs before this one. The Replenishment tab and the Planning tab are two of the most jam-packed tabs and so are worthy of their own posts.


On the Item Card, you can see the Replenishment tab is broken up into three parts, being ‘Purchase’, ‘Production’ and ‘Assembly’. Before that however, there are two fields that aren’t tied to one of these subsections. The first of which is ‘Replenishment System’.

Replenishment System

The Replenishment System refers to how you are going to get the Item into your system. You can have this either set to ‘Purchase’, ‘Prod. Order’ or ‘Assembly’. This is important to note as what you set here will determine which fields the system looks at below. For example, if I have the Replenishment System set to Prod. Order, I could have my Vendor No. set to whoever, but it won’t matter as the system is looking for the fields in the Production subsection.

To clarify, the difference between assembly and a production order is that a production order relates to creating the item using other components. Assembly however, is more of a collection of items or components together, without the need for a work centre or routing time. This is because they go together easily. I like to think of assembly being like a party bag. It’s full of all sorts of different items, but there’s no extensive time or tools needed to create it, they are simply all put together.

Lead Time Calculation

The Item Card’s Lead Time Calculation field will only be relevant where you have selected ‘Purchase’ as your option of obtaining the goods. The lead time is the time it takes to ship the Item to your location. This time will not include the inbound warehouse time. It’s important to note here that you can set the lead time against the vendor themselves, but it depends on whether you have a set vendor identified against this item and if so, whether it takes them the same period to time to ship as it does everything else they sell. Strangely, this field isn’t in the Purchasing subtab.

Vendor No.

In the ‘Purchase’ subtab, there’s the Vendor No. field. This lets you specify the vendor who you always purchase the Item whose card we are on, from. If it’s something you can buy from lots of different vendors, it’s less likely you would input an entry here.

Purch. Unit of Measure

The Purch. Unit of Measure relates to the unit of measure that’s relevant when purchasing the item. For example, that could be by ‘litres’ or ‘each’.

Purchasing Blocked

Purchasing Blocked is the same as Sales Blocked, but instead of blocking sales transactions, it blocks purchase transactions. This could be done for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps the item is something outdated now and so you are looking to purchase an improved replacement.

Manufacturing Policy

This is the first field in the Production subsection of the Item Card’s Replenishment tab. Here you’re able to define whether you are looking to produce stock to match incoming order requirements or to match a desired stock level. This is closely tied to Material Requirements Planning (MRP).

Routing No.

If the BOM is thought of as the ‘what’, then the routing is the ‘how’. When it comes to manufacturing, you’re assuming the components listed won’t simply be put together in a bag and organised in seconds. You’re factoring in things like the Run Time of manufacturing, Wait Time and whether the stages of the Item’s production can occur simultaneously or one after the other. This field lets you assign your defined routing to the item. Make sure to check out our guide on how routings work in Business Central if you’re unsure.

Production BOM No.

The Production BOM No. is the Stan to the routing’s Ollie. If you’ve set out a method of making the product in the previous field, you’ll need to set out what the product’s made from. This is done in this field. And so, the Production BOM No. relates to which code maps the defined combination and quantities of Items (components) required to create the Item at hand.

Flushing Method

The flushing of components relates to production and sales planning. It relates to the point at which components are consumed. Forward flushing means the relevant components will be consumed when the production order is created. Backward flushing means the components will be consumed when the production order is completed. Manual flushing lets the user define when the components are consumed. In the examples I will show, this is at the point of sale.

Whilst Forward and Backward will run automatically, Manual will be done by going to the production order, clicking ‘Line’ and ‘Production Journal’. In this screen you can post the consumption manually for components.

Using the Flushing Method Filter at the top you have the ability to filter which components you want to see by flushing method. For any item you are creating, it’s entirely possible to have different flushing methods for the different components.

Why would I use one flushing method over another?

Forward and Backward Flushing have their issues. With forward flushing, the biggest limitation is where you make a production order by accident. This is because at the point of creation, the stock is consumed. The advantage of forward flushing is that you account for stock consumption immediately, giving accurate inventory levels. So for example, if a stocktake were to occur, the system wouldn’t believe that more stock was readily available than there really is.

The opposite can be said for backward flushing. Whereas there’s not the issue of accidentally creating orders affecting stock, stocktaking could produce results vastly different than what’s accurate as the stock hasn’t yet been consumed. For example, you have 100 of component A, which is set to a Flushing Method of Backward. If there’s a released production order involving 50 of them with a 10 day period in-between creating the order and completing it, then for those 10 days your system is under the false belief that there are 1000 readily available for other orders.

As a general rule of thumb, Probitas believe that components with short lead times should be the only ones to use backward flushing, mitigating the risk of stock level inaccuracies.

Manual flushing grants users a middle ground in which they can determine when their components are consumed, keeping stock levels accurate. In most instances, we would recommend using manual flushing. Being a key decision in the manufacturing process, we can assist in defining the flushing methods for your items.

Overhead Rate

The Overhead Rate is an additional cost you can set against an item. This is done as a flat figure and will be simply totalled up like the Standard Cost. You’re likely to use this where the item has a particularly individual cost associated with it, perhaps in the way it’s stored. But remember this is calculated by each individual item.

Lot Size

Lot sizes are important to the production process as they give a way of producing large quantities at once, instead of producing one at a time which isn’t always so straightforward or efficient. The Microsoft help page provides a useful analogy for this. If your item is a muffin, whilst you can sell one muffin at a time, creating one at a time is less simple. You’re likely going to make a batch consisting of several.

When it comes to manufacturing in Business Central, your Lot Size is the number of goods you are making at once. Lot size will have to be realistic with regards to the Capacity set in the Work Centre where the production is taking place in.

Assembly Policy

This is the first field in the Assembly subsection of the Item Card’s Replenishment tab. You can choose Assemble-to-Order to assemble things to match requirements for incoming orders, or Assemble-to-Stock to assemble items to meet a defined stock level requirement.

Assembly BOM

This field defines which Assembly BOM is attached to this Item. This works in the same fashion as Production BOMs which we mentioned earlier.

Closing remarks

Thanks for reading. Be sure to read our next post analysing Item Card fields. If you have any questions, please get in contact with us.