Business Central: Internal and Inventory Movements

A little while ago, we covered Advanced warehousing in Business Central, including transfer orders. Transfer orders are a way to perform external movements. By that, I mean movements that are inter-location. In this post, we are going to cover movements that take place between bins in the same location. There are a few ways you can do this, depending on the level of warehousing you employ. We will split this post out by warehouse configuration, with all the available options for each.

What are internal movements in Business Central?

Internal movements are mechanisms to move stock between bins in a singular location in Business Central.

Basic Warehouse internal movements

With Basic warehousing, you have a couple of options. Before I delve into what they are, if you’re unfamiliar with Basic warehousing, we encourage you to read our guide.

The first is using both internal movements and inventory movements. The other would be to move stock using an Item Reclassification Journal.

Internal Movement and Inventory Movements

When you are using Basic warehousing, if you wish to move stock without tying the movement to an existing order, you start from an Internal Movement. From this record, you create an Inventory Movement. Similar names I know! If you want to tie the movement to an incoming or outbound order, the process will be slightly different. We will cover that scenario further down.

To start, on the Internal Movements page, create a new record. Input a value in the No. field. Next, input a value in the Location Code and the Item No. field. The next stage is to add a From Bin Code and a To Bin Code, dictating where you want to move the stock between. After you’ve done this, select the quantity to move. If you click into the ‘…’, you can see a bin content list for the item you specified in the various bin options. Alternatively, where you wish to move the entirety of an item’s bin contents out and to another bin, you can use the Get Bin Contents action.

When you are happy with the stock you’re moving, you can click the ‘Create Inventory Movement’. So, to clarify, you start with an Internal Movement and subsequently create an Inventory Movement.

When employing Basic warehousing, users can utilise both Inventory and Internal Movements. This screen shows how to create an Inventory Movement directly from an Internal Movement record.

The next step is to go to that particular Inventory Movement record. On the record, you will have to amend the Qty. to Handle field values to match the figure in the Quantity field. You have the option to use the ‘Split Line’ function on the ‘Place’ line. This allows you to place the quantity from the ‘Take’ line into two or more bins. You can also amend the Qty. to Handle on the ‘Take’ line, meaning you are taking the stock from more than one bin. You can then use the ‘Register Invt. Movement’ action. This isn’t a ‘post’ button, because there’s no financial consequence of moving the stock as it’s staying within the same location. Afterwards, you can go to the Registered Inventory Movement page to see the record you registered.

Inventory Movement without an Internal Movement

When employing Basic warehousing, as an alternative, users can employ inventory movements on their own. Instead of selecting a particular quantity to move from a bin, or the total bin contents, you can instead use the Get Source Doc action to relate the move to another record. When you do this, it doesn’t utilise the Internal Movement page. I am going to demonstrate this in the context of production.

On a Released Production Order record, I can move my components to the Shop Floor. On the production order, after specifying what it is I’m making, the Location Code and quantity, click ‘Actions’, ‘Warehouse’ and ‘Create Inventory Put-away/Pick/Movement’.

On a production order, when using Basic warehousing, users can create and navigate to an Inventory Movement record. This image shows how to do that. Firstly, click 'Actions', then 'Warehouse' and then Create Inventory Put-away/Pick/Movement'.

You should reach a screen like that below. Make sure you enable ‘Create Invt. Movement’. Afterwards, click ‘Ok’.

This screen shows you how to enable the Create Invt. Movement action.

It is possible to get the message below when you click ‘ok’:

This error message occurs when the system can't determine where to get the components from, to create the finished goods. To rectify this, give a value for the Components at Location field on the Manufacturing Setup page.

To prevent this from happening, make sure the ‘Components at Location’ value on the Manufacturing Setup page is somewhere which has the required components for your production order.

Once you’ve got a message to say there’s now an inventory movement record, navigate over to that record. You can do this using the search bar. Alternatively, on the production order, click ‘More Options’, ‘Related’, ‘Order’ and ‘Put-away/Pick Lines/Movement Lines’.

This image shows you how to navigate to an Inventory movement record you have created from a production order when employing Basic warehousing. On the production order, click 'Related', 'Order' and 'Put-away/Pick Lines/Movement Lines' and select the Card.

On the record itself, there’s a Take and a Place line. These reflect the actions that are going to occur; the components are going to be taken from one bin and placed in another, prior to consumption.

This screen shows the Inventory Movement record itself.

As you can see, the Qty. to Handle field doesn’t currently have a value. I can manually enter in the relevant quantity or instead, I can have it populated automatically by clicking ‘Process’ and ‘Autofill Qty. to Handle’.

On an Inventory Movement record, by clicking 'Process' and 'Autofill Qty. to Handle', you can populate the Qty. to Handle field without manually entering in a number

On an Internal Movement record, you can use the ‘Split Line’ function too. This allows users to add additional lines, with an Action Type value of ‘Take’. This means you can take components from multiple bins before moving them to the bin where they will be picked from for production.

Finally, once you’re happy with the record, click ‘Process’ and ‘Register Invt. Movement.’

At the beginning of this section, I noted this was available for those using Basic warehousing. If you create an Inventory Movement record against a production order for a location using Basic inventory and not warehousing, the Location Code value on the Inventory Movement will default to a location with the necessary setup. So in essence, it ignores the value against the production order and inputs a valid value it can actually apply. For example, I had a production order against BM-WH. However, after creating a Inventory Movement against the order, the value on there set to BASIC-WH by default. This is because inventory movements require Basic warehousing.

Item Reclassification Journal

If you are using a Basic configuration for your warehouse, one way in which you can perform internal movements is using the Item Reclassification Journal. Fortunately, item reclassification journals are simple to use. On the Item Reclassification Journals page, you may need to personalise the screen to add fields to the page.

I have highlighted some of the key fields in the image above.

As you can see, there is a ‘New Location Code’ field. This shows that, if you want, you can use this for external movements too.

Where you wish to input a particular quantity, simply enter the figure you wish to move in the Quantity field. If you don’t wish to input an exact quantity and instead want to move all the stock of a particular item from one area to another, you can use the ‘Get Bin Content’ function.

Pros and cons of Item Reclassification Journals

This functionality is very strong as it enables users to perform movements in one action. This essentially bypasses the two-step process which internal and inventory movements provide. This could be seen as a negative as putting warehousing in place usually promotes multi-stage processes which separate out users’ powers. One way in which you can limit who can do what is by employing levels of permissions to users or user groups. By preventing Read, Insert, Modify or Delete access, you can define the level of access particular users or groups of users can have on item reclassifications journals. It’s really down to preference in determining which means of moving stock fits with your processes. You can use both if you want to.

Advanced Warehouse internal movements

To be clear, I am talking about Advanced but not full WMS warehousing in this section. WMS is Advanced with ‘Directed Put-away and Pick’ enabled on the Location Card.

In Advanced warehouses, you have the same options available to you as an additional option. You can use the Item Reclassification Journal, but when using this, it doesn’t reflect the level of setup you have input. This is because with Advanced warehousing, you are inputting a two-stage process.

Closing remarks

Thanks for reading. To keep up to date with when we post, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn. If you have any comments or queries, please get in contact with us.

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