In Business Central, there’s several ways of matching supply to demand. Whilst in the past, we covered areas like order promising to achieve this, today we are going to shift our focus to reservation entries. The supply could be made up of purchase, assembly or production orders, whilst the demand is likely made up of sales orders. The Reservation Entries page helps users decipher which supply records correlate to which demand record.
In today’s blog, I will use production and sales order to help explain reservation entry functionality. Reservations are an extremely large and complex area of Business Central, so the purpose of this post is to help users identify links between two different types of records, which will help them understand whether stock is available. This will be the first of multiple posts running through analysing reservation entries.
After browsing through Wikipedia, I couldn’t help but notice the IQA World Cup (Quidditch) is occurring this summer and so I’ll use that as my theme for today’s post.
Setting up my data
To begin with, I am using Item: 1221. This is an item replenished by production order.
One Item Card field I’d like to address now is Reserve, located within the Planning tab. This field has three options to choose from: ‘Never’, ‘Optional’ or ‘Always’. This will affect the Reservation Status values which I will come to later. By having it set to ‘Never’, contrary to the tooltip, you aren’t stopping yourself from reserving stock using MRP. However, it does prevent you from manually reserving stock. See below:
By having this value set to ‘Always’, a reservation will be made as soon as you populate a sales order line (without having to carry out MRP). I will return to this later on!
I’ve created a sales order for the Item: Nimbus 2023 for a Quantity: 10 to Customer: Harry Potter Industries
As I am demonstrating this functionality to highlight how reservation entries can aid your visibility of available inventory to ship to meet demand, I will provide myself with enough components to make the finished item, as to not overcomplicate the data.
Reserving stock from the sales order
On the Sales Order record, I can manually reserve stock. I start by adding the Reserve and Reserved Quantity fields to the sales order Lines section, using the Personalise action. From my experience, regardless of what I have set against the Item Card, the Reserve field always seems to default to ‘Never’ on the sales order Lines section.
Automatically reserving stock on the sales order
If you have the Reserve field on the Item Card set to ‘Always’, it will automatically populate the Reserved Quantity field with a value that matches the sales order quantity, meaning you can drill into that value and check it’s appropriate.
Manually reserving stock on the sales order
In those cases where it isn’t automatic, you can manually reserve stock. To do so, you will have to amend the Reserve value on the sales order line to ‘Optional’ or ‘Always’. After doing so, the Reserved Quantity won’t automatically change. To fix this, click ‘Line’, ‘Functions’ and ‘Reserve’:
Here, you should see all of the lines you can choose to reserve the stock from. To select which one to use, highlight the appropriate line and click ‘Process’ and ‘Reserve from Current Line’:
Now, when I drill into that Reserved Quantity value, I can see this:
You also have the ability to cancel reservations from this area too. You may be wondering what the Entry No. value reflects. This is the reservation entry number.
Planning Worksheet reservations
Moving away from manual reservations, I can use the Planning Worksheet to reserve stock. As I have planning parameters set on the item card, I can now go to the Planning Worksheet and generate suggested planning lines. Upon doing so, reservation entries are created. This shows us that you don’t need to make a method of supply to generate reservation entries. You simply must have the suggested planning lines.
Accessing Reservation Entries table
So far I’ve mentioned reservations but haven’t shown you how to access the specific table. To access the Reservation Entries table in Business Central, you can’t simply search for it like a traditional page. To access it, you must amend your address bar. There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. The first is by removing all characters from ‘page’ onwards. Next, replace that with ‘table=337’.
Hopefully this works and you’ll be able to see the Reservation Entry table. However, if the URL is too long it can sometimes not take you there. In those instances, try the below method.
After the ‘/?’ in the URL, enter ‘table=337’. This should work.
On the Reservation Entry table
After creating planning lines on the Planning Worksheet, there are now additional reservation entries:
Amending reservations on the Planning Worksheet
Returning back to the Planning Worksheet, the first step is to highlight the relevant line(s) and click ‘Process’ and ‘Carry Out Action Message’:
I have the ability to define whether I want the resulting production order to be ‘Planned’ or ‘Firm Planned’. In deciding, this will affect the reservation entries. For this initial example, I will start by setting it to ‘Planned’:
After doing so, are there new or amended reservation entries?
As you can see, one RowVersion number has remained the same, whilst the other has changed. One is the same as this is the one with a negative quantity and a Source Type of 37. The Source Type field relates to the table number. Whilst most users won’t be able to associate table numbers with their respective names, you can go to the Configuration Packages page to map them. If you create or click into an existing configuration package, on a line, add the table number. Next to it, you’ll see the Table Name value. As you can see below, this indicates to me that 37 is the Sales Line and 5406 is the Prod. Order Line table:
As it stands, the sales order hasn’t changed. However, I no longer have a line in the Planning Worksheet, which explains why I no longer have RowVersion number 9459030. Instead, I have a new line corresponding to the Planned Production Order I just created (9466965).
Changing the ‘planned’ production order to ‘released’
Upon changing the status of the production order, there’s been an amendment to Source Subtype and RowVersion on the reservation entries. The Source Subtype value has changed is now 3. Previously, it was 1. The Source Type is still 5406, indicating it’s a Prod. Order Line, but the Source Subtype changing indicates it’s now a different type of production order. To give greater detail, Source Subtype 0 relates to Planning Worksheet lines, essentially those without a means of supply currently. Source Subtype 1 relates to Planned Production Orders. Source Subtype 2 relates to Firm Planned Production Orders. Finally, Source Subtype 3 relates to Released Production Orders.
How does consuming components in the production order affect reservations?
After changing the status of the production order ‘released’, I can now use the production journal against the line. As a result of this, I can consume enough components to produce two of the finished goods required for the production order. In the image below, I have set the Output Quantity value to 2 in the Production Journal:
After posting, when I check the reservation entries, the two lines relating to Entry No. value: 2638 are no longer there. These two lines were the original sales order and planning worksheet lines. However, there are also additional lines:
I now have two lines for Entry No. 2639 and two for 2641. The first relates to the consumed components. The second relates to the items that are yet to be consumed.
The reason I have blacked out a couple of lines is because these lines aren’t relevant to the post and I didn’t want to cause confusion.
Completely consuming the stock
The next stage is to completely consume the components. On the released production order, I posted the rest of the consumption on the production journal. Let’s check the reservation entries now:
Upon doing so, you can see that the RowVersion value is now different for the bottom two lines, however the Entry No. remains the same. You can also see that the Source Type value, for the bottom line, is now 32. Table 32 is the Inventory table. This indicates the stock has moved from production to inventory.
Setting the production order to ‘Finished’
After changing the status of the production order to ‘Finished’, there are no changes to the reservation entries. At this stage, the stock is in inventory and is ready to be picked for shipping.
Posting the original sales order
After posting ‘ship’ and ‘invoice’ on the sales orders, all reservations are deleted. At this stage, there’s nothing to correlate the posted sales shipment with the finished production order.
How does the Reserve field affect reservations?
As mentioned earlier, on the Item Card’s Planning tab, there’s a Reserve field. If you set this to ‘Never’, you won’t be able to manually reserve stock against a sales order:
However, even with ‘Never’, MRP will still create reservations which you can see in the Reservation Entry table. When you generate lines in the Planning Worksheet as a result of a demand, the Reservation Entry lines you generate will have a Reservation Status of ‘Surplus’. That is until you click ‘Carry Out Action Message’, at which point it will change to ‘Reservation’. This applies, regardless of whether the Reserve field is set to Never or Always.
That’s the end of the process in today’s introduction to reservations. There’s just one other standard report I’d like to bring to your attention before finishing.
Sales Reservation Availability report
The Sales Reservation Avail. report is another useful tool in determining stock availability. You can apply particular filters here to determine what data you see:
When you apply the relevant filters, you can load up the report. In the instance below, I set the Item No. filter to be 1221, the Nimbus 2023:
Note, this screenshot was taken prior to posting the complete consumption of the components, finishing the production order and posting the sales order.
As you can see, it’s slightly less detailed than the Reservation Entry table itself, but uses a lot of the same data, presenting it in a slightly easier to understand way. You can see reservations grouped together with the Table Name included.
There is also a Purchase Reservation Availability report which works in much the same way.
Thanks for reading. Expect a second instalment on reservations soon! At Probitas, we’ve been customising Navision, NAV and Business Central systems for over 20 years! To find out more about how we can help you, contact us. To keep up to date with our posts, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.