How to optimize your planning in the Commodity Business

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Commodity companies usually process many transactions in their ERP systems, both physical as financial transactions. The physical buy and sell transactions are used to generate the position overviews which gives insights in the supply chain of their trade products. Within Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management, master planning can be used to combine all physical transactions and report on short and long positions over time. And it can also be used to generate actions messages to advance or delay orders.

The massive amount of transactions that must be processed with master planning, however, have a direct impact on the performance of master planning and the entire ERP system. A complex master plan run can easily take up to 2-3 hours of processing time and these types of plans cannot easily be run during office hours without having an impact on the ERP system and the database. Therefore, these plans are most often run in a nightly batch job to reduce this performance impact. Being able only run master planning only once or twice a day doesn’t give the fast-moving commodity businesses the information that is needed.

In comes the Planning Optimization Add-in for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, which is introduced by the Microsoft to improve the performance and reduce the impact on the database. The Add-in enables master planning to be run outside Dynamics 365 Supply Chain management and the related SQL database. And the results are impressive!

Run your Master Plan in minutes

With Planning Optimization, the master plan can be run in minutes instead of hours without having a big performance impact on the ERP system and the database. This allows companies with a massive number of physical transactions to maintain the master plan near real time during office hours. And this results in close to real time information for the traders and management, giving them the opportunity to stay updated on demand and supply changes and to be on top of their business.

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The first version of Planning Optimization does not yet fully support all features that are currently available in master planning, but within the One Version policy of Microsoft these features will be added the upcoming updates. On April 2021, the built-in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management master planning engine will be deprecated and will be replaced with the Planning Optimization Add-in.