Calculation of Dynamic Routes for Load in AX 2012 R3 and D365FO

Ever wondered how to manage your transportation resources in Dynamics AX/365FO if your company doesn’t have statically fixed delivery routes? ICS team has the answer.

The TMS (Transport Management System) module of Microsoft Dynamics AX (D365FO) is an invaluable tool that allows enterprises to efficiently manage their complex inbound and outbound transportation planning and execution processes. However, it is not without its limitations, and a solution to overcome one of them is presented below.

When considering using the standard features of the TMS module for solving routing problems, it needs to be taken into account that the MS standard allows you to manage only the so-called static routes. Describing this business process at the top level, we can highlight the following four stages:

  1. Drawing up configuration of static fixed routes;
  2. Defining route schedule for certain days of the week / times of day;
  3. Selection of the optimal route for the required load from the predefined ones;
  4. Calculation of transportation costs, shipping career selection, purchase order placement, etc.

But how this routing functionality can be used by those enterprises that do not have statically fixed routes, but nevertheless provide the service of delivering their products to the customer’s destination address? The need to automate these business processes arises in almost all manufacturing companies, distribution firms and third-party logistics bureaus. For these enterprises the task of routing comes down to finding the optimal way (in terms of economic costs) of covering all destination points (hubs) for all shipments in a load, or, as we call it, the calculation of dynamic routes.

This task was successfully resolved by the ICS team: a TMS Add-in was developed that allows to:

  • Calculate the optimal route that covers all destination hubs;
  • Calculate the projected time and distance;
  • Visualize the routes directly in the Dynamics AX environment;
  • Calculate the projected cost of delivery in accordance with the current price agreements with shipping carriers;
  • Spread the transportation costs across sales order lines and place purchase orders.

Needless to say, all this requires quite complex mathematical models and algorithms for clusters building, optimal routes calculation, carrying capacity and vehicle capacity calculations, etc., which will be covered in the upcoming articles. For now, we just show a nice picture with the final result of how it looks in AX (the route in the screenshot on the right corresponds to the blue route in the schematic diagram).

Click image to enlarge

In addition, EDI integration services were also included in the Add-in, allowing you to exchange information on routes, transportation costs and delivery progress status with external logistic systems.

Support is provided for MS Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and MS Dynamics 365FO.

We would like to attract the attention of all companies that are looking to address issues of managing their transportation resources and are thinking about using or already using the TMS module of Dynamics AX – our experts will answer all your questions and help you solve your problems.