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Order Tracking Policy in Microsoft Dynamics NAV: A Misunderstood Setup

When you are setting up Dynamics NAV to run MRP, you want to be able to create Action Messages and track where the demand is coming from.

ArcherPoint How-To Blog: Step-by-step instructions on how to perform specific tasks in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Because of some differences in how tracking is defined in Dynamics NAV, however, order tracking is often misunderstood. Let’s start with some definitions:   

In APICS terminology, tracking is called “Pegging”. The APICS dictionary defines Pegging as, “In MRP and MPS, the capability to identify for a given item the sources of its gross requirements and/or allocations; pegging can be thought of as active where-used information.” 

From the Dynamics NAV “Help” for the Order Tracking field: “Order Tracking Policy specifies if and how order tracking entries are created and maintained between supply and its corresponding demand.”

Our instinct, then, is to set the Order Tracking Policy to “Tracking and Action Msg.” if we want to get MRP (NAV Planning Worksheet) Planning Action Messages and Order Tracking (Pegging), shown in the screenshot below:

Item Planning Tab for Item 1100 from Dynamics NAV 2013

Figure 1 – Item Planning Tab for Item 1100 from Dynamics NAV 2013

However, when I Calculated Regenerative Plan and then selected "Order Tracking" for Item 1100, shown in the screenshots below, I not only got Action Messages but Order Tracking information as well.

Planning Worksheet from NAV 2013 – Action Messages for Item 1100

Figure 2 – Planning Worksheet from NAV 2013 – Action Messages for Item 1100

Order Tracking information for Item 1100

Figure 3 – Order Tracking information for Item 1100

So what is the Order Tracking Policy Used for?

There is a seldom used feature in the NAV Planning Worksheet called “Get Action Messages”.

Planning Worksheet Get Action Messages… command

Figure 4 – Planning Worksheet Get Action Messages… command

The purpose of this feature is to do somewhat manual ”level-by-level” planning using the Planning Worksheet.

For example:

There is a sales order entered for a bicycle. Go to the Planning Worksheet and select “Get Action Messages”. The system will populate a line on the Planning Worksheet to create a new Production Order for a bicycle. Select “Carry out Action Messages” to create the Production Order for the Bicycle, then select Get Action Messages again.  The program will then suggest creating a Production Order for Front and Back Wheels.  Select Carry out Action Messages to create the Production Orders for the Front and Back Wheels.  And so on…

My recommendation is that if you are not using the Get Action Messages feature of Dynamics NAV, you should set the Order Tracking Policy to “None”. While this might seem insignificant, it is important to understand that if you set the Order Tracking Policy to anything but None, the system will create unnecessary tracking entries in the Dynamics NAV Reservation Entry Table.

If you have any questions regarding Order Tracking, please contact ArcherPoint.

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