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"Innovative Thinking" A Newsletter from Innovative IT Consulting In This Issue

April 2013

Master data setup is critical to how X3 operates. This month we start a series on this critical topic. Follow these pointers for a successful implementation.

In the X3 eXpert's corner John Pellegrino continues with his pointers on persoanlizing X3 Inquiries as he goes Beyond the Basics!

By Paul Sita, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. Paul can be reached at 631-549-1685 or psita@innovativeitc.com.

It takes time to become a Master. Master Data Setup in X3 is critical to how the system operates and behaves. When implementing X3, spend enough time to understand what settings are critical to your business and how/where those particular parameters and values are set up. Extra time spent up front planning your Master Data setup will make X3 easier to operate the way you want as well as maintain over time. This month we start our discusssion of master data by looking at Product Related master data, Product Categories, and Products - probably the single most important area of Master Data.

Product Categories. Product categories are designed to default values as you create new products in the product master. Then as you add a new product within that product category, certain settings are automatically set at the product level. Product Categories should be defined based on:

*How you manage inventory for those kinds of items, i.e. do you track inventory or not?

*How you manage reordering for those items, i.e. via MRP, MPS, or min/max?

*Whether the item is purchased, manufactured, or both.

*Whether back to back orders are permitted or not.

*What GL accounts should be affected when the item is purchased, sold, consumed, etc. (via the accounting codes)

Default values. MOST parameter settings can be over-ridden in the product master. However, stock management rules, relating to which stock statuses are valid for different movement types, as well as allocation rules – can ONLY be specified at the product category level. So for example, if you have some products for which both A and Q status items should be allocated for customer deliveries then you must set up a separate product category to handle this situation.

Summing up Product Categories. Following the above pointers, most organizations should have relatively few product categories, such as Finished Goods – lot controlled, Finished goods, non lot controlled, Raw Materials – lot controlled, Raw Materials non lot controlled, Packaging materials, Office supplies, Purchased Finished Goods, Drop ship to customer goods, etc.

Product master data. (and Product-Site data) For the purposes of X3, when we refer to the Product Master, we also mean the Product-site tables. In X3 you must have at least one product-site record where you store the product, and where X3 will set management policies and aggregate cost information. Most customers have at least several sites where stock is stored. And X3 gives you the ability to set certain key values so you can manage the stock separately at each site where that stock is located.

Within the product master, you can define not only if an item is lot controlled, but what sequence counter or formula X3 should use to assign the lot #’s (or serial #’s). Additionally, as mentioned above the stock management rules of the product category can be over-ridden in the product master. In the product site record, you specify the min/max and/or reordering policy for that product in that site.

Analytical fields. One mistake that many X3 users make is thinking of the Product Categories as marketing or sales breakdowns of their products. Don’t fall into this trap. You may only need one category for all finished goods items, typically FG. However, you may need many types of analytical fields to help you analyze sales of your finished goods.

X3 provides 4 different kinds of fields for analysis!! Each of these 4 types of fields has their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of using them. Next month we’ll discuss each of these and how to best utilize them. Stay tuned to become a Master of Master Data.

ByJohn Pellegrino, Principal and Application Consultant, Innovative IT Consulting. John can be reached at 631-943-1469 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

In our February 2013 tip we showed you how to reorder the data in a sequence that you would like to see and how to eliminate a column of data that you do not need. This month we go "beyond the basics", and discuss showing data fields that are not part of the inquiry definition at all. Again, we will start with the standard X3 sales order inquiry, CONSCSO function, shown below.

Customers often have multiple ship-to addresses and it would be useful to see this data in the inquiry. For my example, I will add the ship-to city and state. If you go to the inquiry screen, CSO, as we did in the previous tip you will see that these two fields are not on the list so we cannot simply add an order number to them. Something else has to be changed first. You have to add the fields to the appropriate screen definition, in my case CONSCSO2, as shown below. The screen to modify can be determined by looking at the Inquiry Code settings under “Grid Screen”.

It's helpful to add the fields at the end of all other fields because you can use the inquiry definition to place them in the order you want. Make sure you declare these as “Display” input and add an activity code to protect the change from patches and upgrades. Then save and validate the screen. Now when you go to the inquiry screen these two fields are available and you can change their order to place them where you want them to show. In my example, I am putting them after the company name. Make sure to save and validate the inquiry definition. Below are screen shots of the changes to the inquiry and the resulting display.

More to come.There are other things that can be personalized; We'll cover these in future tips.

"Data setup that is critical to X3 implementation. (2 words)

T S A R T M E A D A

_ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramble.

"What you can easily do to X3 inquiry screens." (PERSONALIZE)

Next month we'll continue with more on data modeling setting up of X3. if you have suggestions for How-To topics and other X3 related tips, let us know. Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives.

Mastering Master Data. Critical to X3 Success!

X3 eXpert's Corner. Personalize X3 Inquiries - Beyond the Basics."

Word scramble.

 

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