Both large and small businesses rely on 3PL companies to enhance their distribution capabilities and reach more customers, faster. However, major enterprise resource planning software providers have neglected to meet essential needs specific to 3PL. Avantiico has addressed this issue through the creation of our 3PL Warehouse and Billing solution. The Avantiico solution is an add-on to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain that addresses functionality needs of 3PL businesses. The solution provides a simple user interface for the creation and maintenance of customer contracts, real-time data collection automation, capturing of charges, and automated billing, eliminating tedious manual tasks to save your business time and money.
The Avantiico solution’s billing engine feature supports automated creation of periodic sales orders and invoices. The billing engine collects charges and fees based on customer contract terms. The engine is a powerful one, with the processing capabilities to handle millions of orders and order lines every week and billions of dollars in inventory. To reduce manual tasks, billable activities are captured based on warehouse operations or scheduled billing time. These billable activities include:
These activities are then stored in a table to support customer billing. The billing engine deals with sales orders in-depth. Firstly, sales orders are automatically created with sales lines by charge type. This action can accommodate all transactions for a specified billing period. After the sales order is created, the invoicing process in completed using standard accounts receivable features in Dynamics 365 Finance. Sales orders can still be modified until they are confirmed, however, they are automatically confirmed based on the customer’s billing schedule. To review, users can drill-down into the details of billable activities in sales order lines. Invoice formats can be based on customer needs or a single invoice template.
To define what is being billed, how those charges are calculated, and their invoice timing, customer contract charge structures are created. These are defined at the customer account level and defined as a one-off or on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Periodic charges can be billed based on contract terms such as on a specified day. For example, on a specific weekday, the first day of the month, a specific day in each quarter, etc. There can be additional fees specified such as account setup fees and facilities initiation fees, service level agreement (SLA) fees, account management fees, monthly minimum charges, and accuracy fees.
Transaction-based charges can include storage, receiving, and shipping charges. These are determined based on contract terms but can also be based on item setup. These items are defined by customer ownership, climate control requirements, item velocity, and other classifications. For receiving charges, they can be defined in any storage unit, on an individual level, by case, pallet, etc. The Avantiico solution supports many transaction-based charges around receiving, storage, and shipping. Examples of fees include:
The Avantiico 3PL Warehouse and Billing solution also adds functionality around fulfillment. Fulfillment requests can be received as EDI transactions, as Intelligent Order Management (IOM) marketplace orders, or as customer specific .XML or .CSV files. These demands will then be converted into sales orders. In our application, the fulfillment process uses the same standard entities as a typical sales process. Sales orders are identified as by type, with prices excluded, so that they will not be reflected in accounts receivable. Packing slips will be customized and be created to appear as if they were sent on behalf of the 3PL’s customer and include the end-customer’s name and address. Pre-defined contract terms and shipping charges will be reflected on the formatting of labels and by the packing slips. Leveraging the standard sales order process, steps such as releasing product to warehouse, outbound order creation, picking, etc. can follow standard Dynamics 365 Inventory Management, Warehouse Management, and/or Transportation Management business processes.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain ERP system includes the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transportation Management System (TMS) modules that are excellent solutions for companies that own their warehouses and distribution centers. These solutions include many impressive features for supply chain operations, however, they lack capabilities essential to 3PL. The Avantiico 3PL Warehouse and Billing module for Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain addresses the gaps that 3PL companies face when evaluating ERP solutions. These gaps center around specific warehouse and billing requirements that are associated with order fulfillment on behalf of a client. Avantiico’s new 3PL Warehouse and Billing module for Dynamics 365 is available to all Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain users. For more information on the other Microsoft products that can be applied to 3PL, read our Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Software for 3PL.
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