An insider's view on planning worksheet and reservation entries

Posted by Ute Gillet on Mar 26, 2024 4:29:03 PM

In episode 35 of his podcast, Martin welcomed Martin Blaha from the Czech Republic, who moved to the UK in 2016, where he still lives and works. Martin has been in the Dynamics NAV and Business Central business for the past 12 years. Throughout these twelve years, he has been solely working with manufacturing and distribution customers, and he knows the Business Central manufacturing module by heart. While Martin worked in various consulting roles for various Business Central partners for 11 years, he embarked on an entrepreneurial journey last year. Hence, Martin now owns MB365 Consulting – a new generation Business Central partner. 


Preliminary remark: Since both interviewees have the same first name, I will add the first letter of their last names for better distinction.

Being asked why he calls his new company a "new generation Business Central" partner and what distinguishes the "old" generation from the "new " one, Martin B. outlined that his way of working, compared to traditional partners, is characterized by flexibility, agility, and a focus on delivering quicker results at a lower cost, the lower cost resulting from working remote and thus having no corporate debts. He referred to his small but very efficient team, consisting of the best developers on the market. While many traditional partners still adhere to the so-called waterfall-project methodology, meaning that each step of a project runs over many months, he works in a hybrid agile environment as Microsoft recommends, allowing him to run a first iteration quickly and collect feedback very quickly.

Leading over to the, as Martin K. called them, "hard facts of Business Central", they started to talk about the topic of Martin B.'s latest blog post "Five things you didn't know about planning worksheets" and why he is so passionate about it. According to Martin B., his enthusiasm for production stems from his journey from working with manufacturing software to transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. He emphasizes the value of understanding manufacturing processes and the desire to share knowledge to prevent common pitfalls in implementations. He has seen, as he puts it, "so many missed or failed implementations where people just did not know what they're doing". His passion for the planning worksheet is rooted in the fact that it brings significant value to the customer "by sorting out the daily work in logic sequence and manner". Companies must understand the intricacies of the planning worksheet and adopt best practices to derive maximum value. This not only involves a constant learning process but also the willingness to accept the system's suggestions.

Talking about the "Frozen Period", a key concept of the planning worksheet, denoting a period where the schedule is fixed and shouldn't be altered, Martin B. stressed the importance of setting the start date in the future to analyze urgencies, such as unshipped sales orders or missed planning opportunities. Lead times and communication also play crucial roles. Coordination among different planning roles is key, with a focus on minimizing the frequency of running planning worksheets to avoid overloading the system. It's essential to align internal processes and goals to maximize system efficiency and avoid resorting to external solutions like Excel, which can complicate matters and, of course, can't be the purpose of using an ERP system.

Another best practice recommended by Martin B. is to define the worksheet process plan and then run it in small steps to achieve specific goals and balance supply and demand for each area individually. Moreover, utilizing filtering options extensively allows for running planning worksheets for bespoke purposes. Categorizing items is another key aspect, helping streamline the planning process by organizing products based on their characteristics. However, these practices might require adjustments to fit each company's unique needs. Additionally, Martin B. places a lot of emphasis on the significance of personal relationships in successful ERP system implementations, stressing the value of on-site interaction over remote communication alone. While planning worksheets in Business Central play a crucial role in balancing supply and demand throughout the manufacturing process chain, reservation entries serve as the glue holding everything together by ensuring alignment between supply and demand, and orders being fulfilled in the correct sequence.

The conversation ended with discussing the importance of finding a balance between flexibility and strictness when using reservation entries in Business Central for manufacturing. While these entries help keep supply and demand in check, they can sometimes limit flexibility. The solution lies in understanding how the system works and automating processes without changing the system itself. This automation can simplify tasks while keeping everything running smoothly. It's important to stick to disciplined processes and avoid using inefficient tools like Excel workarounds. Instead, focus on fixing any issues at their source to improve overall efficiency. Once again, Martin B. emphasized the value of understanding the system, using smart solutions, and staying disciplined to run manufacturing smoothly.

They parted with the promise to continue the discussion soon.

 You can tune in below 👇 or anywhere you get your podcasts.


📢 What to listen for

[2:02] Differences between new generation partners and the "old guard"

[5:28] Why Martin B. is so passionate about the planning worksheet

[12:05] The "frozen period"

[15:29] Best practices to derive maximum value from the planning worksheet



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Topics: Business Central Production Scheduling, Business Central Visual Scheduling Extensions