2. Overview

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2. Overview

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There are concepts that apply for the most part throughout the application. This section will describe those general concepts and subsequent sections will detail individual modules. Where applicable the individual modules will override the general behavior described here.

General Terminology and Phrases

Terminology Description
Scanning Items When asked to “Scan an Item” this refers to the act of scanning a physical piece of inventory (Item). Item barcodes can be as simple as the Item number or as contain complex data such as lot numbers, quantities, expiration dates. What happens after an Item barcode is scanned depends on the application, Item configuration, the data contained in the barcode and the ‘Scan Behaviors’ configuration. For instance, on some screens a Quantity dialog may appear while on the same screen if it’s serial tracked and the barcode has a serial number in it the dialog may not display at all.
Scanning Bins When asked to “Scan a Bin” this refers to the act of scanning a Bin label. The Bin labels may be just the Bin Code from NAV or be prefixed with the ‘%B%’ and then the Bin Code. Typically, after scanning a Bin the screen will update to indicate what your active Bin is and most often then wait for a corresponding Item scan.
Scanning Documents

When asked to “Scan a Document” this refers to scanning a specific document barcode. The document types (Sales Order, Purchase Order, Whse. Receipt, Pick, etc.) each have their own special barcode format. More information on the barcode formats can be found on in the Data Encoding section below.

Typically, users will be asked to scan a Document barcode when on the lookup screen for a particular application. Scanning a Document barcode is optional but will avoid the extra step of having to search/filter for the appropriate document to work on. E.g. Users could scan a Pick barcode and have it automatically open the correct Pick rather than searching the list for the Pick.

Enter Quantity When “Enter Quantity” is referred to this indicates that users will be asked to enter a quantity to handle (receive, ship, pick, count, move, etc.). The Quantity dialog displayed to the user will be dependent on the Item Tracking requirements and application needs. For instance, if the Item requires lot information then users will be asked to specify the lot number as well as the quantity.

Barcodes

Barcoding is a key feature of Warehouse Insight. When discussing barcodes there are two primary focuses:

  • Symbology
    This refers to the type of barcode. E.g. Data Matrix, Code 39, UPC, GS128, QR.
    Warehouse Insight does not interact with the Symbology directly. Instead the handheld devices/scanners are configured to read these symbology’s and on a successful scan send the data to the application as text.
Note: If your scanner is not reading (e.g. light stays red) please consult the device’s scanner settings for how to configure various barcode symbology’s. If the scan is read correctly (e.g. light turns green or beeps) but nothing occurs in the Warehouse Insight software contact support for additional assistance.
  • Data Encoding

This refers to the data encoded inside the barcode. The data (barcode formats) that Warehouse Insight supports are contained in the following table. Item and Bin barcodes are discussed in additional detail in the subsequent sections.

Type Format Example(s)
Bin %B%BinCode %B%A01-03
Count Sheet %C%CountSheetName %C%TEAM-01
Count Tag %TG%BinCode/ShelfNumber
%TG%BinCode/TagNo
%TG%A01-03/ShelfC
%TG%A01-03/4786
License Plate %LP%LicensePlateNumber %LP%LP00001
License Plate Template %LPT%LicensePlateTemplateCode %LPT%8INCHBOX
Location %LOC%LocationCode %LOC%WHITE
Production Order

%P%ProdOrderNumber LineNumber

LN:LotNumber (optional)

SN:SerialNumber (optional)

%P%RP00001 10000
%P%RP00001 10000 LN:001
%P%RP00001 10000 SN:001
Purchase Order %PO%PurchaseOrderNumber %PO%PO000001
Sales Order %S%SalesOrderNumber %S%SO000001
Transfer Order %T%TransferOrderNumber %T%TO000001
Whse. Activity %A%ActivityNumber ActivityType (whse. put-away) %A%PU00001 1
(whse. pick) %A%PI00001 2
(whse. move) %A%WM00001 3
(invt. put-away) %A%IPU00001 4
(int. pick) %A%IPI00001 5
Whse. Receipt %R%ReceiptNumber %R%WR000001
Whse. Shipment %WS%ShipmentNumber %WS%WS000001
Assembly Order %AO%AssemblyOrderNumber %AO%A00007

Examples of the various barcodes can be found in the Warehouse Insight department menu in NAV or on the Support Portal.

Bin Barcodes

Bin barcodes are a core requirement for Warehouse Insight (if Bins are enabled for your location). Bin barcodes can either be just the bin code or can be prefixed with the “%B%” as shown in the Barcode Formats table.

If you do not already have your warehouse labeled with Bin barcodes it is advisable to print them with the “%B%” format and to set the “Bin Decode In NAV” option to “No” on the Device Configuration Card as this will cut down the communication from the handhelds to NAV.

Note: You may use the Bin Label report in NAV to print out labels for your warehouse or to serve as a starting point for developing your own label.

If your Bins are already labelled (typically just the Bin Code) then you do not need to re-label. Instead, set the “Bin Decode in NAV” option to “Yes” on the Device Configuration Card. This will then on any item or bin scan make a request to NAV to determine if the scan is a Bin and if so react accordingly. However, this introduces a slight overhead performance issue as each scan of an Item must first check to see if it’s actually a Bin and if not then make a second call to get the Item details.

Note: With Bin Decode in NAV enabled you cannot have items that are numbered the same as a Bin as the software will always assume it’s a bin when scanned.

Item Barcodes

Item barcodes can come in a wide range of formats. They can be vendor or customer supplied (e.g. UPC Codes, GS1 formatted) or client supplied/generated and can include numerous pieces of information not limited to just the Item number (quantities, variants, units of measure, expiration dates, etc.).

If designing your own Item Barcode labels Warehouse Insight provides several samples in the Warehouse Insight department menu that you can use as a reference. The sample labels provided come in two types of symbology’s:

  • Data Matrix
    • 2D barcode
  • Code 39
    • 1D barcode

You may copy, renumber and or modify the reports as desired. When choosing a barcode symbology, it is best to use a 2D barcode (e.g. Data Matrix) if the data you wish to encode is long and/or contains special characters.

Note: If further assistance is required please contact support and a development team member will be able to assist.

Item Barcode Rules

Depending on your environment you may have a mix of barcodes and data formats. In order to handle this requirement, the application uses the Barcode Rules page. The Barcode Rules allow you to configure the logic used to decode each barcode data to correctly return the various pieces of information.

WMDM Barcode Rules

By default, the software will preload a number of common rules. However, as a best practice it is best to review the ones provided and disable any rules that do not pertain to your organizational needs.

Configuring the Item Barcode Rules to correctly interpret/parse a barcode requires a knowledge of Regular Expression syntax.

Barcode Rules break out into the following pieces:

  • Run Order
    • Use this to indicate the order rules are processed in. If a successful match is made no further rules are processed. Therefore, your most common rules should come first to avoid unnecessary processing.
  • Find Text
    • This is the regular expression string used to parse the barcode data
      • Example: 01(.*)17([0-9]{6})10(.*)
  • Expression Groups
    • For each ‘group’ matched by the regular expression use the “$1”, “$2”, “$3”… in the “Expressions” to set the appropriate value

Barcode rules can be used to capture/interpret the following information:

  • Item No.
  • Item No. 2
    • This will be used to find the Item No. if not already part of the barcode
  • Variant Code
  • Serial No.
    • This will be used to find the Item No. if not already part of the barcode
  • Lot No.
    • This will be used to find the Item No. if not already part of the barcode
  • Expiry Date
  • Cross Reference No.
    • This will be used to find the Item No. if not already part of the barcode
  • Unit of Measure
  • Quantity

If the regular expressions are not sufficient and C/AL code is required customizations to the decoding logic can be handled by modifying codeunit “WMDM Decode Custom Rules”.

The data parsed by the rule will be sent back to the devices and will be used if possible to help minimize data entry or to take additional actions.

For example, consider a barcode in the format: “[Item Number] [LotNumber]” with a physical scan of: “80216-T LOT123”.

Scanning the item during shipping will cause the correct line to be selected and the quantity dialog to appear with the lot number entry already filled in with “LOT123”.

The same scenario though with a barcode format of: “[Item Number]” with a physical scan of: “80216-T” will still select the correct line but the quantity dialog when displayed will have the lot number entry blank requiring the user to type in the correct value manually.

Note: If the Item barcode contains a Serial or Lot number the barcode rules can be used to automatically retrieve the Item number, expiration, variant and even quantity which can often improve performance and reduce errors.
Note: For additional assistance interpreting or creating Item Barcode Rules contact Support.

Example – Creating a Barcode Rule

This section will guide you step by step in the process of defining and configuring a sample barcode rule.

Goal: Create a rule that will be able to parse a barcode that has Item, Variant Code and Quantity in the barcode data.

Steps:

  • Open the Barcode Rules page in NAV
    • Departments → Warehouse Insight → Setup → Barcode Rules
  • Create a new line
  • Set the following fields
    • Run Order: “70”
      • This will indicate in which order the rule should be processed. Lower numbers will be processed first and if a match is found no other rules will be looked at.
    • Find Text: “(.*)/(.*)/(.*)
      • This is the regular expression that we will use to parse our barcode data with. In this case we are saying we will have 3 groups separated by a “/”.
    • Description: “Item + Variant + Quantity”
      • This can be anything you like and is just used to let others know at a quick glance what the rule is looking for.
    • Enabled: “Checked”
      • If the rule is disabled it will not be processed by the system.
    • Item No. Expression: “$1”
      • The “$1” means that the first group result, whatever that is, will be put into the “Item No. Result” when the barcode is processed.
    • Variant Expression: “$2”
      • The “$2” means that the second group result, whatever that is, will be put into the “Variant Result” when the barcode is processed.
    • Quantity Expression: “$3”
      • The “$3” means that the third group result, whatever that is, will be put into the “Quantity Result”.

To test the barcode rule you’ve just created you can use the “Test All Rules” action on the page. Type “C-100/blue/10” and press the “Test All Rules”. You should see a dialog similar to this:

Dynamics NAV

General Document Handling

Although specific activities can be found in each area the patterns are almost always the same:

  • Choose or scan a document to open
  • Scan a bin (when bins are mandatory for a location)
  • Scan an item
  • Enter Quantity (change quantity, record lot/serial info)
General Document Handling
Note: Users must close the current document before opening another.

General Item Scanning Behavior

When scanning an item to start an action there is “typical” behavior depending on the item configuration but may be overridden/customized by the Scan Behaviors page in NAV (default quantities, units of measure, if dialog is shown, etc.) and the Find Line Templates page.

When an Item is scanned on a document the application will normally first attempt to find a matching line based on the Bin (if applicable) and Item combination (see Find Line Templates in NAV for more information on line matching). If a suitable line is found the line will be selected and a Quantity dialog displayed.

Note: If you use Variants, the default Find Line Templates will expect an exact match. If you wish for a more lenient match or your barcodes do not include variant information you will need to add additional template lines.

The following sections are intended to be guidelines for general scanning item behavior but depending on the actual screen may be different. Any differences will be noted in the application specific section.

Scanning a Non-Tracked Item

When scanning an Item that does not require Item Tracking for the relevant document you will typically be presented with a Quantity dialog asking for Quantity and Unit of Measure.

Non-Tracked Item
Callout ID Description
1 Item Number and Description 1 & 2
2

When the Icon is pressed a calculator will be opened allowing the user to add/subtract to the quantity entered on the line. This is useful in some circumstances like counting/receiving additional goods (multiple scans) or working with complex numbers (decimal places, large numbers).

Calculator

3

Unit of Measure. The default is usually the Line unit of measure (though can be configured via the Scan Behaviors). Users may choose an alternate Unit of Measure to work with by pressing the Unit of Measure field and the result will be converted to the source lines Unit of Measure.

Unit of Measure

Scanning a Serial Tracked Item

When scanning an Item barcode that requires Serial numbers the Quantity dialog will typically be displayed asking for the Serial number. No quantity field is available as the amount is always assumed to be one. If the barcode scanned contains the Serial number, then the dialog will not typically be displayed but instead the source line will be incremented by one.

Serial Tracked Item
Callout ID Description
1 Item Number and Description 1 & 2
2 Serial Number
3

Serial Information. When the Icon is pressed a serial Information Card will be created and users can fill in additional data for the Serial number.

Serial Information

4

Expiration Date. When the Icon is pressed users will be able to select an expiration date.

Calendar

5 Quantity and unit of measure are not editable. Serialized items will always increment the quantity by 1 (base UOM).
Note: If auto-generation of tracking information is configured (see Device Configuration in NAV) then the Serial number will be pre-filled.
Note: Warehouse Insight treats Serial Numbers as being unique and defaulting quantities of one. For situations where this may not apply or to allow Serial number and Lot numbers on the same Item please contact support for additional assistance.

Scanning a Lot Tracked Item

When scanning an Item barcode that requires Lot numbers the Quantity dialog will typically be displayed asking for the Lot number and quantity. If the barcode scanned contains the Lot number, then the Lot number will be pre-filled in on the quantity dialog.

Lot Number and Quantity
Callout ID Description
1 Item Number and Description 1 & 2
2 Lot number
3

Lot Information. When the Icon is pressed a serial Information Card will be created and users can fill in additional data for the Serial number.

Lot Information

4

Expiration Date. When the Icon is pressed users will be able to select an expiration date.

Calendar

5

Quantity. When the Icon is pressed a calculator will be opened allowing the user to add/subtract to the quantity entered on the line. This is useful in some circumstances like counting/receiving additional goods (multiple scans) or working with complex numbers (decimal places, large numbers).

Calculator

6

Unit of Measure. The default is usually the Line unit of measure (though can be configured via the Scan Behaviors). Users may choose an alternate Unit of Measure to work with by pressing the Unit of Measure field and the result will be converted to the source lines Unit of Measure.

Unit of Measure

Note: If auto-generation of tracking information is configured (see Device Configuration in NAV) then the Lot number will be pre-filled.

Building a License Plate

Most applications allow for building of License Plates as part of the normal document handling. For example: creating a pallet during the picking process. If the document supports building a License Plate a menu option will be available called “Start License Plate”.

To Build a License Plate the following steps would normally be taken:

  • Press the “Start License Plate” menu option
Start License Plate
Note: Alternately, users may scan a License Plate Template barcode to create a new License Plate instead of using the Start License Plate menu option. In addition, an existing License Plate label may be scanned to re-open that for processing.
  • Users will be prompted whether they wish to re-open an existing License Plate or create a new one.
Confirm
  • If re-opening an existing License Plate is chosen a list of possible License Plates will be shown.
LP List

The list will be those that are un-assigned or already assigned to the document.

  • After selecting or creating a new License Plate the status bar will typically indicate which License Plate is being built.

  • Proceed to handle the document as usual (scanning items, entering quantity).
    In most cases the Bin must be the same across all lines. Notable exceptions to this rule are when building a License Plate for a Pick/Shipment document.
  • When the License Plate is done, press the “Stop License Plate” menu option.

Stop License Plate

This will prompt the user whether a Label should be printed.

Confirm
Configuration: The License Plate Label that is printed is configured in the Warehouse Insight Report Selections.

Using a License Plate

Most applications allow for using a pre-built License Plate as part of the normal document handling. For example: scanning a License Plate to pick from.

To use a License Plate the following steps would normally be taken:

  • Scan the Bin the License Plate is in
  • Scan the License Plate barcode
  • Users will be prompted to take an action based on the contents of the License Plate
Assign License Plate

If the full quantity of the License Plate is not being used the possible handling options are:

  • Create New License Plate

The unused Items will be moved to a new License Plate and the used Items will remain on the original License Plate and assigned to the document.

  • Remove Excess

The unused Items will be removed from the License Plate (and left in the Bin) and the used Items will remain on the original License Plate and assigned to the document.

  • Remove Used Portion

The used Items will be removed from the License Plate and assigned added to the document. The License Plate will remain in the Bin and not assigned to the document.

  • Unbuild License Plate

The License Plate will be marked as “unbuilt” (e.g. destroyed). The used items will be added to the document and not License Plate assigned. The unused Items will no longer be in the License Plate and simply be left in the Bin.

Configuration: The default option can be specified in the Device Configuration page in NAV with the “LP Usage action Behavior”.
  • Scan Items (or use the Change Quantity) menu option to change the Quantity to be used.
  • Press “OK” to accept the usage and assign (if applicable) the License Plate
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