“Wave” is an industry term used in Warehouse Management or WMS. In a “wave”, orders of a similar nature are grouped together and make short intervals for picking the items. Every order at a later stage is converted into a shipment. The purpose is to get many orders out the door. It supports the organizing of the daily flow of work of a warehouse or distribution center.
The warehouse management staff initially make a flow plan for the day, consistent with the order departure plan and available labor. When the plan is satisfactory, it is accepted and then releases the waves to the warehouse chronologically throughout the day. It allows managers to coordinate the several parallels and sequential activities required to complete the daily work plan. One of the objectives of wave picking is to minimize the variation of workload in each wave.
A quick overview of “Advanced Warehouse”
Advanced Warehouse provides users full visibility by generating regular inventory transactions.
Transactions covered by the advanced warehouse management are inventory registration in purchasing, picking in sales, and comparable transactions in production and transfer order. In inventory, these transactions are preliminary steps before posting the physical transaction (e.g., product receipt, packing slip).
Before you can start to execute advanced warehouse management processes, you have to complete the specific warehouse management setup in addition to the setup for inventory management.
Advanced warehouse management only applies if the item has a storage dimension group enabled for advanced warehouse processes, and the warehouse is enabled for advanced warehouse management processes.
Waves are directly associated with outbound shipments (e.g. sales order shipments). The following is a quick overview of the sales order shipment.
The starting point for a sales order shipment in the warehouse is a sales order line with a product and a warehouse. Both must be enabled for advanced warehouse management processes.
The basic shipment process includes the following steps
- “Reservation” – Reserve the item before shipment
- “Shipment” – Create the shipment and include the item
- “Load” – Create a load for external transportation (we can create a load before or after the shipment)
- “Wave” – Create and release a picking wave with the shipment
- “Warehouse work” – Execute the picking work on the mobile device or from the back office
- “Confirm shipment” – Close the shipment
- “Packing slip” – Post the packing slip in the back office
Wave in Dynamics 365 Advanced Warehouse
A wave is a group of shipments to be processed together in the warehouse and combines the warehouse work.
Navigation: (Warehouse management > Outbound waves > Shipment waves > All waves)
Setup & Configuration
A wave template is the entry point of the shipment process.
Navigation for the Wave template configuration screen is Warehouse management à Setup à Waves à Wave templates.
Wave templates allow sales orders to ship in different waves, with the ability to create multiple wave templates to process a slot of orders differently. Depending on settings in the Wave template, waves are created and processed automatically. We can create waves manually, but that’s not an efficient method.
In the Wave template, the site and warehouse are mandatory. In the general section, set the other parameters as per the customer requirement. When we release the wave, the work is automatically created. We can select methods for automatic actions (i.g. create load).
The configurations are based on how you want to process your shipments during the release of the order; these configurations can be changed as per customer’s requirements.
Settings in the “Warehouse Management” module parameters determine whether wave processing is online or in a batch job.
Multiple shipments in a single wave
- Create multiple sales orders and reserve the stock in one specific warehouse, which should be enabled for Advanced Warehouse. An example in the Contoso environment is the USMF company, Site: 2 and Warehouse: 24. For this combination, the system will apply the wave template: “24 Shipping Default”
- Create and release a load, go to Load Planning workbench in the Warehouse Management module, select all lines related to the orders created for this example, and create a new load
- In “Supply and Demand”, we can select “template assignments” as per the load’s requirement (i.g. 20″ Container)
- Once the new load is created, we can release the load to the warehouse
- A wave will automatically be created with multiple shipments – no manual intervention is needed
- Go to All Waves form and check the newly created wave
- Go to All shipments and verify newly created shipments, all shipments have the same Wave ID
- The warehouse worker can go and complete the work and confirm the shipments as per the standard steps
If the company doesn’t need any wave functionality, you still need to configure the wave template. At least one wave with a load and a shipment should be automatically created when you release the sales order to the warehouse.
Dynamics 365 Advanced Warehouse implementation is immense. Clarification of concepts and terms help us understand and implement them better. We trust the knowledge in this document will help you connect and work with warehouse business managers and users.