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Handling RMAs in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

by Scott Hamilton
Consultant and Author, The Manufacturing Guild

Returned material is a significant issue in some manufacturing and distribution companies.  Each step in the RMA process typically involves variations, and the compounding effect of these variations in a multistep process can quickly lead to complex business processes and system functionality.  A key issue facing users is whether standard Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality can be simple yet robust enough to handle the common variations, and provide the baseline for customizing solutions to unique variations.  In my experience, it can. 

Returned material generally requires a Returned Material Authorization (RMA).  In a simple situation, for example, the customer wants to return a defective product and obtain a credit.  The company creates an RMA and provides the RMA number to the customer, who returns the item. The company subsequently records receipt for the returned item and creates a credit note for the customer.  Variations to this simple example may involve a replacement item, or the repair of the returned item.  Additional variations in handling RMAs can quickly lead to more complexity. 

An RMA provides the starting point for managing a customer return, as well as its replacement or repair, and the related accounting transactions.  Each RMA has a unique identifier, and consists of a header and line items.  The header indicates the customer and an optional reason code for the customer return.  Each line item indicates the item, quantity, ship-to location, and expected receipt date for a customer return; it also indicates the credit amount and cost of the item.  The line item information can be copied from a previously invoiced sales order, thereby copying the item's original sales price and cost. 

RMA processing builds on sales order functionality.  Each RMA has an associated sales order (termed the returned order) for handling returns, ...

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About Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton has consulted globally with several hundred manufacturing/distribution companies on SCM and ERP issues. His publications include multiple books about SCM using Dynamics 365FO/AX, two textbooks about SCM/ERP, and 100+ articles in Scott has been a frequent speaker at Microsoft and user group conferences around the world, and a 10-time winner of the rarely given Microsoft MVP award.

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