Track on time delivery in Microsoft Business Central

Add delivery tracking to Business Central

Tracking your shipping performance in Business Central

Your customers want to know they can rely on you.

Holding your team accountable to perform is a great first step.

Within Business Central there is a straight forward method doing just that. Here, we will explain the basic structure. Feel free to reach out if you have questions regarding the setup.

Spotting your late shipments

A late shipment is simple. When you ship the product after your customer expected it, then it is late.

Simple right? Let's see how that is done.

Within Business Central, there are two documents that are that are used:

  • Sales Documents
  • Sales Shipment Documents

On these documents the important fields are:

  • Requested Delivery Date
  • Promised Delivery Date
  • Shipment Date

The first two exist on the Sales Order. Here your team will be able to input the date that the customer is requesting to receive the items or the date that you promised for the items to be received.

Fields on the Business Central Sales Order related to tracking customer deliveries and shipments
Click Show more to display all the fields available

When your team enters one or both of these fields in the Sales Order it will be included on the shipment of that order once it is posted.

Business Central posted sales shipment document with customer shipment details
The Posted Sales Shipment with both fields, Requested Delivery Date & Promised Delivery Date

A simply workflow. Add your promises, then pay attention to the date you actually ship. Best place to review that? More on that below.

Let's create some reports and see how reliable we are.

How to view Business Central shipments data in Power BI

For reporting, we recommend Power BI to all of our clients.

We've built the reports below and they are part of our On Time Delivery package (Scroll to the end to the review the package). To see how to DIY the reports, keep reading.

Within the report designer we will pull the data by clicking the Get Data button in the top Home ribbon. From there, search for Business Central.

Connect Power BI to Business Central data

Once you've selected and connected to your Business Central you will need to select the environment from which to grab the data. 

From here the you need the table that has the Posted Sales Shipments. Within the Business Central data model, this is located in the workflowSalesDocuments.

Connect Power BI to Business Central Sales Documents table

This table contains a ton of information that may be useful for how you want to frame or measure your KPIs. The fields we will use for calculating the specific KPIs are:

  • Shipment Date
  • Requested Delivery Date
  • Promised Delivery Date
  • Shipped
  • LastShippingNumber
  • CompletelyShipped
  • ShippingTime

Use the field search in Power BI to find Business Central field

The best way to get started is to create a relationship between your Shipment Date and a date table.

Connect business central data to a date table

Once this is done the basic calculated column we can create is as follows:

On Time Delivery Days = DATEDIFF(workflowSalesDocuments[promisedDeliveryDate],workflowSalesDocuments[shipmentDate],DAY)

This formula calculates the date difference between our promised delivery date (you can swap this for requested delivery date if you choose) and the shipment date. This will give us a basic sense of the time between these two important dates and allows us to create KPIs as needed.

Track late shipments in Power BI using Business Central
Example report that shows the number of late shipments per month

For creating the KPI's you can use a combination of the above fields to configure exactly what you're looking for. Here are some suggestions for ideas:

  • Shipped - This field shows TRUE/FALSE for whether an order has shipped. You can set the filter to only show TRUE in order to see only orders that have been shipped.
  • LastShippingNumber - This field shows the posted shipment document number. This can be used for counting shipments or other aggregating purposes.
  • CompletelyShipped - This field can be used to show partial shipments.
  • ShippingTime - This field shows the lead time it takes to ship a product. This can be used to get an accurate calculation of your companies specific on time delivery.

Track late shipments in Power BI using Business Central
Here are some examples of components we added to our report. We broke out the shipment data by department to better understand performance.

Here are some other topics on Business Central you might find interesting