The Microsoft Dynamics AX Subcontracted Work Screen: Where did the Subcontractor PO Go?

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The Subcontracted Work screen shown below was added in AX 2009 and we were all cheering! Now we had a place to check on the status of the subcontracted purchase order without having to right click and go to the actual PO from the References tab of the Production Bill of Materials (BOM)!

In fact, this screen shows the status of the subcontracted operation and the purchase order in the last two columns on the right side.

Subcontract Scenario: Parameter Setting

The most important parameter setting in Production control for subcontracting is shown above. Let’s use the most common scenario for subcontracted POs, with the parameter setting shown here.

  • Flushing principle: when the subcontract PO is received, the system immediately posts a Picking list journal for that subcontract item that has flushing principle “Finish”. Either the flushing principle in the BOM line is “Finish”, or it is blank in the BOM line and it has “Finish” in the Released product.
  • Route group dependent: it will also post a Route card for the subcontracted operation, completing it, but only if the route group for the subcontracted operation looks like this:

Why use these specific parameter settings? To make sure we isolate the backflushing of material and labor to just the subcontracted item, received on that Purchase order. Any regular POs that would be present and would be referenced to other Prod-BOM lines should have a different flushing principle in the BOM line (or the item) and the operation should have a different route group.

This will prevent that other operations or other items that have nothing to do with subcontracting would also be auto-backflushed when I receive my subcontract purchase order.

What are the statuses we see in the Subcontracted Work screen?

After estimation of the production order, we see the above in the Subcontracted work. No status updates yet.

After we start the order, or the operation, we see this:

The operation shows as “in process”. Nothing shows for the subcontract PO.

If we do something unusual, just to test the status in this screen, like manually completing the subcontract operation with a posted Route card, we see this:

A checkbox for the subcontract operation, meaning it is completed. Still nothing of a status change for the subcontract PO.

If we receive the Subcontract PO, with the parameter setting above, we will see this:


The record disappears!

Now are getting to the reason behind this article. This disappearance is caused by a hard coded filter setting that we do not like. We are going to change that filter later in this piece. The reason our record disappears is that our subcontract item, after being received, is immediately consumed. (Remember? Automatic backflushing using the flushing principle.)

If we would NOT consume the received subcontract item immediately, our record would have remained visible and we would see this:

Let’s click on the Advanced Filter icon, which will reveal which filter is active all the time.

Aha! That last row explains why our poor subcontract operation/Subcontract PO duo fall off the radar screen so soon. As soon as there is no more material consumption coming for our prod order operation, the filter will make our record go away. We disagree with this filter.

What to do? Let’s change that filter. Nobody will stop you from removing these criteria “Material consumption”! Put spaces instead or remove the entire row.

Now a whole new world of statuses opens up. Let us repeat our scenario.

Subcontract Scenario Redo with filter intervention

1.       After Production order estimation, we still have this, nothing new yet:


2.       After starting the order, we see this, still nothing new:

The operation has been automatically completed, the PO has been received, thanks to the parameter settings indicated above. This we normally do not see with the preferred parameters are indicated at the start of the article!

NOTE 1: the screen title indicates that there is an “unsaved filter” at work now. The last image is only possible when we remove the last row with criteria ‘Material consumption’.

NOTE 2: No status icon exists for the invoiced status of the Purchase order. (What a pity! Many customers want this.)

NOTE 3: When the subcontract PO is partially received, (unusual scenario, maybe, but I have heard business scenarios like that) there is a special icon that you probably have never seen. We are somewhat surprised by the shape of this icon. I so wish this would have been the icon for “invoiced” Subcontract Purchase orders.

That is the news regarding visibility of subcontracting status in the production control module in the screen “Subcontracted work.”

Subcontracted work screen: a double click surprise.

The screen allows a double click with surprising effect: I can double click anywhere, and always get the same result. I am presented with a total view of all subcontracting going on right now. This shows more information then the base grid.

I see a list of my subcontract items, the production order number shows in big green font in the left upper corner, in our example I see production order USMF-000000028. Then a fast tab below shows purchase order information, including the line status!

This way we are able to see whether a subcontract PO has been invoiced.

To all of you who are dealing with subcontracting in Dynamics AX, I hope the above will be of use to you. It certainly has been for our customers.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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