How to Block Dimension Combinations in Dynamics NAV or Business Central

This post continues with exploring the topic of Dimensions in Dynamics NAV (further, “NAV”) and Dynamics 365 Business Central (further, “D365BC”). Other posts have already discussed what Dimensions and Dimensions Values are; how to create; and assign them to Master Data and GL Accounts. This post focuses on how to block certain combinations of Dimensions or Dimension Values. The benefits of using this function are to help prevent errors in processing transactions, to increase precision of reporting (including general financial reports and commission reports), and to help departments incorporate existing or new policies more efficiently and effectively.

What if your company wants to allow selling of a particular product or product group only to a certain area? What if your company wants a particular salesperson to be able to sell only to a particular customer or customer group? What if you want to completely prevent purchasers from participating in sales, or salespeople from purchases? All this is achievable through the use of the “Dimension Combinations” function in NAV and D365BC. What is important is that this can be done instantaneously and without the help of a developer.

To take advantage of the benefits that this function offers, it is necessary to locate it first. This can be done by using the Search Box and typing “Dimension Combinations” (NAV and D365BC) or by going to Departments>Financial Management>Setup>Administration>Dimensions>Dimension Combinations (NAV). This should open the following Dimension Combinations page:

All the Dimensions that are set up in the system will appear as both columns and lines.

Let’s say your company wants to make sure that purchasers do not interact with customers (The required pre-setup is to create and assign “Purchaser” Dimension to each user who is a purchaser + to create “Customergroup” Dimension and to assign it to each customer which can be done in an efficient manner by using the “Dimension-Multiple function). To do so, click on the Field which is on the intersection of “CUSTOMERGROUP” column and “PURCHASER” line (or “PURCHASER” column and “CUSTOMERGROUP” line – same effect), select “Blocked” from the drop-down menu and click on the “OK” button:

By default, all Dimension combinations are set to “No limitations” which means that any Dimension (and Dimension Value) can be combined with any other Dimension (and Dimension Value). Changing this option to “Blocked” will prevent users from combining the specified Dimensions on any transaction.

Sometimes this is more only to limit certain Dimension combinations rather than to block them altogether. For example, what if your company has a dedicated salesperson for each customer group? For instance, salesperson A should only deal with large customers, salesperson B with medium customers and salesperson C with small customers.

In order to achieve this, click on the intersection of “CUSTOMERGROUP” column and “SALESPERSON” line, select the “Limited” option from the drop-down menu and click on “OK”. This will change the status of this Dimension combination to “Limited”. Next, click on the same drop-down menu of this same Field and select “Yes”:

The required pre-setup is to create a Salesperson Dimension (and the corresponding Dimension Values) for each user in the system fulfilling salesperson functions in the company; to create the corresponding salespeople on the “Salespeople/Purchasers” Page; and to assign the related Dimensions to each salesperson. See Limiting Dimension combinations screenshot below:

On the Page that opens, it is now possible to specify who of the available salespeople is responsible for what customer group. In the Salesperson by Customergroup screenshot below:

  • LM is set to be responsible only for LARGE customers (therefore, this salesperson has been blocked from using MEDIUM and SMALL customers);
  • MD is set to be responsible only for MEDIUM customers;
  • PS is set to be responsible only for SMALL customers:

It would also be possible to create an additional salesperson responsible for all three Customergroups or make one of the existing salespeople responsible for two Customergroups at the same time. The setup above can help prevent a particular salesperson from working with a customer group outside of his/her circle of responsibilities and can help in calculating commissions for these salespeople.

It is worth mentioning that both NAV and D365BC are flexible with respect to the “Dimension Combinations” function and any settings can be changed instantaneously. For example, a blocked Dimension combination can be unblocked; a newly added Dimension Value can be prevented from usage with another given Dimension Value, etc.

To summarize, this blog post has focused on the “Dimension Combinations” functions in NAV and D365BC. Ways to block and limit Dimension combinations have been discussed. When set up correctly, this function can help companies increase precision of their financial reporting, avoid errors, and help departments incorporate existing or new policies more efficiently and effectively by preventing them from using blocked combinations of Dimensions and Dimension Values.

At Encore, Solution Specialists help companies to set up and use Dimensions in the most efficient and effective way. The team of Solution Specialists at Encore is happy to answer your questions and to help you and your company to achieve your ERP goals – contact us now!

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This post was written by Iaroslav Pankovskyi, PhD.

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