Sun. Nov 22nd, 2020

Part I:  Cycle Count Planning

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) offers a variety of options that can be used in managing inventory counting.  As with any function within a business, a direction or strategy is the first step in creating and managing a process.  Will you manage your counts by item or location?  How often will you count?  How many items or locations should be counted?  Who will count?  These are just a few of the possible questions that may arise when making a cycle counting plan.

In this blog series, we will discuss how to create and execute a cycle counting plan in D365FO.

In this first installment of the series, we will discuss creating and configuring a cycle counting plan.  As mentioned above, there are several questions to be answered to create a cycle counting strategy.

Before we get to that, we must first determine if cycle count work will be created automatically or manually.

Automatic Work Creation

To create work automatically, there are two options; Cycle Count Plans or Cycle Count Thresholds.  In both cases, cycle counting work is created based on the defined parameters of the plan or the threshold.  These plans or thresholds can be applied to either items or locations.

The Cycle Count Plan is where the answers to the questions mentioned above will be answered.  This is where the parameters of the cycle count will be defined.

To create a Cycle Count Plan, enter the information noted below:

  1. Cycle Counting Plan ID:  The name of the plan.  You may have multiple plans that apply to a group of items or locations and another plan for other items or locations.  For example:  If you use an ABC strategy, you can create a plan for each ABC group.  You would then assign the “A” items to “A” plan in step
  2. Description: A description of the plan.
  3. Work Pool ID (Optional):  If using work pools, the work created by the plan will be assigned to the defined work pool ID.
  4. Maximum Number of Cycle Counts:  The number of cycle count work items that will be created each time the plan is processed.  This can be used in conjunction with Days Between Cycle Counts and a little math to create a strategy that will ensure each location will be counted during a given cycle period (monthly, quarterly, yearly etc.).  For example:  If you have 2500 location in your warehouse and you need to count each location every quarter you can divide the number of working days in a quarter which is about 65 to determine how many locations should be counted daily if the Days Between Cycle Counts is set to 90.  If it were set to 180, then that number would obviously be cut in half.
  5. Days Between Cycle Counts:  How many days should pass after a cycle count before the location or item is counted again.  See example directly above.
  6. Empty Locations:  Three options:  Should empty location be included, excluded, or count only empty locations.



  1. Once the plan has been defined it must be applied to either a location(s) or item(s) if applicable.  To apply the plan to locations, select “Select Locations” in the ribbon bar and enter the criteria in the provided query.
  2. If you do not plan to count by location, apply the plan to an item, select “Select Items” and then enter the criteria in the provided query.

    Now that cycle count plan has been set up, it must be processed to create work.  By clicking the “Process cycle counting plan,” the plan can be processed now, scheduled for a later time, and/or scheduled to run at regularly scheduled times.  Remember that this, along with applying plans to location and/or items, must be done for each cycle counting plan ID.

    Cycle Count Thresholds

    Cycle Count Thresholds can be used instead of or alongside Cycle Counts Plans to automatically generate work.  The key difference between a threshold and a plan is the fact that a plan is driven by the item and/or locations themselves while thresholds are driven by the inventory of those items and/or locations.


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