The retail catalogs in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (and Dynamics 365 for Retail) allows you to set up product offerings for your retail channels. The catalog allows users to select products from the retail category hierarchy and define the channels that will offer the products. Catalogs allow you to create catalogs of different products for groups of channels and add merchandising details. You can have multiples catalogs for each channel. It’s important not to confuse retail catalogs with retail assortments, which are still needed to determine which channels offer which products.
Step 1: Create the Catalog
The process to publish a retail catalog involves several steps that different users will perform based on their role within the catalog management process. The process begins with the creation of the catalog. There are several reasons why a retailer would create new catalogs, such as a new product offering, seasonal offerings, or promotional items. It is important that you have done the following before you create a new catalog:
- Published retail channels
- Created and released items
- Created an published assortments
- Set up and activate the catalog approval workflow
Step 2: Validate the Catalog
Once the catalog is created, or has been revised from a previous version, you must validate the catalog by clicking the Validate catalog button on the Action pane of the All catalogs form. A dialog box will display to run the job, and you can click OK to run. The validation will perform several validations, including: assortments, validating the products are released, and checking that the retail stores are published.
Once the validation is complete, you can click View results on the Action pane. This displays any errors or warnings from the validation process. If you receive errors, you will need to resolve them, and then re-run the validation. The screenshot below shows results with an error that needs to be resolved.
Step 3: Submit the Catalog for Approval
Once the validation has passed, workflow is triggered and you can now submit the catalog for approval through the catalog approval workflow. This is an out-of-the-box workflow that is set up in a very simple way, although it can get as complex as necessary. You can click the Workflow button in the Action pane and click Submit. The workflow will be activated and begin.
The workflow can have several steps as needed. Most scenarios include a product or catalog manager that will review the catalog and approve or reject as necessary. Conditions can been added to the workflow to be evaluated and executed based on the data that was submitted, or even by who submitted the catalog.
Once the catalog is approved, the Publish button will now be active in the Action pane. Once the catalog is published, in order to revise the catalog, you must put it back in draft mode and the entire process will need to be completed again in order to re-publish.
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