Agency Order Overview (v6.0)

Modified on Wed, 20 Sep 2023 at 09:51 AM



Agency Order Overview




Purpose of this document


Agency Orders are used to process orders from Agencies for product. These can be either “Shopping Orders” completed when an Agency is checking out, or a Pre-Order of product for pickup or delivery either via manual entry or via Web Ordering. An Agency Order in Ceres allows you to create the initial order, ship product, and finish by posting an invoice for all types of orders.


Agency orders can be created manually or via a more automated means such as the Agency Express 3.0 web ordering system.


The options such as the Shipping Option and “Exclude from Warehouse Documents” mentioned in this procedure should be reviewed and established before the food bank starts creating Agency Orders. Assistance from your Ceres VAR or the Feeding America Service Desk may be needed if you wish to update these configuration options.


Ceres Object release 6.00.00 is required for the functionality described in this document.







Accessing the Agency Order


  1. Agency Orders can be accessed by selecting “Search” from the Dynamics 365 Business Central Banner and entering “Agency Orders” in “Tell me what you want to do” then selecting “Agency Orders” from the results in the Go to Pages and Tasks section OR by selecting the “Agency Orders” menu action (if present) from your Role Center home page.




  1. If you are using batches, select your batch from the batch list and click OK; otherwise click Cancel.


Note: In this scenario, clicking cancel will display all orders, regardless of batch.




  1. You will see the listing of open Agency Orders that exist within the system (filtered by batch as selected). Select an order from the list to edit it or click New to create a new Order.


Creating Agency Orders


This section of the procedure provides a general overview of creating and processing an Agency Order. This general process is then further clarified in the Agency Shipping Options and Exclude Zone from Warehouse Documents sections below. To determine your current Agency Order configuration, contact your Ceres lead, the FA Service Desk or your Ceres VAR as appropriate.



  1. Click “New” to create a new Agency Order.






  1. Press the Enter or Tab key to have Ceres automatically assign the next document number in the No. field. This will also fill in the Posting Date, Order Date, and Shipment Date by using the Work Date





  1. In the Sell-to Agency No. field, enter the Agency No. or use the lookup to select the Agency from the list. The Agency’s name, address, Branch Code and Fund No. will flow from the Agency Card. If the Agency has any invoicing information, shipping information or delivery information it will flow to the appropriate tab of the Agency Order. This includes location, delivery zone, payment terms, etc.


  1. Fill in the Shopper field if required. This is the person who placed the order.


  1. Fill in the Your Reference field with an Agency supplied document number, such as a purchase order number, which will help them identify documents related to this Agency Order.


Note: If a web order, this field will have the PO number for Agency Express and will not be editable.


  1. Move to the lines of the Agency Order. Here you specify which items the agency is ordering, along with the quantity and any fees. Depending on the setup of the warehouse location, you may need to enter additional information here, regarding pallets, lots or bin locations. This will be discussed in detail in the section titled Agency Order Shipping Options.


  1. In the Type field, select “Item.”


  1. In the No. field, type in the item number or use the lookup to select the Item from the list. The Item’s Description, Unit of Measure, Available Quantity, and Agency Fee will flow forward to the line.


Note: If the Agency’s credit limit has been exceeded or they are past their monitoring expiration date, you will receive warnings accordingly. Depending on your level of access, you may or may not be able to resolve the warnings.


  1. If you wish to change the location for this line; in the location field, select the Location where the Item will be shipped from. Otherwise the Location will default from the Order Header, which in turn defaults from the Location specified for this Agency.


  1.  If the Location you specified is not set up for inventory picks (See Location Overview Procedure), then you must enter the Bin Code, Lot No. and Pallet No. The Pallet No. is only required for items that are set up as palletized items. See Agency Order Shipping Options.





  1. If not defaulted from the Agency Card, and Dimension values apply for this Order they can be added to the Invoicing FastTab and, if selected, will be populated on the lines.




If you require a Department and/or Project Code, specify the Codes on the lines and on the Invoicing FastTab. If you enter the Department and Project on the Invoicing Fast Tab, all lines entered will default to the same Department and Project automatically. You may change them on the lines if necessary.


Note: Dimensions added on the Invoicing Tab will be posted through with the Agency Invoice Header. Dimensions on the Lines will post through with the inventory information (Item Ledger Entry).




  1.  In the Quantity field, specify the amount of quantity ordered. The requested quantity is in reference to the Unit of Measure field.


Note: Availability of items is subject to numerous factors including location, agency qualifiers and item qualifiers and warehouse Zone and Bin types. Additionally, the Available Quantity calculation may be delayed depending on the value of the “Qty. Available Calc. Method” field on Inventory Setup.





The Qty. Available Calc. Method has the following options:


All Calculation Components - Imposes no change to the availability calculation; the calculation executes whenever any singular component of the calculation (i.e. Item, Location, Zone, Bin, Pallet, Lot, or Quantity) is specified or changed on the Agency Order line.


Quantity Component Only - The Quantity Available calculation will only execute if a value for Quantity is specified or changed or if a value for Quantity already exists and any other component of the calculation is specified or changed (i.e. Item, Location, Zone, Bin, Pallet, or Lot).


  1. Repeat the steps above for each additional item that will be ordered.


Note: Agency Orders can be edited by highlighting an order from the list, then clicking on the Order number.


Calculate Delivery Charge Functions


  1. Ceres provides the ability to calculate and charge the Agency for the delivery of product on the Agency Order. This is accomplished through the delivery zones and fees process which is explained in detail in the Delivery Zones and Delivery Fees document. To calculate the delivery charge on an agency order, select Actions à Functions à Calculate Delivery Charge:




  1. Ceres will calculate the appropriate charge and insert a delivery charge line on the Agency Order, based on setup. (This requires that there is a value in the Delivery Zone field on the Delivery/Web FastTab and is only applicable for Delivery orders).



Calculate Grants


  1. Ceres provides the ability to calculate and allocate qualified grant money to Agency Orders. The calculation and qualification of the Agency and product are explained in detail in the Agency Grants document. To calculate the grant allocation on an Agency Order, select Actions à Functions à Calculate Grants:




Ceres will calculate the appropriate grant allocation for each eligible product and enter it on the appropriate Agency Order Lines. See Agency Orders with Grants Overview for more details on this process.




Releasing the Document to the Warehouse


  1. When the data entry is complete and the order is ready to be released for picking and shipping, Click Release à Release. This locks the page so users are unable to enter more items or change quantities. This step is required prior to posting.




Note: The order can be reopened by clicking Release à Reopen. Until an Order has been released it is not available to the warehouse for picking or shipping.


There is also an option to Release all Agency Orders for a specific date using a batch routine. Once you are comfortable with Order-by-Order release and the results are accurate, then batch releasing may be integrated. More information on this task is available in the Order Grouping and Staging Procedure.


  1. If your Location is not set up for Require Pick (Ship Option 2) or Require Shipment (Ship Option 3) you may print a Pick Ticket from the Agency Order by clicking Reports à Ceres Picking List by Order.




  1. Below is a sample of the printed Pick Ticket from the Agency Order.




  1. You may print the Order Confirmation if needed by clicking Print/Send à Print Confirmation. On the Options FastTab, you can choose how many copies to print and choose if your Company Address should show.


Note: If Default No. of Copies are setup, inputting an amount below will represent the number of copies needed in addition to the number specified in the default setup.




  1. Click Print. Below is a sample Order Confirmation (Based on the Report ID selected in Report Selections for Agency Order):




  1. You may now close the Agency Order.


Agency Order Shipping Options


Warehouse shipping documents or inventory pick documents are the primary source documents used for outbound processing of inventory on Agency Orders. When setting up your warehouse you make a number of different choices regarding how you want to operate and the level of detail and complexity you want to work with. The choices you make affect how you perform operations in Ceres. One of these choices is how you want to pick items in your warehouse location. Ceres provides three basic options to accomplish this task depending on the setup and needs of the individual warehouse locations. Different Locations of the food bank may operate differently. The Location & Zone Setup has fields that are used to determine how Ceres will handle outbound shipment needs. The Inventory Workflow Procedure Document for Ceres has a detailed description of each option. The Location Overview and Zone Overview Documents also discuss the fields in some detail.


Warehouse Location Options Table

Shipment Required (FALSE)

Shipment Required (TRUE)

Pick Required (FALSE)

OPTION 1 – Ship & Invoice directly from Agency Order

OPTION 3 – Warehouse Shipment Document – 1 Step – No Staging

Pick Required (TRUE)

OPTION 2 – Use create inventory pick documents


Note: Regardless of Shipping Option chosen, please refer to the section excluding Zones from Warehouse Documents at the end of this document for additional information.


Shipping Option 1- Agency Order


This option allows for direct posting from the Agency Order without the need to create any warehouse documents. This is the simplest of the options but provides the least control over the planning and execution of warehouse activities. It is typically used by Shopping food banks and those with minimal need for a directed Picking process. Agency Orders using this type of warehouse setup require the user to enter all needed warehouse information or allow it to be auto assigned on Release. The Branch Code, Location Code, Zone Code and Bin Code must be entered in the Agency Order line. Pallet No. is optional depending on the setup of the individual items being ordered. If the Location has a single bin, the Zone Code and Bin Code will default to the same Zone Code and Bin Code of that single bin. When a Pallet No. is entered on the Agency Order line, the Zone Code and Bin Code linked to the Pallet will be automatically entered on the Agency Order Line for you.

After the Order is physically fulfilled either by shopping or picking, follow the steps below to complete, post the Order and Invoice the Agency.


  1. After the products have been picked and shipped, return to the Agency Order list.


  1. Select the Agency Order from the list and click on the document number.


  1. Enter today’s date in the Posting Date field and adjust the shipment date if necessary.


  1. Move to the lines of the Agency Order.


  1. Update the Qty. to Ship field with the actual quantity shopped/ picked/ shipped to the agency.


Note: If the Qty. to Ship is lower than the Quantity (requested) field, you will need to update the Quantity on the Line to match the quantity shipped, otherwise you will be left with a remaining quantity to ship/invoice for that line.


  1. Once you have verified the data, Select Posting from the menu, then choose one of the Posting Options as shown here:






Note: Additionally, the shipping documents can be reprinted from a Posted Agency Shipments and Invoices can be reprinted from Posted Agency Invoices.


  1. Select Ship and click OK.




Note: You can post the Order shipment and invoice in one step by choosing Ship and Invoice. If you choose only to Ship now, you may return to the order and select Invoice to post the actual Agency Invoice. In most cases if you are using Option 1 to handle outbound shipments directly from the agency order, you should select Ship and Invoice.


Shipping Option 2 – Inventory Pick


This model is usually used by food banks that want a separate pick document with more guidance for the warehouse team. This option is typically used by larger food banks that have their agencies pre-order most products. It does not preclude setting up a Shopping Area and processing orders as noted with Shipping Option 1 above.


When your Location or Zone is set up to require warehouse processing in this way, you create at least one warehouse pick guide document for each outbound Agency Order. If the Agency Order contains order lines from multiple Locations, then a separate pick document will be created for each Location with the corresponding Agency Order lines on it. You can also choose to create a Pick for each warehouse Zone if desired. From the pick page, you organize your picking information, print the picking ticket, enter the result of the pick, and post the pick. Refer to the Pick Enhancements document for more detailed information on creating pick documents.


Creating inventory pick documents can be accessed from either the Agency Order or from the Warehouse menu.

Creating Inventory Pick from the Warehouse Menu

  1. Multiple pick documents can be created at once by selecting “Search” from the Dynamics 365 Business Central Banner and entering “Create inventory” in “Tell me what you want to do” then selecting “Create Inventory Put-away/Pick/Movement” from the results in the Go to Pages and Tasks section OR by selecting the “Create Inventory Put-away/Pick/Movement” menu action (if present) from your Role Center home page.



  1. From the Create Invt. Put-Away/Pick Page, set filters based on how you want to generate the pick documents. Refer to the Pick Generation Enhancement Procedure for some additional options.


  1. Pick documents are created with the lines and quantity needed for each line. The recommended Bin code, Lot or Pallet for the quantity are also provided on the Line. You can find the List of Picks created by accessing them via each Agency Order or via searching for Inventory Picks.


Once the product has been picked, go to the Inventory Picks lines sections and update the Qty. to Handle field to reflect what was actually picked.


Note: There is an “Autofill Qty to Handle” option on the Ribbon as well. When the pick documents are created, the Qty to Handle field automatically defaults to the Quantity field.




  1. In this example the Qty. to Handle was changed to 30 instead of the 32 requested based on actual availability of product:




Note: You can use the Delete Qty to Handle function to remove the quantities in the “Qty. to Handle” field. This can be useful on documents with many lines where you may have used the auto fill function in error.




  1. Once you have updated the pick documents you can post them to indicate the product is no longer in the Pick Bin. The posting function will allow you to post just the shipment or the shipment and the invoice at the same time. If any required information for posting the invoice is missing, you will only be able to post the shipment, and the posting of the invoice will need to take place from the Agency Order. If the warehouse team is posting Picks, typically “Ship” is selected, and Accounting reviews and Posts the Invoice from the Agency Order. This is the recommended workflow so that Delivery fees and Grant applications are not missed.


  1. To post the pick select the Post or Post and Print option from the Posting menu, choose Post and Print to also print an invoice.




  1.  Choose from “Ship” or “Ship and Invoice” (the latter will also post the associated order) and select OK. The recommended option is SHIP so that you can make any required changes to the order before posting.






Creating Inventory Pick from the Agency Order


  1. To create a Pick for only one Agency Order, from the Order, Actions à Warehouse à Create Inventory Put-away /Pick from the Agency Order. The Agency Order must be in the released status to create the pick.




  1. Toggle the “Create Invt. Pick:” field. Toggle the “Print Document” field if you wish to have a printed copy of the Inventory Pick documents created. Toggle any additional fields as required. Select OK to create the pick(s) and print any documents as selected.




Note: The Create Invt. Put-away / Pick report can also be run from Departments à Warehouse à Planning & Execution à Tasks à Create Invt. Put-away / Pick. Running from this location is done in order to create picks for multiple Agency Orders at once.


  1. You will receive a message informing you of how many picks were created. If you checked the Print Document box, the picks will print as well.




  1. Below is a sample of the printed Picking List.




  1. Once the pick document has been created it will then be handled from the warehouse menus for picking and shipping. Please refer to the section above “Creating Inventory Picks from the Warehouse Menu” for further explanation of the picking and shipping process.


Shipping Option 3 – Warehouse Shipment


Option 3 allows for the creation of a single warehouse shipment for multiple Agency Orders. Warehouse shipment facilitates a single step posting for the shipment and does not provide for staging. Refer to the Inventory Workflow Procedure for more information on the Shipping Options. This option is typically used in smaller pre-order warehouses where a Wave Pick style fulfillment is preferred. Alternately, you can create a Warehouse Shipment for multiple Orders for the same Agency if you need a mechanism to group them together for picking.  It is possible to setup Zones within a Location to be excluded from inventory picks by checking the field “Exclude from Pick” on the Zone. For those Zones, the Zone Code and Bin Code must be entered on the Agency Order Line and those lines must be posted via the Agency Order (Shipping Option 1).  Creating warehouse shipment documents can be accessed from either the Agency Order or from the Warehouse menu.


Creating Warehouse Shipment from Agency Order


  1. To create a warehouse shipment from the Agency Order, select Actions à Warehouse à Create Whse. Shipment from the Actions command bar of the Agency Order.


Note: That the Agency Order must be in the released status.




  1. The warehouse shipment will be created and a message informing you of that will be reported back.




  1. After clicking OK on the creation notification, the new warehouse shipment created will be displayed.


  1. Next you may print the warehouse shipment document. To print the document select Print/Send à Print from the command bar.




  1. Below is a sample of the warehouse shipment document.






  1. The warehouse shipment will automatically default the “quantity to ship” to the requested quantity on the agency order. The Pallet No., Lot No., and Bin Code will be assigned by the system using the defined warehouse picking logic. If there are other pallets in picking bins available to choose from, you may override the suggested pallet number and choose another one. In most cases it will be unnecessary to override the suggested pallet number. You may change the quantity to ship, as necessary.




  1. When you are satisfied with information entered, you may post the shipment by selecting either “Post Shipment” or “Post and Print”.


Creating Warehouse Shipment from Warehouse Menu


This option allows you to create Warehouse Shipments for multiple Orders at once. This is the more common use model and is often used to create shipments for a given Ship Option (delivery vs. pick up) or Shipment date.


  1. Warehouse Shipments can be accessed by selecting “Search” from the Dynamics 365 Business Central Banner and entering “warehouse shipments” in “Tell me what you want to do” then selecting “Warehouse Shipments” from the results in the Go to Pages and Tasks section OR by selecting the “Warehouse Shipments” menu action (if present) from your Role Center home page.




  1. Click “New” to create a new warehouse shipment.




  1. Enter a warehouse shipment number or press tab to have the system generate the next available warehouse shipment number and enter the location this warehouse shipment applies to.




  1. Enter the Location Code and then click on “Get Source Documents” in the menu to select from a list of shipping requests associated with this location.




  1. Choose the document or documents you wish to process, and then click OK.




  1. The warehouse shipment lines will be created from the source document. Depending on settings, you may have to select some or all of the Pallet/Lot No’s on the lines.




  1. You may repeat steps 6 & 7 as necessary to create warehouse shipment lines for as many source documents (Agency Orders) as needed. Once you have selected the source documents you wish to process, click Release from the menu to release the warehouse shipment document.




  1. Click Print from the command bar to print the document.




  1. This will generate the warehouse shipment document to be used for picking the product for the Agency Order or Orders.




  1.  Once the warehouse personnel have picked the product, you return to the warehouse shipment document to record the shipment. Select Post Shipment or Post and Print from the menu to post the shipment which will relieve inventory and record the item ledger entries.




  1.  Select from “Ship” or “Ship and Invoice”. Most food banks should only use the “Ship” option because there may be additional information or processing needed before the invoice is posted that is not known by warehouse personnel. Security rights may also be set to prevent warehouse employees from posting the Invoice.




Note: Recommended Option is SHIP


Excluding Zones from Warehouse Documents


Explode & Assign Pallet / Lot / Zone /Bin


When using Shipping Options 2 or 3 it is possible to specify certain Zones in the warehouse to be excluded from the warehouse documents. This is usually done for several reasons, for example, setting up a shopping zone that will not need the extra documents and workload associated with the warehouse document flow. Another option is if you need a “WIP” to place Inventory that should not be available for orders on Agency Express. Ceres allows for the creation of such zones within your warehouse. Ceres also allows the ability to place items requiring warehouse documents (inventory picks or shipments) and shopping items on the same Agency Order. However, individual food banks may wish to segregate shopping orders from warehouse orders as a standard operating procedure.


When excluding a Zone from the warehouse documents, the task falls upon the user to assign the proper Lot, Zone, Bin and Pallet (if needed) on each Agency Order Line. This can be a time-consuming and even confusing task when trying to process these orders. Often it may be necessary to split the line into two or more lines to properly apply to multiple Pallets, Lots, or Bins. To expedite this process, Ceres will, upon release of the Agency Order, automatically explode the Agency Order Line into as many lines as necessary and assign each line with the appropriate information (Zone, Bin, Lot & Pallet). This is only done for Agency Order Lines in Zones designated as “Exclude from Warehouse Documents”. Any lines on the Agency Order in Zones not designated as “Exclude from Warehouse Documents” will continue to process according to the Shipping Option selected for the Location.


If at any time the Agency Order is reopened, the exploded lines will consolidate back into single lines on the Agency Order and can then be edited in normal fashion. When the Agency Order is released again, the explosion of lines and assignment of Pallets, Lots, Zones, and Bins will re-occur.


Note: If an order contains both types of Zones, the option to “Ship & Invoice” from either the Inventory Pick (Shipping Option 2) or the Warehouse Shipment (Shipping Option 3) will not be allowed. Orders containing both types of zones will only allow the “Ship” option upon posting of inventory picks and warehouse shipments. The invoice must be posted from the Agency Order screen on any such orders.


Designating the Zone (Shipping Options 2 and 3 Only)


In Ceres it is possible to have an item in both types of Zones at the same time. In these instances, available inventory will not show up for Zones excluded from warehouse documents until a Zone is selected. You may select a default Zone for the entire Order by specifying the Zone in the Order Header, or by changing the Zone on the individual line items. Even if you specify a default Zone for the Order, you may change the Zone or delete it on any specific line. You may not designate Zones under Shipping Option 1.


Below is a screenshot of the default zone specified on the shipping tab for a sample Agency Order.




Note: Under Shipping Option 1, the explosion will occur and assignments will be made from all Zones and Bins where the product is located that are designated as pick bins. Because Shipping Option 1 does not involve warehouse documents, all Zones are treated as “Exclude from Warehouse Documents” and will function the same. To exclude particular bins from being included they should not be set as pick type bins. Inventory located in Bins not marked as pick type bins will be ignored from the explosion / assignment logic.


Example of Lot Explosion / Assignment


In this example we have entered a palletized item with a quantity of 200 and released the order. The release process exploded the singular line of quantity 200 and assigned Zone, Pallet, Lot, and Bin.






Reopening the order, will bring it back to its original state:



Printing the Invoice


Because the explosion of an individual line item into many lines may be confusing to the Agency, Ceres provides an option in invoicing to summarize the Invoice by Item. Invoices printed with the summarize option will consolidate all the lines for an item back into one printed invoice line. This feature is selected on the Options FastTab of the print invoice report.






In the first example, the invoice is printed without the summarize option toggled. Notice how lines are exploded much like they are on the Agency Order:




In the second example, the summarize option is toggled.


Notice that line is summarized by Item.



Agency Order and Invoice Print Options


Ceres provides several order and invoice print options to choose from. Two new order versions and two new invoice versions have been made available. The new options provide the ability to segregate the VAP and Handling fees in distinct columns and show each fee separately on the order/invoice line. The new reports are as follows:



Report 14012573 – Ceres Agency Order w/ VAP Det. (Report shows separate VAP and handling fees and the Grant Information is shown in summary form).

Report 14012575 – Agency Order Grant/VAP Det. (Report shows separate VAP and handling fees and the Grant Detail information).



Report 14012572 – Agency Invoice w/ VAP Det. (Report show separate VAP and handling fees and the Grant Information is shown in summary form).

Report 14012574 – Agency Invoice Grant/VAP Det. (Report show separate VAP and handling fees and the Grant Detail information).

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