Product Substitution Management for Distribution


Optimize inventory, margin and customer satisfaction through product substitutions

Distributors have complex needs for managing item substitutions, needs that go further than the functionality that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations offers out of the box. Distributors commonly offer customers a different product if the ordered item is out of stock, or a cheaper product with the same functionality is available. This is called product substitution. Distributors should consider product substitutions to improve customer satisfaction (for example, quicker delivery for one item vs. the item originally selected), margins (for example, offering good-better-best options) and inventory management (for example, avoiding back orders). Standard Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is limited to offering alternate items only if an item is not available in inventory. But distributors need more flexibility with their technology; the ENAVATE Substitution Management app empowers distributors to create business rules that will offer an alternative based on relative margin, customer satisfaction and other factors, rather than just when an item is out of stock. The ENAVATE app applies these rules seamlessly during order entry.


Greater customer satisfaction
Ensure that customers don’t have to wait because a product is back-ordered. Offer substitutions when an alternative is available. If a customer does not want a substituted item, ENAVATE’s app allows specific-customer inclusions and exclusions.
Increase Margin
It’s not just about back orders. Improve your margins with a proactive substitution management strategy. And ENAVATE’s substitution parameters and business rules ensure that subbed items won’t deteriorate margin.
Improve Inventory Management
Take control of your inventory investment. ENAVATE’s Substitution Management app enables a distributor to execute a substitution strategy that can drive more inventory turns and increase procurement efficient. Not only does reducing back orders make customers happy, it reduces the drain and expense that back-order processing has on your operations.


Substitution priority ranking
Specify multiple substitutions per item and rank them by priority.
Hard and Soft Substitutions
Substitute automatically or select a substitution only with user approval.
Pricing and margin control
Preserve price from original to substituted item or choose to never substitute to an item if margin would go down.
Customer-driven substitutions
  • Specify site, warehouse, and even mode-of-delivery-specific substitutions.
  • Specify substitutions across all customers and create exceptions where needed.
  • Create substitutions for only one customer, or for specific customer groups.
  • Allow for a customer to reject all substitutions.
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