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Return and Repair Process

Introduction – Business Scenario

A customer returns a defective device and requests that it should be repaired. The item is repaired and returned to the customer. The Repairs are charged to the customer. This scenario can be implemented in SAP using the Customer Service module. This blog will discuss the standard business process used by SAP CS module for the returns and repairs process.

1.    Notification

In the first step of repairs processing, we document the customer request to repair a defective serviceable item by creating a service notification.Transaction code for create / change / display: IW51/52/53

The below screenshots show IW51 Tcode.



2.    Repair Procedure

The overall process is further divided into three phases. ·

Repair acceptance· 

Repair start·        

Repair completion confirmation.

The operations to be automatically proposed by the system for each phase or which can be entered by user can be defined in the repair procedure. The system determines the repair procedure using the item category of the repair request item.

This can be configured in SPRO as shown below.

Select ‘Define Item categories’ node in the SPRO tree.   Select the ‘Service’ item category and click on maintain/display.   

The repair procedure can be selected as shown below.




3.    Repair Acceptance

Repair acceptance begins when the customer repairs order is created. The system can be configured to create a customer repairs order from the notification or we can manually create a customer repairs orders directly from a service notification. The system uses the notification number as the RMA (Return Material Authorization) number and copies it as an external purchase order number to the customer repairs order. Depending on the settings for the sales document type, either of the following is entered during the repairs order creation.·         Material number of the serviceable item in the item

·         Two material numbers per item: the serviceable item and service product

 The serviceable item is the category of the device(s) to be repaired. The service product represents the service material that describes the service for the customer. The system uses the corresponding condition records in material determination to link the service products with the relevant serviceable items.The system creates a repair request item for each serviceable item together with the necessary sub-items. The settings in the repair procedure mean that a returns item is created automatically. This is used as the basis for creating a returns delivery. This is used as the follow-on document for the customer repairs order. Once the serviceable item has been delivered, the goods receipt is posted to a customer special stock for the repair order.

4.    Repair start

The repairs start when the goods receipt is posted for the returns delivery. The serviceable item undergoes a technical check as soon as the goods receipt has been posted. During this process, the technician decides which operations are necessary in order to fulfill the requirements of the customer. The results of the technical check are confirmed in the repair order. Inspection lots in Quality Management (QM) can be used for the technical check. The system automatically generates an inspection lot for the technical check for returns goods receipt if corresponding settings are made in the material master of the serviceable item. The subsequent repairs process flow depends on the usage decision of this inspection lot.If the technical check indicates that the item is not worth repairing, the material can be scrapped, and a credit memo and/or exchange parts can be delivered to the customer.If the item is worth repairing, the system generates a service order describing the technical execution of the repairs. It can be done manually also. Transaction code for create/change/display of service order: IW31/32/33 This service order documents the actual repair of the serviceable item.The following information is available in the service order header:

Ÿ Material number of the serviceable item

Ÿ Quantity of serviceable items to be repaired

Ÿ Material number of the service product, if required

Ÿ Number of the customer repairs order and item



5.    Repair completion confirmation

Repair completion confirmation begins when we technically complete the relevant service order. This includes delivery of repaired serviceable items, creation of an invoice. When the service order is technically complete, the system generates an outbound delivery item in the customer repairs order. This is used as the basis for the delivery with which the repaired serviceable item is returned to the customer.The customer can be billed for a fixed amount or according to effort. This billing form is defined in the repair request item. The billing form is proposed by the item category and can be changed individually.In resource-related billing, billing-relevant sub-items for the repair request item can be created using the function “Create billing request”. This is controlled by the dynamic item processor profile (DIP profile) entered in the repair request item. The system copies the sub-items during the creation of the billing document.In fixed amount billing, the system performs pricing using the service product or the serviceable item, depending on the sales document type. A billing document can be created directly with reference to the customer repairs order. The system generates a billing item for each repair request item. 

6.    Conclusion

The Customer repair Order represents the main document in returns and repair processing. The Follow-on documents required for the processes are generated from the customer repair order. These include return delivery, service order, outbound delivery and billing documents.

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