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Variant Configuration Material Variants : Creation,Usage in Sales order for replacing Configurable Material Part 1

Material Variants


In industries when we deal with Configurable material, many of times we come across a configuration which is asked every now and then by many customer.

Also business don’t want to wait for customer to enter order and then start its production , instead there is a need to have something similar to Make to Stock for this configuration to  bring lead time down and maintain some stock of this fast moving configuration.


To address all of these and many other requirements, there is a standard option available in SAP to create “Material Variant”.


This document will be useful for beginners in VC area to understand the concept of Material Variant and how it can be setup using standard SAP. Also we will discuss how when you configure a material in sales order (VA01) or Configuration Simulation CU50, you can check whether a material variant already exists that has the same characteristic values and it will manually or automatically replace the configurable material in sales order. You can display existing material variants on the characteristic value assignment screen. However, the configurable material is not automatically replaced by the variant.



By definition from SAP Help,


Material Variants (1)


A material variant is a material that can be kept in stock and that arises from an individual configuration of a configurable product.


The material master record of a material variant is linked to the configurable material and configured using the characteristics of the configurable material. This variant of the configurable material can then be manufactured and kept in stock.


  1. You have a Configurable Product “BIKE” which has 3 attribute on which it can be configured, which become Characteristics of this configurable material.

These characteristics will have possible values associated


·        COLOUR


o   Red

o   Blue

o   Black

o   Green

o   Golden

o   Silver

o   Orange

o   Purple

o   Yellow

o   Dark Red


·        ENGINE TYPE


o   200 CC

o   400 CC

o   600 CC

o   800 CC

o   1000 CC

o   1200 CC

o   1400 CC

o   1500 CC

o   1600 CC

o   1800 CC


·        EXHAUST


o   S- EXHAUST 1

o   S- EXHAUST 2

o   S- EXHAUST 3

o   S- EXHAUST 4

o   S- EXHAUST 5

o   S- EXHAUST 6

o   S- EXHAUST 7

o   S- EXHAUST 8

o   S- EXHAUST 9

o   S- EXHAUST 10


You created configurable material with all Basic settings required for “Variant Configuration”






For these settings, reference can be taken from document created by Philipp Kuster on SAP SDN (2)


With topic, Introduction to Variant Configuration with an example model. SAP ERP Sales and Distribution (SAP SD)


Below are the steps to create a Material Variant”, Create a new material, BIKE – BLACK – 1000


Transaction: MM01






Select views






Complete the material creation process by filling out necessary details and mandatory fields.


To manufacture the material variant in-house, you must maintain the variant at plant level, so that BOMs, routings, and so on can be determined. Cross-plant variants can be used in Purchasing, but are not supported in Sales.



To set up the material variant specific to a plant, in MRP 3 View, in field “Configurable Material ( MARC-STDPD) “ in put the configurable material number.



Press enter; you will get a message to “Configure the material.




Press   to configure this variant, you will get a pop-up






Come out of the screen using,complete the process of creation of material following all required view and mandatory fields.


In the basic data, you can link the material variant to a configurable material. This configuration applies to all plants.


Now the Material Variant is created, and need to be linked with BOM and Routings of Configurable Material.


Transaction: CS40




Press enter



Save the assignment.


Assign Routing


Transaction: CA02




Open a routing of configurable material






Use the material assignment option



Enter Group counter, Material and plant






Save the routing.


Now the material Variant is ready to be used.


If the strategy group associated is relevant for “Make to stock: production, you can plan the independent requirement, have MRP run, generate plan order, convert it to production order and confirm to generate stock of this material variants.

Make to Stock Production for Variants (1)

Variants can be planned on the finished product level using any make-to-stock strategy, such as Planning with Final Assembly (40) or Net Requirements Planning (10)

Make to Order Production for Variants (1)

Variants can be planned on the finished product level using any make-to-order strategy, such as Planning w/o Final Assembly (50) or Planning with a Planning Material (60)

Replacement of Configurable material with material Variant in Sales order.

You can define the settings for variant matching in the configuration profile of a configurable material and on the characteristic value assignment screen.

  1. In the configuration profile, choose Settings, and on the characteristic value assignment screen choose View —Settings.




Prerequisites (1)

You define the settings for variant matching in Customizing for Sales and Distribution, where you maintain item categories.

§  Configuration of Sales and Distribution -> Sales -> Sales Document -> Sales Document Item -> Define Item Categories.


  • Activate variant matching for an item category, by put a tick as shown above
  • Define Material variant action to decide how the system reacts if it finds a material variant:
    • The system automatically replaces the configurable material with the material variant.
    • You see a message telling you that a material variant with the same configuration exists.

If the material variant is not available, you can:

    • Receive an automatic message with a list of the material variant stock situation. You can then decide whether to replace the material variant.
    • Decide that you do not want to replace the variant.

Create Sales order


Transaction VA01:



Input configurable material as required material

/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/s16_137520.jpg (3)

  • Configure the configurable material in the sales order.
  • On the value assignment screen, you can check whether material variants match the configuration of the material




Material Variant matching the values will listed on lower part of screen.






  • Once you have configured the material, leave the configuration editor.


  • Depending on the settings in Customizing, either the material is replaced by the material variant immediately, or you see a message telling you that a suitable material variant has been found.


Save the sales order.

Individual or collective requirements can be generated for the material variant. Pricing also applies to the material variant, unless you define the configurable material as the pricing material for the material variant.



Relevant SAP Notes:



Note Number ,Description & Link

Note 794941 – Explosion of material variant as a configurable assembly

Note 513288 – Material variant as a component in multi-level configuration

Note 456510 – Material variant in multi-level configuration

Note 900732 – Variant matching does not work

Note 774346 – Composite SAP Note: Material variants







(1)   Some part of text copied from SAP help

(2)   Link mention is a document by Philip Cluster on SAP SDN

(3)   All screen copied are from SAP IDES










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  • Hi Ritesh,

    Excellent document on material variant.

    Your effort on this is much appreciated.

    I especially liked the way you have mentioned your references and the system you have used!

    Thanks for such a nice document. I will try it some day this month (little held up for sometime)

    If you can move this to SD area, you will have more consultants reading your document, more will get benefitted. Dont know what should be done for that though.

  • HI,

    Please i need your help 🙂

    1) I created a class with categorie 300 and i affected it to some characteristic

    2) I have created a configurable material ‘BIKE’  and o material variant like finished product ‘BIKE-1000-BLACK’ .

    3) I affect the class in configurable materiel ‘BIKE’

    4) In the basic data, i linked the material variant to a configurable material.

    5) Now i can’t  create a link to a configurable materiel with the transaction CS40. Should i create a BOW First? and the BOW it’s necessary to complete the process of configurable materiel?

    Please ‘im bloqued in this step.


    • Amber Naseer,

      Thanks a lot for comments, I am just following your foot steps 🙂

      I can see you help a lot to community memmbers & share your knowledge & expertise.



    • Thanks for comment , appriciate if you rate this documnet too , by clicking on *  and like option too.



      • Hi Ritesh,

        Read this document once again today just to clarify some doubts.

        1. Why do you use CS40 and CA02. Is it mandatory even in a non PP scenario. I have been working purely on SD perspective and have not used CS40 till date. Is that an acceptable approach. Actually I am of the belief that the MRP3 view or the basic view links the variant with the configurable material and hence CS40 is redundant. Please clarify if I am incorrect.

        2. Also Why do we need routing for variant material which anyway should be a MTS material. Again to my primitive understanding about routing, we can have routing only for MTO materials from SD perspective. During TOR, we send requirements to PP and then the production/assembly order will have the routing for the material. Hence in a stock scenario, this should not be applicable.

        If you can help me understanding these two concepts, it will help me.

        • Navaneetha Krishnan        

          With MRP 3 entery you connect the configurable material with material variant ,

          using CS40 you connect material variant with BOM and through CA02 you made link between material variant & routing operation of configurable.

          BOM and routing are required object from PP prespective.

          weather its a MTO or MTS both require this object.

          Hope this explanation will help you.



  • Hi Ritesh,

    Nice document ! By the way for deleting/removing a material variant shall I go about in the reverse of the order in which we created it?
    If so, Will removing MV from mat.assignment in routing or

    Link to configurable material affect the routing in any way like deleting the comp.allocations?

    • Krishnan Sekar,

      Thanks for comment , I dont think removing of MV from routing material assignment or changes to component allocations will affect anything.

      I truely trust SAP’s integration for all object. 🙂

      Also, when you say reverse , I hope you do not want to remove configurable material from basic data 2 or MRP 3 view from configurable material field. Its Not possible

  • Hi Ritesh,

    Many thanks for the excellent sharing!

    I have particular question – if there are more then one suitable material variants in my case system propose only one of them (with least mat.num.). Is it expected behaviour or some customisation is missed?

  • Hi Ritesh,

    Really a very useful document to understand the material variant concept. Your explanation with screenshots would leave no doubts in mind of the reader.



  • Hi Ritesh,

    its a very nice documents.thanks for shairing.

    if you have any document regading how to call variant table,constrian dependencies so it will be very beficial for us. your explanation is always mind blowing.


    Meraj Ansari

  • Hi Ritesh,

    Appreciate your efforts in preparing and sharing this document!!!

    Excellent document 🙂

    Keep contributing.


    Anupam Sharma

  • Hi Ritesh,

    Thanks for the detailed information. I just have one question. May I know in which table does the material->variant configuration information gets persisted. I would like to know the variant configuration for a given material via a Table/API. Any input will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks & Best Regards,


  • Hi Ritesh,

    I’m trying my luck with VC these days and I must say this is exactly the document I was looking for. I was wondering what if a particular variant is very common and get more than 50% of total production, and then I found this. Very nicely written 🙂


  • Hey Ritesh,

    Nice Doc.

    I have an issue.. I have a configurables material AA and created a variant BB.

    I have a contract with AA. When I create a PO for AA with characteric values same as BB, it should match BB and pick the same. But Variant matching is not working in Purchase order creation.

    Any idea?



    • Thanks for comment Raj T, please rate the document if you  like it.

      For any questions related to functionality explained in document , please create a new thread in forum , you will get more favorable replies.



  • Thanks, Ritesh, you did give a very good doc.

    I created a configurable material, but when I transfer it to CRM system, and use the materials to create sales order, the system will give out the error message “please configure the product xx”. And I tried to create a sales order in ECC, the system gave out the error message “Profitab. Segmt No.”.

    I have no idea with the error, is there more configurations I need to do? could you please help with that? thanks a lot.


  • Hello Ritesh,

    Very good learning material. It helped me a lot.

    But I have a question now. I created a multi-level configurable variant BOM, but the BOM cannot be exploded completely… Could you give me some suggestions to solve it?

    The detail of this question is described here

    Thank you very much!


    Best regards,


  • Hello Sir,

    Can you please shared , how ECN and OCM work in case if sales order has changed  after production order creation, As We are working in S4 HANA , here system allows us to change sales order configuration even after production order exist. How changes in sales order automatically triggered in production order by OCM



    Sumit Yeole