New to SAP IS Retail? Trying to understand what “assortments” and “listing” are precisely and how they work together?

Let me take a stab here at explaining these concepts, as they apply to SAP.

Before I jump into those 2 specific areas, let me give an overview of some common SAP IS Retail terminology:

Article: SKU/ Material. Where you would typically create/ maintain materials using MM01/02/03, in SAP Retail articles are maintained using MM41/42/43.

Site: The term site refers to both DCs and stores. The DC is the equivalent of Plant in non-retail lingo. Stores are the retail stores where the goods are sold to end customers.

Now let’s talk about listing. You cannot perform transactions on an article at a specific site unless and until the article is listed to that site. This means, you cannot receive or sell the article at the site without listing it to that site.

There is a listing period associated with listing. The article can be allocated, procured, sold, returned at a store that it is listed to provided the transaction happens within the listing period (i.e., ‘listing valid from’ date <= transaction date <= ‘listing valid to date’).

Now let’s move on to assortments. At a very basic level, an assortment in SAP is nothing but a collection/ grouping of 1 or more sites. What is the necessity for grouping? What is the criteria? To answer these and expland on how listings and assortments are connected, let me give an example.

Let us assume you own a chain of retail bookstores with 100 or more stores throughout your country. You sell all kinds of books – fiction (paper back, hardbound, book on CD formats), non-fiction (again – paperback, hardbound, book on CD formats), text books, plus notebooks, pens, pencils and assorted stationery.

You probably want to sell the stationery items in all your 100 stores. So, instead of listing each of those stationery items to each and every store, you create an assortment and name it “ALL STORES”. Now, list all the stationery items to the “ALL STORES” assortment. Voila – you can now perform transactions on these articles on any of your stores in the nation.

Of the 100 stores you own, maybe 25 are located very close to schools/ universities. You notice that in these stores, the volume of text books you sell is very high. So you want to make sure that any and every text book you carry is certainly available in these 25 stores. What do you do?

Create a “UNIVERSITY/ SCHOOL STORES” assortment which has these 25 stores. Any text book article you have – list it to this assortment.

Getting the idea?

Maybe you have 10 stores that are mega stores – you wish to carry every single book or item you ever carry in these stores. Create an assortment called “MEGA STORES” and make sure all active articles are listed to this assortment.

There is a validity period associated with assortments, just like with listing. The listing validity period trumps the assortment validity period.

Assort/List VALID FROM VALID TO
Assortment ALL STORES 10/14/2013 12/31/9999
Article XYZ listed to ALL STORES 1/1/2014 5/1/2014

Although the assortment ALL STORES is valid from 10/14 to eternity, article XYZ can be procured/sold/returned in any of the 100 stores only from 1/1/2014 – 5/1/2014. So if you created a PO for this article where the receiving site is A (included in ALL STORES assortment) and PO receiving date is 12/31/2013, the system will throw an error indicating article is not listed to the site on that date. Similarly, a sales order for this article at store A on 5/2/2014 will error out for the same reasons.

So – that was my layman explanation.

Now for some common t-codes in this area:

Assortments:

WSOA1/2/3/4 – create/ change/ display/ delete

WSOA6 – Assortment maintenance tool

WSE6 – Material discontinuation for assortments. Let me explain this one with an example. Say you’ve listed the entire merch cat. of fiction-mystery-paperback to the “ALL STORES” assortment. There is a new fiction novel that came in – the paper back version is automatically listed to all stores (since the merch cat is listed to all stores). Within a month, you realise that sales for this particular novel are not good. Instead of carrying it in all stores, you can discontinue this specific article from the “ALL STORES” assortment and list it to the “MEGA STORES” assortment instead, which is a smaller set of stores.

WSLA – Display the sites in an assortment. I believe this displays the same info as WSOA3 – Assortment User tab for a specific assortment.

WSLB – Find all the assortments that a site is listed to.

Listing:

WSM3 – Mass listing of article(s) to assortment(s).

WSL11 – Find the listing conditions of 1 or more articles (what assortments the articles are listed to; validity dates)

WSM6 – Delete Individual listing of article.

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14 Comments

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  1. Jove Bilal

    Good note. So Assortment is actually the collection of Stores where the particular set of articles are sent as per the requirements. M confused about the Grouping of Sites or site groups. Is that same as the Assortments?

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    1. Archana S. Post author

      Jove, Thanks for the feedback and the question!

      Technically speaking, yes – it does seem like site group and assortment are the same thing – a collection of stores.

      I have seen site groups being used for allocations – where you want to distribute some X qty of goods in your DC to a specific set of stores and in promotions – running a promotion in some set of stores e.g. promotion 123 is only running in the state of XX etc – so all stores in state XX would be part of a site group that would then be associated with promo 123.

      Assortments, to my knowledge, are used specifically to handle article listing.

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  2. Jove Bilal

    What is the difference between Customer and the store? I was reading about general Assortments and it talks about customers. Store is a Customer as well. M just confused !

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    1. Tobias Koenig

      Hi Jove,

      the difference is: for sites, you can manage stock also in IS-Retail. For customers, you don’t manage stock in IS-Retail. From a functional perspective, the assortment concepts considers the object “customer” which means the “customer part” of a site or a “normal” customer.

      Basically, you can use assortment concept as well for “normal” customers and for sites.

      Regards

      Tobias

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  3. Adam Nielsen

    Good overview of listing and assortments.

    A couple of other elements could be helpful such as deleting listing WSP3 transaction and also that an article can have multiple listing conditions based on existing in different assortments.

    In my experience I also find people don’t always understand the different types of listing procedures and how listing map to things like layouts and space plans.

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  4. S K

    Hi Archana, Very good Blog.

    Request you please update given T-Codes are configuration or master data, will give more clarity.

     

    Regards 

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