I will be sharing the most crucial preparation tasks to be done for a SAP QM implementation for Procurement and Production areas. In order to have a successful QM implementation, there is groundwork required for the QM to function smoothly.
Material Quality Standards
- There are instances where all materials are not quality activated when created. The reason is they go through a development/pilot process first. During this period the Quality Standard cannot be decided, as the Material is at development stage. Once the development stage is passed with customer approval the Material is ready for Bulk production and this will be the instance to activate quality. There could be an instance where a new Material could be created for Bulk or use existing Material as a Bulk. At this stage the Quality Department should have the necessary Quality Standards gathered to make the Inspection Plan for the Bulk Material. It is important to identify the correct time to activate Quality for Material and Upload the Inspection Plan before Production Orders are created. Here the challenge is which department (Development/Planning/Marketing) will raise the alert for Quality Department to create the Inspection Plan and activate Quality for Materials.
- There could be instances where Materials are created, and Production Orders get created immediately. In which case there is no time for Inspection Plan upload. We need to introduce procedures to prevent such situations.
- If QM is implemented to an existing SAP system, there could be many Materials where Inspection Plans need to be created, requiring X amount of time.
- At the point of activating Material Quality view, the use of enhancement “BADI_MATERIAL_CHECK” could be used to check if there are any open Production Orders. If you have Inspection Type 4 for the Production Material and Quality view is activated while having open Production Orders, and when operation PP03 is confirmed for these Production Orders, the stock will be moved to Quality Stock. This will cause confusion for users.
- You could use the enhancement “BADI_MATERIAL_CHECK” to check if the Inspection Plan is uploaded to the material. This is important if a Production Order is created for Quality activated Material without an Inspection Plan, you would be unable to record Quality. There is an alternate solution for this problem.
Quality Recording (Quality Gates)
- There is always a chance for user not to activate Quality for Materials, as this could be prevented by having a check at a Production Order User Exit (EXIT_SAPLCOZV_001) if the Production Material is activated with Quality. When it comes to Raw Material that are procured the check could be implemented at the point of GRN. There could be Raw Material procured first for development where they go through a development stage and then finally procured for bulk production. At this stage Quality should be activated for the Raw Material and the same goes with Production Order Materials, where you need to distinguish between Development Materials and Bulk Materials.
- If Custom objects are used to create User Friendly interfaces to do Production Order Confirmations, be aware of Parallel Sequences if exists in Production Order Routing. As the standard BAPI’s do not support Quality Result recording for Parallel Sequence operations in Production Orders. As a solution you need to make sure Routing Operation number carries a unique number across all operations including Parallel Sequence Operations inside the Production Order. Further you could implement a check at Production Order User Exit (EXIT_SAPLCOZV_001) to check if Operation in the Routing is unique including Parallel Sequence Operations inside Production Order.
It is important to discuss the above points with the project stakeholders, as it requires significant time for the cut-over activities.