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Author's profile photo Lakshmipathi Ganesan

Restrict saleable material to one customer




I have involved in conducting more than 150 interviews for SD and whenever I ask a question “How to restrict a saleable material to one particular customer”, an immediate response from the candidate was “Listing / Exclusion” functionality which is incorrect.  So this blog will explain why Listing / Exclusion functionality will not address this requirement and also how it can be addressed with the standard configuration.  A brief explanation has already been posted by me is here



I am not going to configuration and master data set up as it has already been discussed many times here.  If you explore this functionality, it doesn’t mean that system will restrict to other buyers.  That particular customer can only buy the listed materials and if you try to enter any other material that is not listed, it will not allow you as shown below:-


Message no. V1118




Similarly, exclusion will also won’t work for the subject question because, you need to maintain master data for all customers in vb01 which is NOT a Best Practice.

So, how to achieve this requirement.




Step-1 – Go to IMG > Sales and Distribution > Sales > Sales Document Item > Define Item Category Usage


Step-2 – Create a new “Item Usage” as shown below:-



Step-3 – Assign this Usage in VOV4

Note:-  If needed, you can also have a new item category and assignment can be made here accordingly


Step-4 – Maintain the Usage in VD51 with whom you want to restrict this saleable material


Step-5 – Now try to create sale order for any other customer and see how it works.


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      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin

      Hi G Lakshmipathi ;


      Something's not clear for me about your option on why Exclusion would not be a best practice regarding this process. You have mentioned " exclusion will also won’t work for the subject question because, you need to maintain master data for all customers in vb01 which is NOT a Best Practice.", but the same master data maintenance applies for customer material info record solution as well. One would have to maintain VD51 for all customers also, so I do not see the solution you have provided here "better" than the Exclusion solution (though I do not find it worse either, I see them both as doable as alternatives to themselves). Have I been missing something here?

      Cheers and thanks for your work as always.

      Author's profile photo Lakshmipathi Ganesan
      Lakshmipathi Ganesan
      Blog Post Author


      Let us assume, your client are having 5k customers and take the example of the above as one of the Business requirement.  Now will it be possible for you to maintain Exclusion for all those customers.  Moreover, over a period of time, this would be on the higher side.

      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin

      Why wouldn't it be? This is a master data topic, and needs to be handled by master data team, either by Exclusion or CMIR functionality. Either way a maintenance would always be required, that's what I've been saying actually. Also considering CMIR depends on distribution chains (sales org + dist. channel are key), it might even require more master data work than exclusion, where one could define their own tables according to business logic.

      Author's profile photo Lakshmipathi Ganesan
      Lakshmipathi Ganesan
      Blog Post Author


      Just imagine, over a period of time, your master data would be increased or sales area ?  So accordingly, we need to take a call.  In fact, in many client places, there is no separate master data team which also you need to take into consideration.

      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin

      But handling this situation via VD51 would not be solving this issue either: It is not easier than solving it via Exclusion.

      In VD51 the user would need to enter Customer nr, material nr, sales org and dist. chain, and also item category usage, while for Exclusion only customer nr, material nr and sales org could be enough. Less button clicks I would say.

      Author's profile photo Swapnesh Shah
      Swapnesh Shah

      Yes, I agree with Kivanc Bilgin points. Most companies don't use CMIR instead, they prefer the listing and exclusion as it is well known and easy to maintain. But this is also a new approach to solving the issue but not the best approach.

      Author's profile photo Hidayathulla Hasan
      Hidayathulla Hasan

      Dear G Lakshmipathi

      In case if the client doesn't want to go with any config change and in that case exclusion is only solution.




      Author's profile photo Phil Cooley
      Phil Cooley

      Interesting idea but pretty sure this is not best practice and performing this type of configuration for one specific customer and material is way over the top. I see arguments over master data but how about the support and maintenance of this configuration. Don't understand why you could not use Listing / Exclusion but at a higher level - regardless you would still need to perform some sort of master data maintenance to meet the requirement but you would not necessarily need to enter 5K records to handle this. 

      My first inclination would be Listing/Exclusion records but another way to do it might be using Product Attributes. You could use this to get the desired effect of only allowing a single customer to order the product. Steps would include:

      • Set the sales document type to produce an Error message for the ProdAttr messages indicator. (Part of transaction flow section).
      • Set the Material's Product Attribute 1 to X.
      • Set ALL customers (except the Customer who can order the product) Product Attribute 1 to X. This means that when all customers try to order that Material they will receive an error and won't be allowed to. Over time if more customers could order it then you just remove the Product Attribute 1 setting. The single customer that does not have this attribute as X would be allowed to order.

      Ideally, this would be carried out with master data with the least amount of configuration as it is only a single scenario but I provided the above Product Attributes to show there are other ways of doing this.

      Agree with the others though, Listing / Exclusion would be my first go to solution.

      Interesting post though and always keen on hearing other ways of meeting business requirements.

      Thanks for sharing!


      Author's profile photo Sankaralingam Maharajan
      Sankaralingam Maharajan

      'Usage' at CMIR is used to determine a different item category at sales order, OK fine.  But how does that restrict the material being sold ?  Should the CMIR be maintained for allowed customers or restricted customers?

      Author's profile photo Pradeep Mani
      Pradeep Mani

      I was also thinking about this question,item usage will help to pick different item category,where is the link to set block for particular item category.

      Author's profile photo Mobashir Ansari
      Mobashir Ansari

      I Believe Lakshmipathi Ganesan missed a part here where a new item category group should also be created and assigned to the materials which needs to be restricted in material master. This will determine a new item category with item usage assigned in CMIR. If the usage in CMIR or CMIR itself is missing then item category determination error will be given.

      Author's profile photo Anand KS
      Anand KS

      Hello Laxmipathiji,

      This will work...

      It will control via item usage from item category group --> item category determination.

      we maintain in VD51...the very same item usage we maintain (new item usage)  for that material which is used for item category determination.

      when created sales order, if we enter that material, it will check vd51 find item usage combination thereby item category picked.. for other customers there is no VD51,,, it will throw error..... super.