Documentary batches have been in SAP arena for long time, however the usage and adaptability has been quite limited by customers because of less available content and its full interoperability has not been explored in length.
This blog is written to understand why there is need of Documentary batches in logistics realms and how it could be a game changer for logistics and warehousing.
Documentary batches are virtual batches, not real one. A documentary batch is a batch that is not inventory-managed. It means it will never appear in your stock, however, they are generated during certain business operations like during Goods receipt, during picking, return to vendor and etc.
So, the required product is not flagged as batch managed in Material master.
Using documentary batches, the traceability of a product is enhanced without managing the stock of the product in batches. It means we dont need to activate the Material as batch managed, no need to do any Batch Management settings. Only settings are required at Documentary batch level in OCHA for the required material types. If material type becomes more generic for customer, sap has given Badi to use for specific products.
Example: Requirement is to trace a product which is sent to Customer with documentary batches. No real batches exits in Stock.
Below are the processes where documentary batches can be incorporated. SAP has recently extended the usage of documentary batches in Order and network. Also during Vendor return process, documentary batches can be incorporated.
In EWM, we just need to activate the required Item type.
For Outbound Process:
When you create an outbound delivery with or without reference to a sales order, the outbound delivery is replicated to SAP EWM. Documentary batches are generated during confirming Picking WT and once GI is posted, documentary batches are batches are updated in SAP S4H LE delivery.
Once a delivery is created, a documentary batch tab is appeared. This field is grey out, so documentary batches would be generated during WT creation.
In SAP EWM, /SCWM/PRDO, documentary batches shares the same field with real batches. You dont find any separate field for documentary batches in EWM.You can can give any batch number as per your need. If you need customer specific batch numbering, there are badi to use that for auto number for documentary batches.
On confirming WT and posting GI from EWM, documentary batch is updated in ERP. As a thumb rule, documentary batches are only updated once there is Goods movement.
You can print lebel of batch during shipping to customer and documentary batches can be recorded in RFUI as well.
Note:If you work with RFID or TRM functions, or call IDocs/BAPIs, you can only book in documentary batches by calling up the RFC-capable function module VBDBDM_DATA_MAINTAIN_RFC beforehand or incorporating it into the process.
Documenatry batches in recent years have seen more enhancements and it cab be used in below process as well
- Creating a return delivery to vendor, Vendor return process
- In network and in service orders.
Do share your feedback to make it more productive.