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Documentary batches and its integration to SAP EWM

Conceptualization:

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.

 

Definition:

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.

ERP settings:

 

EWM settings:

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

  1. Creating a return delivery to vendor, Vendor return process
  2. In network and in service orders.

References:

https://help.sap.com/doc/8161b6531de6b64ce10000000a174cb4/1610%20002/en-US/7bf6ef525c1b287ee10000000a44176d.html

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/05/28/new-features-for-batch-management-in-sap-erp/

 

Do share your feedback to make it more productive.

 

Best regards

Shailesh Mishra

8 Comments
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  • Thanks for the sharing.  Almost forgotten about this stuff in SAP.  By the way, assuming that business may want to active batch management in the future and with documentary batches previously activated, what could be the impacts and additional efforts?

    Thanks.

    • Hello.

      Business can activate Real Batch Management. Documentary batches have no impact on activation of real batch management. The most beautiful aspect of Documentary batches is its flexibility of Switching it off any time. You can anytime switch off the activation of documentary batches if business doesn’t want to use it .
      In comparison of real batches, you cannot switch it off . Once a material is batch managed, stocks would be in batches.

      If a product which is activated Batch managed at product level and documentary batch managed at material type level, real batch management is dominant.

      Documentary batches are generally for traceability purpose as it generates batch where used list with batch master MSC3N upon receipt from external vendor or during production. However, there is no entry at MCHB batch stock level but entries are created at MCHA/MCH1 level. This non inventory characteristics of documentary batches makes it extremely powerful for batch traceability which is legal and audit requirement for handling faulting goods. 

  • Thanks for this really interesting blog.

    I just worked on an S4 implementation with embeded eWM and we tried to activate the documentary batch. In our context, only some materials should be documentary batch managed and we would like to activate the documentary batch scanning only at some points in the process (only during GR, only during GI or both during GI and GR).

    Here is where the thinks becomes tricky. In S4, 2 BADI methods are available to cover this.

    • The first one Badi VBDOCUBATCH method PRODUCT_CHANGE  define if the documentary batch is active (as the standard activation is at material type level…). We have added a flag in the material/plant table to activate the documentary batch at this level.
    • The second one is Badi VBDOCUBATCH method PROCESS_CHANGE which we have used to create doc batch profiles set in the material/plant to reflect our profiles :Z001 : GR : goods receipt

      Z002 : GR + GI in prod : goods receipt + GI in production

      Z003 GR + GI to customer : goods receipt + GI to customer.

      Z004 GR + All GI : goods receipt + all GI (prod + customer)

       

     

    In eWM,  the documentary batch is activated only at Product level and not on Process level so this logic available in S4 is transmitted in eWM leading to inconcistencies and blocking situation.  SAP advise us to manage separated item type in the delivery which makes the things much more complicated.

    Finally we were not able to use this functionnality due to those limitations and to avoid a too complex solution with duplicated item types.

    Frédéric