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Efficient and reliable return processing with Accelerated Returns Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

In today’s world, the company is expected to have a reliable after sales process which includes complaints processing, repair, and return processing.

Since the customer expects high quality products, the return process is also expected as a service process which will be handled transparently, efficient with an immediate refund process.

The SAP Advanced Returns Management (ARM) is used for the administration of customer returns and provides a variety of advanced functions for the returns management.

Beside a continuous process of the returns management, a permanent monitoring and interferences in the processes are possible with the help of the returns overview. An optimized and accelerated returns management is the result of the SAP ARM.

In S/4HANA Cloud, the Advanced Returns Management is introduced with the Best Practice “BKP: Accelerated Customer Returns” (and a number of other variant scope-items: 1Z3, 3QD, 3TE) and it’s three sub-scenarios

· Return to seller

· Return to seller with inspection at customer site

· Return to supplier via seller

Users with returns and refund clerk role start return process with Fiori App Manage Rustomer Returns. Accelerated return (document type CBAR) is used to manage your return order and refund. Return reason and other information can be maintained in accelerated return. Inspection step is normally expected as input for further refund and logistic follow up decisions. Logistic follow up activities are pre-defined to accelerate your logistic relevant actions. Credit memo and replacement material can both be supported as typical refund type.

Using WEBGUI App VA01 with document type CBAR, you can also address the use case to

· create accelerated return without reference.

or even run a return process without an additional inspection step while

· using logistic follow up activity ‘Immediately Move to Free Available Stock’

More details on process flow and test script can be found in Scope Item BKP https://rapid.sap.com/bp/scopeitems/BKP

Besides of the comprehensive “Accelerated Customer Returns” S/4HANA Cloud still supports the so-called Customer Return (Scope-Item: BDD) process.

The basic process steps include

· Create sales order

· Create return delivery

· Create billing document

Users with Internal sales rep role start the return process with App Create Sales OrdersVA01 while using document type CBRE to create the return order. Due to the basic design of BDD: Customer Return there is no inspection step required as material is directly returned to unrestricted-use stock. Credit memo is the supported refund type, billing block needs to be explicitly removed in lean return before credit memo request creation.

More details on process flow and test script can be found in Scope Item BDD https://rapid.sap.com/bp/scopeitems/BDD

Meanwhile It is important to be aware of the limitations for Customer Return when using sales document type CBRE. This is addressed in Limitation part in test script for customer return (BDD) – as can be found via link above.

So, when running one of the outlined return process variants below please use Accelerated Returns Management with sales document type CBAR, since Customer Returns (BDD) is not planned to support these:

BKP: Accelerated Customer Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of sales kits as documented in Sales Order Processing for Sales Kits

Return of trading goods with milestone-billing plan

Return of free-of-charge goods

Return of make-to-order goods with milestone-billing plan

Return of bought-in good

Return with selection of an alternative replacement material (and plant)

1Z3: Accelerated Third-Party Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Direct return of 3rd party goods

3QD: Accelerated Third-Party Returns from Seller to Supplier [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of 3rd party goods via seller to supplier – using a Return Purchase Order with Return Material Authorization

3TE: Return Order Processing for Non-Stock Material [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of non-stock good

Return of non-stock good with milestone-billing plan

Return of free-of-charge non-stock goods

Return of service with Credit Memo in context of Return Order

Return of free-of-charge service

Return of service with milestone-billing plan

2F4: Intercompany Process for Customer Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Return and refunds using affiliated plants

Due to these limitations in Customer Returns (BDD), it is recommended to directly start with Accelerated Returns Management. This also brings the advantage that the Sales & Refund clerk can decide on immediate compensation options without waiting for inspection results – as would be expected from the customers.

6 Comments
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  • Thanks Bin for sharing.  I have been a fan of Accelerated Returns Management (aka Advanced Returns Management) since it was delivered in ECC.  One area that I struggle to find documentation is the integration of ARM with the Repairs process.  I know there are standard Follow-on Activities 0016 and 0017 for Inhouse and external repair but would appreciate if you could direct me to any Blogs or documentation about integration of those activities with ARM.  If there is nothing you can directly reference, can I suggest a future blog topic?

    • Hi Sean

      If you mean the configuration in ARM (on premise) to enable the Follow-on Activities 0016 and 0017. you can check the standard configuration guideline document attached in Note 2967776

       

      Best Regards,

      Bin

       

       

      • Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

        Really what I was hoping for was something more "business consumable" similar to the ARM Best Practice Content:

        Accelerated Customer Returns (‏BKP‏) https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana/areas/on-premise/packageversions/BP_OP_ENTPR/S4HANA/2020/US/7/EN/scopeitems/BKP

        Accelerated Third-Party Returns (‏1Z3‏) https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana/areas/on-premise/packageversions/BP_OP_ENTPR/S4HANA/2020/US/7/EN/scopeitems/1Z3

        I suspect publishing a formal Best Practice would be administratively difficult, so I am not looking for an official document, but was hoping to convince you to publish an "Accelerated Customer Returns with In-house repair" step-by-step process description and example.  I admit I could probably corral one of our CS consultants and setup something myself, but that is like herding cats sometimes...

        Sean House