Deploying Digital Supplier Network Series – best practices part 1
This is a series of blog posts that contains lessons learnt from Digital Supplier Network deployment. The deployment was successfully done by Deloitte India for a customer in chemical industry.
Troubleshooting issues related to Quality Management module in SAP
Customers often get Digital Supplier Network (DSN) to provide to their trading partners a platform for digital collaboration. Such portal (powered by Ariba Network) would be always integrated with a backend ERP system such as S/4 HANA (which was the case for our deployment team)
Very often customers in manufacturing industry (but not only) are using Quality management component within SAP to implement and run quality control processes. The module is designed to:
- prevent defects
- establish sustained quality control programs
- enable continuous improvement
- and many more
One of the best practices when it comes to Quality Management and DSN is to mitigate the problems related to certificate number for materials. If that is not done, a typical error you would get would be:
“Error: Value for the certificate number could not be determined. “
This error would occur while submitting an Advance Ship Notice document by supplier: Error: Value for the certificate number could not be determined due to this Status of PO which is shipped is changed to confirmed due to the failed status update from SAP S/4
What happened in SAP ERP is the following:
Customer received an error from SAP ERP trying to read the quality certificate details. The standard function module QCPR_CERTIFICATE_READ tries to read the quality certificate type based on the PO item and will create and return a new certificate number. The program has various checks and it could have failed reading the quality certificate for many reasons.
But whatever the exact error returned by this standard function module is not returned by the Ariba program (add-on), instead, the error returned is always generic i.e., “Value for the certificate number could not be determined”.
Having said that, the SAP FM ‘QCPR_CERTIFICATE_READ’ mandatorily checks ‘extended certificate processing’ to be active for creating the quality certificate and which is the standard behavior. The FM does not check the “certificate check required’ option for creating a quality certificate. This has nothing to do with Ariba’s or DSN`s integration.
After facing this issue and discussing it with SAP, a note to implement was created with number 2913568 and this is the recommendation going forward from us every time such error occurs.
Not recommended (alternative workaround)
As an alternative workaround, the customer can set the ‘Enhanced cert. processing’ flag active for the certificate type that they’re using. Another workaround option is to go for an implicit enhancement on the standard function module ‘QCPR_CERTIFICATE_READ’ and eliminate the extended cert processing check, but this is highly not recommended.