Supplier Returns handling in SAP TM, triggered by a QM notification
Dear friends of SAP TM,
When setting up the logistics processes for inbound processing, it’s in many cases also important to consider an accurate returns handling. With the enhancement described here, it’s now possible to integrate a supplier returns delivery with SAP TM when it has been triggered out of a QM notification.
Description of the scenario
Assume, you purchase some goods at a supplier and create a respective purchase order. When it now comes to the delivery of the goods, a goods receipt is posted in one of your plants:
But in this scenario now, it’s very important for you as customer that the quality of the delivered goods is exactly as expected (e.g. in case of discrete manufacturing of a high quality product). Therefore, you do not rely on the ‘casual’ check done by the warehouse worker being responsible for the goods receipt. Additionally, you run a quality processing with the SAP QM instance as part of SAP S/4HANA.
So, the goods receipt happens in the stock for quality inspection and the QM processing is triggered, based on a so-called QM Notification.
QM processing is started
Sooner or later it will now happen, that you have complaints about the delivered goods. Depending on what is agreed with the supplier, you could now do a scrapping of the complaint goods. Or you could also return them to the supplier. In both cases you expect another delivery of the goods in the quantity of which the goods have been complaint.
Means for the scenario described here:
- A returns delivery with reference to the purchase order is created. Either for returning the complaint goods to the supplier. Or in case of a scrapping, this should be charged to the supplier which also requires a returns delivery.
- The open quantity of the purchase order is increased by the complained quantity to enable the supplier to do another delivery with reference to the original purchase order.
To enable this scenario, the following enhancements have been implemented:
- Logistics Integration Profile
Basically, when a delivery is created referring to a purchase order, and both documents are TM relevant, the logistics integration profile with the most important settings for the logistics integration (e.g. freight unit building rule) is taken over from the purchase order to the delivery document.
For this scenario, we decoupled the outbound processing from the inbound processing. This means, the logistics integration profile of the returns delivery is not taken over from the purchase order but determined newly from customizing. This reflects the fact that the returns process is started as a separate outbound process.
That enhancement is delivered with note 3221567.
- Freight unit building at the purchase document
For the underlying purchase document, we identify that another delivery with the complaint goods is expected. Accordingly, freight units are built to enable their transport.
This is enabled with note 3252591.
Document flow in each process step
With those enhancements, the document flow will evolve like in this example:
- At first a purchase order is created and TM integration assigns a freight unit.
- An inbound delivery has been created for the purchase order and a goods receipt is posted against it.
- After the goods receipt, QM processing is started and a respective QM notification is created.
- The result of the QM processing is that 2 PCE are complaint which should be returned to the supplier. Therefore, a respective returns delivery is created from the QM notification and TM integration assigns a freight unit of the 2 PCE to be returned. In the same process step, TM integration assigns another freight unit of 2 PCE to the purchase order to enable another delivery of them.
So, this is another important capability of the returns handling with SAP TM, enabling a more powerful integration of affected components.
This functionality is available with SAP S/4HANA oP2022 FPS1 and SAP S/4HANA oP2021 FPS3 or with the mentioned notes.
I appreciate your feedback and comments!
Why is this process triggered based on a quality notification and not based on an inspection lot?
Thanks for your comment!
The simple reason is that it was a customer requirement, to integrate from the quality notification. But I agree, it's also a valid integration scenario to integrate from the inspection lot. It's not on our roadmap yet but I've made a note on that.