Welcome to the tutorial about SAP SD Availability Check. This tutorial is part of the SAP SD training course. You will learn what is the availability check in SAP SD, how to use it for determining quantities of materials that can be shipped to customers, and difference backward and forward scheduling in the availability check.
In SAP ERP, SAP SD availability check is of vital importance in sales order processing. It checks whether you are able to deliver the product to the customer on his required date of delivery. It ensures your promise to the customer on timely delivery of the goods. It helps you avoid making over-commitments to your customer so that your professional and market reputation is not affected.
SAP SD Availability Check
As mentioned above, SAP SD Availability Check helps you make commitment to the customer that you will be able to deliver the customer’s desired product on his desired timelines. If the company can meet the customer’s required date of delivery, the system will confirm the sales order. Else, the system will prompt and propose a new date of delivery.
Availability Check Criteria
When SAP SD Availability Check is executed, it checks material’s availability on certain parameters. Following are the parameters on which the SAP system checks whether the desired date of delivery of the customer can be met:
- Order Date – the date on which the customer orders the goods to be delivered on a certain date
- Material Staging – the lead time required to prepare the goods for dispatching; also includes the picking and packing time
- Transportation Planning – lead time required to arrange logistics and time required to deliver the goods at the customer’s premises
- Loading – the lead time required for making final arrangements to dispatch the product to the customer including the time required to complete picking and packing
- Goods Issue – the date on which the goods should leave the plant and the lead time required for dispatching the goods to the customer and the transit time when the product reaches the customer at his premises
- Required Delivery Date – the date requested by customer for the ordered goods
Availability Check Strategy
In order for the system to confirm the Required Date of Delivery of the customer, the system follows the following strategies to ensure the delivery of the product to the customer from the plant which is maintained in the sales order.
When the Required Date of Delivery of the product is entered, the system runs the backward scheduling on the criteria and parameters mentioned above. The system checks and takes the lead times into consideration. Based on the Required Date of Delivery:
- The system takes the goods issue lead time into account which includes the transit time and dispatching time.
- Then, it takes the lead time for loading the goods onto the vehicle, time required to arrange logistics, and time required to pick, pack and make product ready for dispatch.
Finally, it subtracts all the lead times from the Required Date of Delivery and obtains the date on which processing of goods should begin. If this date is after the order data, then the customers’ Required Date of Delivery can be met. Otherwise, the system opts for the second strategy.
When the SAP system is unable to meet the customer’s Required Date of Delivery due to any reason, the system runs forward scheduling and proposes a new delivery date. To calculate the new delivery date, the system takes into consideration all the lead times for every stage:
- Order date on which the order is created
- Time required at material staging date for making the material for shipping and the time usually required for picking and packing
- Lead time for transportation planning
- Loading lead time (time required for loading of goods)
- Goods Issue to the customer and the transit lead time
- Based on these factors, the system proposes a new delivery date
SAP SD Availability Check – Stock Movements
The forward and backward scheduling is based on the inventory movements within the plant (warehouse). These movements are based on actual goods movement. Stock in hand can be of various nature:
- Stock in transit
- Safety stock which company keeps as a minimum stock level of SKUs
- Stock which is in quality management for quality clearance decisions called Inspection Stock
- Stock blocked due to any reason
- Restricted-use stock for specific purposes
The following can be the examples of inward and outward movement of stock from a particular plant or a warehouse.
- Open purchase orders which are due for delivery (Goods Receipt)
- Purchase requisitions which have chances of getting converted to purchase orders
- Planned orders
- Production orders
- Reservations, stock blocked or reserved for some special purposes
- Purchase requirements which are derived from sales orders
- Deliveries created which are scheduled for delivery and Post Goods Issue (PGI)
Transfer of Requirements
Whenever you create a Sales Order, a transfer of requirements is generated. It appears in the Materials Requirement Planning (MRP). Based on the product ordered by the customer, the concerned department identifies whether the ordered goods are produced in-house, whether we have sufficient raw material to convert the required product into the finished goods, whether we need to procure the raw materials from the vendor and inquire about the time required by the vendor to deliver the product in the production facility where the required product will be produced and then finally dispatched to customer.
If the required product is not produced in-house, then it has to be procured externally from the vendor and then delivered to the customer.
Demo of SAP SD Availability Check
Let’s have a look how SAP SD Availability Check works. First, a Checking Group for Availability needs to be defined in material masters of the materials that will be ordered by a customer.
To edit a material master, start MM02 transaction from the command bar. Alternatively, you can navigate to the following menu path:
Logistics > Sales and Distribution > Master Data > Products > Material > Other Material > MM02 – Change
The SAP system will take you to the initial screen of MM02 transaction. Here you need to enter the material number that you would like to edit.
Once you press Enter button on the keyboard, a dialog box will appear to select views that you wish to maintain. In this case, we will select “Sales: General/Plan Data” and click OK button.
Next, another dialog box will appear. Enter relevant Plant, Sales Organization and Distribution Channel for which you wish to maintain SD’s Material Master values and press OK button.
Hint: If you either press F4 or button, the SAP system will display all possible values of Plant, Sales Organization and Distribution Channel where the selected material is already maintained.
The SAP system will show us the screen with information about the material. Here, we are interested in the field called Availability Check. It defines checking group which determines how the system checks material’s availability and generates requirements for materials planning. We will set the availability check 01 which means that the system will generate aggregated requirements for this material after grouping all sales orders with this material placed during a particular day.
System Demonstration of Availability Check
Now, let’s check how much stock of this material we have at our plant. We can do this check using the stock report (transaction MMBE).
Enter the selection criteria for the report and press F8 on the keyboard or button to continue.
We can see that no stock of this material is available. Now let’s try to create a sales order and see the system’s functionality. As you remember, we create new sales orders in the transaction VA01.
As soon as the material and quantity are entered, the SAP system will prompt that no stock is available.
Press button to proceed without confirming. Next, select the relevant line item (with the unavailable material) and press button to view Schedule Lines for this item.
Since there are no upcoming inward movements, the SAP system has not confirmed the order quantity (confirmed quantity = 0 ST). Otherwise, the system would have created another line with a confirmed quantity and date.
Now, let’s imagine that the production department manufactured some stock of the required material and informed us that it should be available now. We can go to the transaction MMBE to check if the stock is indeed available.
In MMBE, we can see that the stock is available. Now, let’s try to create a sales order again and see the system’s functionality.
Since the stock is available, the system has confirmed the quantity. To view details of scheduling of the shipment click on “Shipping” button.
If the material is not available on the customer’s desired delivery date, the system will propose a new delivery date. The system will create a new schedule line with confirmed quantity on the new delivery date.
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