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Tips and tricks to improve purchasing procedures in SAP

by The Tip Doctor

December 17, 2010

This SAP Procurement tip comes courtesy of Dennis Phalen, who originally presented on this topic in 2008 at the SAP Insider Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Procurement, Product Lifecycle Management, and Manufacturing conferences.

Purchasing, and procurement expert Phelan asks: “Did you know that most purchases in an organization are for items that have been previously purchased?” He goes on to offer tips and techniques to optimize core SAP systems that customers are already running, to simplify and automate the purchasing of repeat buys.

What is the best way to set up the source list to ensure that requisitions and purchasing orders are populated with the right information (including the latest negotiated pricing), and that routine orders are automated?

  • If you always want to use the same supplier for a material – fix the source of supply on your “Maintain Source List: Overview Screen” by checking the “Fix” box
  • Want a convenient way to block ordering a material from a supplier? Check the Blk box on the same screen to block orders for this material from this supplier using that agreement.
  • Want to ensure the terms and conditions of a contract are used when purchasing a certain material? Listing an agreement number in a Source Lis t will link requisitions using this source to the agreement.

Information Records are created by the system for every purchase of a unique vendor number/material number combination

  • The Information Record can be mass-updated via transaction MEMASSIN
  • It is one of the most powerful Purchasing tools in SAP

The Information Record has five screens that enable you to reconcile vendor material and packing slip numbers to improve the goods receipt process. You can use this to authorize some vendors and block others from your buyers, and to configure material groups and designate postings to specific General Ledger accounts.

Requisition screens allow you to personalize this interface to adjust receipt settlement information, change tax codes, alter tolerances for delivery times, and more.

  • You can create a variant to find released requisitions with release dates using dynamic date calculation    
  • Use Transaction ME57 to assign and process requisitions
  • Automatic conversion is controlled in two places
    • The vendor master
    • Purchasing view of the Material Master
      • Requisitions must have sources assigned

Configure entry aids for items with Material Masters

  • Menu Path: SPRO > Display IMG > Materials Management > Purchasing > Material Master > Entry aids for items without a material master
  • Value classes (GL accounts) and Purchasing value keys may be assigned to material groups. This will default the G/L account into your Purchase Order

Vendor evaluation allows ranking of vendors based on business defined cr iteria.

  • The transactions are ME63 (individual) or ME6G (background) and these need to be configured
  • The scoring method tells the system where to find the data using Transaction: OMGI
    (The best score is the max allowed for a singe criterion)

 Lean how to personalize screen settings

  • Default settings: Icon on requisitions and orders
  • Note the PO price setting: this means do not adopt the requisition price into the PO
  • Are you tired of scrolling through long search lists?
    • Select the desired item
    • Click on insert in personal list icon
    • You can repeat this for several entries.  When finished hit enter or the green check mark.

To summarize:

  • The system is quicker and faster than people on repeat items and every effort should be made to allow the system to do this work.
  • The Source List is an effective way to source requisitions for Material Master items.  Items on the list link to contracts or Information Records.  They can be used to block vendors on specific materials.
  • The Information Record is your friend!  It will supply all of the default data to speed up PO processing.  They control quantity pricing and provide a link to vendor part numbers.
  • If you are not using transaction ME57 to convert requisitions — you should.
  • Screen variants can be used to save a lot of time.  If they are set up with dynamic date calculation, they become powerful work lists.
  • Automatic requisition conversion should only be used on a proven ordering process, but when used, it’s fast!
  • Personal lists can reduce large lists to a manageable size.

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