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Get Optimal Service Performance from Vendors Using Vendor Evaluation for External Services

by Patrick Imhen, Business Analyst and Senior SAP MM/SD/PM Functional Consultant, ZOCODE Limited

March 13, 2017

Learn how the Vendor Evaluation functionality for external service vendor appraisal can give optimal service delivery. This functionality helps organizations mitigate poor service delivery and uncover and remove unnecessary costs.

The external service process is a vital part of the procurement process in SAP ERP materials management (MM). To achieve a holistic high performance of the procurement business process, there has to be ample visibility into all the operations or business relationships with vendors, including those who provide external services.

Some external services include training of personnel, outsourced jobs for electrical installation or repairs, routine maintenance and repair of machines, outsourced physical inventory counting jobs, and outsourced delivery jobs. Procuring services like these attract costs and if not well managed they can be an avenue for unnecessary expenses.

For instance, a poor electrical wire installation can cause a fire outbreak in the office or warehouse that can result in the loss of life and property. A continuous unchecked act of delayed repairs of production machines by an external service vendor would definitely have a very adverse impact on production targets. A vendor service price may be unnecessarily high due to hidden cost drivers. These are potential risks to optimal business performance if they are not checked and controlled.

The automatic Vendor Evaluation functionality in SAP ERP does not cover the derivation of scores for external services; therefore, SAP has provided other scoring methods to evaluate external service providers. These methods are semi-automatic and manual scoring methods. In this case, the functionalities of the Service Entry Sheet and Purchasing Info records are employed.

I cover the following areas:

  • The relevance of external service vendor appraisal
  • How to uncover and eliminate hidden costs for external services using Vendor Evaluation
  • How to configure the Vendor Evaluation settings for external service vendor appraisal
  • How the scores are derived and the end-to-end computation process
  • How to set up the Service Entry Sheet for Vendor Evaluation
  • How to set up the Purchasing Info Record for Vendor Evaluation
  • Tips for effective appraisal of external service vendors using Vendor Evaluation

I also explain how to use the Purchasing Info Record to score vendors for the price criterion that the semi-automatic Vendor Evaluation in the SAP system does not provide for in the standard process.

The Relevance of External Service Vendor Appraisal

Apart from the procurement of materials, organizations also procure a long array of external services that enable them to effectively carry out their business operations. This implies that the impact of external services performance can go a long way toward affecting their business operations negatively or positively.

Therefore, to ensure the optimal impact of external services to business operations, organizations must as a matter of necessity apply procedures to measure and control how external services are delivered. The Vendor Evaluation component in the purchasing component of the SAP materials management module (MM-PUR) provides a solution to appraise vendors for external services in quality and timeliness of delivery in the standard SAP system procedure. In addition to the appraisal of external services vendors for quality and timeliness, I provide a workaround to appraise the prices of services delivered that are usually provided in the standard SAP system.

In the SAP ERP system, the Vendor Evaluation functionality for external service vendors uses the semi-automatic and manual scoring methods for this type of vendor appraisal.

The semi-automatic scoring method derives the subcriteria used to appraise vendors from scores manually input at the Purchasing Info Record level for materials and Service Entry Sheet level for services. These scores are input manually and computed by the system to derive the subcriteria of the main criterion External Service. This is unlike the automatic scoring method in which every score is automatically generated without user interference. The standard semi-automatic subcriteria for the External Service main criterion in SAP ERP include quality of service and service timeliness.

In the manual scoring method, users assign scores to the subcriteria manually. These scores are then used to derive the higher level scores.

How to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Costs for External Services Using Vendor Evaluation

Consider a scenario in which a company uncovers a hidden cost of $29,664 per year from their total annual expenditure for the routine maintenance service of a set of machines used for production. These machines are serviced monthly by an external vendor that flies in four engineers and lodges them in a hotel for five days. The total welfare cost spent on each engineer per day is $200, excluding the cost of their flight to and from which costs $236 (on average). The vendor service delivery on machine maintenance had been very satisfactory in terms of timeliness and quality. When the Vendor Evaluation component was implemented and used to appraise the vendor, the result shown in Table 1 was derived. Note that overall score is 59 (risk).

Main criteria

Score

External service

59

 

 

Table 1
Evaluation result

(Note: The price main criterion is not derived during external service evaluation in the standard SAP system procedure, but there is a workaround that I explain later in this article.)

Following my Procurement Iteration (PI) Vendor Evaluation Methodology, this signals a risk alert, which was communicated to the team. With further impact analysis, it was discovered that although the vendor’s service delivery was well done, the vendor scored low in the price criterion. At this point, the buyers were contacted with a query. A proper communication was established with the vendor via email and a meeting was held. During a probing meeting with stakeholders, it was discovered that the money spent to maintain four engineers was the major factor that affected the price of their service. The company realized that only two experienced engineers actually do the technical work, while the other two engineers give them assistance. This assistance was necessary because the maintenance task required at least two other personnel to help with minor maintenance activities and documentation. This also created an opportunity for the assisting engineers to gain more technical skill. (From the service provider’s perspective, it was a way for knowledge transfer for its junior engineers, which was a factor that was unknown by the company.)

(Note: In 2014, I developed a methodology that was used by my team to implement and operate Vendor Evaluation using SAP ERP. This methodology is the PI Vendor Evaluation Methodology. PI stands for procurement iteration. For a diagram of this methodology see Figure 23 in the article titled “How to Optimize Vendor Performance Appraisal with Automatic Vendor Evaluation.”)

The solution: It was resolved that during the one-week maintenance period, two in-house engineers would be drafted to give the two experienced engineers support. That meant that only two engineers would be flown in monthly by the vendor, thereby eliminating the cost of flying in and taking care of the other two engineers. This cost driver was eliminated ($24,000 welfare cost and about $5,664 cost of flight for two engineers per year). A total of about $29,664 spent on the two assisting engineers was eliminated from the cost of delivering that service. Knowledge transfer was also gained as in-house engineers are randomly assigned to assist the two experienced engineers.

This is just one scenario that shows how the Vendor Evaluation for external services can uncover hidden cost drivers that can then be eliminated.

How to Configure the Vendor Evaluation Settings for External Service Vendor Appraisal

The scoring method for evaluating an external service vendor is not the same as that for automatic Vendor Evaluation. Therefore, it is important to also see how to configure the setting for Vendor Evaluation for external services in SAP ERP.

Define Criteria

The first step is to define the External Service criterion (main criterion and subcriteria). Follow menu path SAP IMG > Materials Management > Purchasing > Vendor Evaluation > Define Criteria.

In this case, the weighting keys have been defined. To learn about defining weighting keys, read my previous article, “How to Optimize Vendor Performance Appraisal with Automatic Vendor Evaluation.”

In the SAP system, at least five standard main criteria must be defined. They are Price, Quality, Delivery, Support/Customer Service, and External Service. To define these main criteria, click the execute icon  beside the Define Criteria node. This action displays the screen in Figure 1 in which you define the main criterion External Service if it has not been defined by default.


Figure 1
List of defined main criteria

Click the New Entries button or click the copy icon to use copy as the method. Enter the main criterion External Service as shown in Figure 1. Assign 05 to it because it is the fifth criteria in the list. After inputting your values, click the enter icon (the green circle with the white checkmark) or press Enter on the keyboard.

The next step is to define the subcriteria for External Service main criterion. Select the External Service main criterion and click the Subcriteria folder on the left pane. This action displays the screen shown in Figure 2. For External Service, define the subcriteria Quality Service and Service Timeliness that will be used in the Service Entry Sheet to award scores.


Figure 2
List of defined subcriteria and scoring methods

Each scoring method has certain keys except for the manual method, which is blank. Automatic Vendor Evaluation uses scoring methods 2–9 and the A and B keys, while semi-automatic uses scoring method 1 and the C and D keys. This is what makes them different.

(Note: If the C and D keys are not assigned to the subcriteria of External Service, the Vendor Evaluation tab does not appear in the Service Entry Sheet.)

Assign the C (Determination from Quality Rating of Service) scoring method to the quality of service subcriterion and D (Determination from Timeliness Rating of Service) to the Service Timeliness subcriterion.

Click the continue icon  in Figure 2 or press Enter after assigning the scoring methods. This action displays the External Service subcriteria that you defined in the screen shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3
List of External Service subcriteria

Click the save icon (not shown) to save the configuration of the defined criteria.

Maintain Purchasing Organization Data

The next step is to assign the criteria to the relevant purchasing organization or organizations. The weighting factor is also assigned at this stage. To maintain purchasing organization data for External Service, follow menu path SAP IMG > Materials Management > Purchasing > Vendor Evaluation > Maintain Purchasing Organization Data.

Click the execute icon beside Maintain Purchasing Organization. This action displays the screen in Figure 4 in which you assign the main criterion External Service. For my example, I use purchasing organization 1000.


Figure 4
List of maintained purchasing organizations for Vendor Evaluation

Select the purchasing organization 1000 (Pur. Org 1000) and click the Main Criteria folder in the left pane. The next screen (Figure 5) shows the list of main criteria already assigned to the purchasing organization 1000. You can use the New Entries button or click the copy icon to assign the External Service main criterion.


Figure 5
List of defined main criteria

Select 05 (External Service) for the main criterion, and then click the continue icon or press Enter. The next screen displays a list of the assigned main criteria (Figure 6).


Figure 6
List of assigned main criteria

Select the External Service main criterion and click the Subcriteria folder on the left pane to properly assign the subcriteria of External Service in the next screen the system displays (Figure 7).


Figure 7
List of maintained subcriteria for External Service

Assign both 01 (Quality of Service) and 02 (Service Timeliness) as subcriteria by dropping the list of subcriteria in the subcriteria column in Figure 7. Select the subcriteria in the drop-down list and press the Enter key on your keyboard or click the continue icon. This assignment of subcriteria implies that the main criteria External Service scores will be derived from these two subcriteria (Quality of Service and Service Timeliness) according to their assigned weighting factors.

Assign weighting factors to the subcriteria. Weighting factors are based on the company’s policy or on a decision agreed upon by the purchasing organization. Next click the continue icon or press Enter. This displays the screen in Figure 8.


Figure 8
List of assigned subcriteria

(Tip: Consult with policy makers before assigning a weighting factor that would determine the relevance of each score.)

The Quality of Service subcriterion has 60 as the weighting factor, while Service Timeliness has 40 as the weighting factor. This implies that the Quality of Service subcriterion is more relevant and will have a greater effect on the External Service main criterion score.

To assign the weighting factor to the External Service main criteria, click the Weighting folder in the left pane. This action displays the screen shown in Figure 9.


Figure 9
List of assigned main criteria to their weighting keys and weighting factors

In this screen, you assign the main criterion External Service to the relevant weighting keys and factors. For the 01 weighting key, the weighting factors are equal, but for the 02 weighting key, the weighting factors are unequal.

(Note: The Points Scores for the Automatic Criteria is not relevant for manual and semi-automatic Vendor Evaluation. It can only be used for automatic scoring methods in the SAP ERP system. The Point Scores for the External Service is derived from the Service Entry Sheet and Purchasing Info Record, respectively.)

Click the save icon to save your configuration settings.

How the Scores Are Derived: The End-to-End Computation

In this section, I analyze how the system computes the evaluation scores starting from the subcriteria to the overall score. Unlike the automatic Vendor Evaluation main criteria, such as price, delivery, quality, all of which automatically derive subcriteria scores without users’ interference, the scores for the subcriteria of External Service with semi-automatic scoring method are first manually assigned in the Service Entry Sheet or Purchasing Info Record levels. When the subcriteria scores are generated, the system uses the same method of computation to derive the main criteria and overall score for all the Vendor Evaluation types.

When a Service Entry Sheet is maintained for a service, the user manually awards scores for Quality of Service and Service Timeliness, both of which are subcriteria of an External Service vendor appraisal using Vendor Evaluation functionality. The scores are only updated once the service is accepted in the Service Entry Sheet.

For the semi-automatic scoring method, when the Vendor Evaluation is executed, the system generates the average of the accumulated scores for the month from individual plants to derive the subcriteria score. If a subsequent score is entered, the system applies a smoothing factor service defined in customizing to properly aggregate the score.

For instance, the scores listed in Table 2 have been assigned to the External Service subcriteria (Quality of Service and Service Timeliness) in the Service Entry Sheet.

 

Quality of Service

Service Timeliness

98

75

100

89

Weighting Factor

60

40

Table 2
Scores for External Service subcriteria and their weighting factors

The subcriteria will be derived by the following:

Quality of Service Subcriterion = 98 + 100/2, which results in the average Quality of Service Subcriterion Score = 99

Service Timeliness Subcriterion = 75 + 89/2, which results in the average Service Timeliness Subcriterion Score = 82

The next step is to derive the main criterion External Service score from the subcriteria:

External Service Main Criterion Score = Subcriteria Scores x Weighting Factor/Total Weighting Factor.

That is: 99 x 60 = 5940 (Quality of Service Subcriterion)

Also 82 x 40 = 3280 (Service Timeliness Subcriterion)

External Service Main Criteria = 5940 + 3280 = 9220/100

External Service Main Criterion Score = 92.2

Finally, the main criteria are then used to derive the overall score using the same formula for deriving main criteria.

In this case we have just one main criterion, so the system computes it directly.

Overall Score = 92 (rounded off)

A smoothing factor is used by the system to properly aggregate score updates so that new scores do not have a high impact on the monthly accumulated scores for a plant.

The smoothing factor is set in customizing. To configure the smoothing factor, follow menu path SAP IMG > Materials Management > Purchasing > Vendor Evaluation > Maintain Purchasing Organization Data. Select the purchasing organization for which you want to set the smoothing factor and then click Goto > Details on the menu bar (Figure 10).


Figure 10
Maintain purchasing organization data

This action displays the screen in Figure 11.


Figure 11
Maintain purchasing organization data

Next, you maintain the value for the smoothing factor Timeliness/Service; in this case it is 0.2. (It is usually set between 0 and 1.)

Depending on what value is set in customizing for Smoothing Factor service, it is used like this:

For instance, a new Quality of Service score of 60 is awarded to a new service entry sheet in the same plant with the above scores in Table 2. After evaluation, the smoothing is calculated as follows (assuming the smoothing factor “service” is 0.2):

92 x (1 – 0.2) + 60 x 0.2 = 85.6 (New Score)

This means that the new derived subcriterion score for Quality of Service will be 66 (rounded up).

How to Set Up the Service Entry Sheet for Vendor Evaluation

One way scores for appraising an external service vendor’s performance is derived using the semi-automatic Vendor Evaluation scoring method in SAP ERP is from the Service Entry Sheet. Scores for Quality of Service and Service Timeliness are manually awarded to vendors in the Service Entry Sheet by users, and once such service is accepted in the Service Entry Sheet, the scores are updated and used to derive the subcriteria scores for such vendors.

(Note: The Vendor Evaluation tab where you can input the scores is not active in the SAP Service Entry Sheet by default. You must assign the C and D Scoring Methods to the subcriteria, respectively, in customizing before the Vendor Evaluation tab appears in the Service Entry Sheet.)

To use the Service Entry Sheet for Vendor Evaluation use transaction code ML81N or follow menu path SAP menu > Logistics > Materials Management > Service Entry Sheet > ML81N - Maintain. This path takes you to the screen in Figure 12.


Figure 12
The Service Entry Sheet overview screen

In this example, the Service Order has been created in the SAP system and the vendor has performed the service (I used a new vendor in this example). At this stage, the vendor has to be scored manually for the Quality of Service and Service Timeliness. In Figure 12, select Entry Sheet in the menu bar and then select Other Document from the drop-down list of options.

The next screen (Figure 13) shows that the service order has been fully referenced for Audit Service into the Service Entry Sheet.


Figure 13
Service Entry Sheet for Audit Service

In Figure 13, vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost) has been awarded 94 in the scale of 0 – 100 for Quality of the Audit Service and 75 for Service Timeliness.

This score has not been used for evaluation yet until it is accepted in the Service Entry Sheet. For the service to be accepted in the Service Entry Sheet, click the release icon  on the application tool bar and then click the save icon. The result is what is shown in Figure 14.


Figure 14
The Service Entry Sheet

Now that the Audit Service is Accepted, the Vendor Evaluation scores can be relevant for appraising the vendor’s performance. To carry out vendor evaluation on this vendor, use transaction code ME63 or follow menu path SAP menu > Logistics > Materials Management > Purchasing > Master Data > Vendor Evaluation > ME63 - Automatic New Evaluation. Double-click the Automatic New Evaluation node. (This is the same process used for automatic vendor evaluation). This action displays the screen in Figure 15.


Figure 15
The initial screen for semi-automatic Vendor Evaluation

In the Vendor field in the General Data section, enter the vendor number (X000100) and in the Purchasing Organization field enter 1000. (The Not Evaluated Since field is optional and is required when you need to indicate a period for the evaluation.) Execute the evaluation by clicking the execute icon. This action displays the screen in Figure 16 in which you input a value of 02 in the Weighting key field. (The value of 02 is an unequal weighting key.)


Figure 16
Input a value for the weighting key

Press Enter to display the external service scores for vendor x000100 (Ozonefrost) in the screen in Figure 17.


Figure 17
Display of generated scores

From the generated scores shown in Figure 17, you can see that the same scores that were awarded to vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost) are derived for the subcriteria scores (01 Quality of Service and 02 Service Timeliness, respectively). This is because the scores are the only scores available. If there were other scores, the system would generate the average. Remember that the smoothing factor also takes place.

Furthermore, you can see that the main criterion External Service is 86 and because it is the only score, the same value is derived as the overall score, which is also 86. The computation is effective when there are other values. How the system computes the scores was explained previously.

Now I explain how another Service Entry Sheet service score can affect this current evaluation. Following the above procedure to set up Service Entry Sheet for Vendor Evaluation, this same vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost) has been awarded a score of 71 for Quality of Service and 60 for Service Timeliness based on the delivered service of Physical Inventory (Figure 18). The service has also been accepted in the Service Entry Sheet.


Figure 18
Physical inventory service accepted in the Service Entry Sheet

After I run the semi-automatic Vendor Evaluation again, the results that the system generated are shown in Figure 19.


Figure 19
Display of second External Service scores generated for vendor x000100 (Ozonefrost)

Now the subcriteria scores are not exactly the same as the average of the two scores from the Service Entry Sheet because of the smoothing factor service.

Scores in the Service Entry Sheet for Audit Service are Quality of Service (94) and Service Timeliness (75).

Scores in the Service Entry Sheet for Physical Inventory are Quality of Service (71) and Service Timeliness (60).

The subcriteria scores after the second evaluation run are Quality of Service (89) and Service Timeliness (72). The system carried out the smoothing before generation of the subcriteria scores.

For example, following the smoothing factor formula you have for Quality of Service: 94 x (1 – 0.20) + 71 x 0.20 = 89.4 = 89 (rounded off). My smoothing factor value in customizing is 0.20.

These subcriteria scores are then used following the previously explained computation method to derive the main criteria and the overall score.

How to Set Up the Purchasing Info Record for Vendor Evaluation

Just like the Service Entry Sheet, the Purchasing Info Record can be used by the semi-automatic scoring method to appraise a vendor’s performance for materials. This can also work for non-stock materials.

(Note: The Score field in the Purchasing Info Record is not active by default. To be able to use the Purchasing Info Record for manually scoring a vendor’s performance, you must have assigned the 1 [Semiautomatic Determination from Material-Vendor Evaluation] scoring method to a semi-automatic subcriterion of a main criterion and assigned it to the relevant purchasing organization.)

Although the Purchasing Info Record score was intended for material supply, I have a way of using it for external services evaluation for price. Consider a scenario in which a vendor only delivers external services to an organization. In this scenario, how is the price appraised? I show how I derive price criteria using the semi-automatic scoring method via the Purchasing Info Record manual scores.

First you need to ensure your Score field is activated in the Purchasing Info Record. Following the previously explained procedure for defining subcriteria, define subcriteria Price and Reliability and assign scoring method 1 to them (Figure 20).


Figure 20
List of defined subcriteria

Save your configuration by clicking the save icon.

Also follow the previous procedure of assigning subcriteria in a purchasing organization and assign the Price and Reliability subcriteria to the External Service main criteria in purchasing organization 1000 (Figure 21).


Figure 21
List of assigned subcriteria

Save your configuration.

To maintain a Purchasing Info Record for External Services, first you need to create a Purchasing Info Record for an External Service data entry service. To create a Purchasing Info Record use transaction code ME11 or follow menu path SAP menu > Logistics >Materials Management > Purchasing > Master Data > Info Record > ME11 - Create. Click the ME11- Create node to display the screen in Figure 22.


Figure 22
The initial screen to create a Purchasing Info Record

Populate the Vendor, Purchasing Org., and Plant fields as shown in Figure 22. (You populate the Plant field only when the Purchasing Info Record is plant specific.) Click the enter icon or press Enter to display the screen in Figure 23.


Figure 23
The General Data Screen for the Purchasing Info Record

Populate the Material Group, Order Unit, and Sort Term fields, as shown in Figure 23, and enter a description (in my example it is Data Entry Service) in the blank field to the right of the Info Record field.

You also need to maintain the purchasing data in the Purchasing Info Record for Data Entry Service (Figure 24).


Figure 24
The purchasing data screen

In Figure 24, ensure that the Net Price field is maintained based on the agreed-upon price with the vendor. Whenever there is a change in price, the Purchasing Info Record Net Price should be updated.

After External Service transactions have been carried out and the Service Entry Sheet has been maintained and accepted, you can manually score the vendor in the Purchasing Info Record for Price and Reliability as the case may be. To award scores to a vendor in the Purchasing Info Record click Extras > Vendor Evaluation on the menu bar (Figure 25).


Figure 25
Vendor Evaluation in the Purchasing Info Record

In the next screen, enter the scores as shown in Figure 26.


Figure 26
Maintain evaluation scores for vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost)

From the score, Price is 80, and Reliability is 90, even though the weighting factor of Price is higher. Whenever there is an adjustment in price, a new scoring is done.

I test this by running another evaluation on this vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost).

As you can see in Figure 27, the scores for the subcriteria Price and Reliability are now added to evaluation to derive the main criteria External Service. If you want to replace the old evaluation scores with these new ones, click the save icon (not shown).


Figure 27
New evaluation for vendor X000100 (Ozonefrost)

You can get an overview of a vendor’s activities and prices to guide you in awarding scores for re-evaluation by clicking the display Evaluation button on the application tool bar or via display on the SAP Easy Access Menu with transaction code ME62. Select Environment on the menu bar of the Display Main Criteria screen. Click Vendor Info Records. This action displays the screen in Figure 28.


Figure 28
Overview of the vendor Purchasing Info Record for price simulation

The screen in Figure 28 gives you an overview of the Purchasing Info Records and the purchase order documents to which the Purchasing Info Records were assigned. Price simulation can also be done here.

Further analysis would show the new scores for Quality of Service and Service Timeliness from the Service Entry Sheet that were used to derive the new subcriteria scores after the smoothing factor. From the Scores for Semi-Automatic and Automatic Subcriteria screen (Figure 27), click the All Logs button on the Application Tool Bar. This action displays the screen in Figure 29.


Figure 29
A further breakdown of the vendor evaluation scores

(Note: You can also use transaction code ME61 to run Vendor Evaluation for automatic and semi-automatic scoring methods. The General Service/Customer Service or Support Main Criteria can be used in a similar way based on business requirements.)

The Manual Scoring Method

The Vendor Evaluation with Manual Scoring Method is a procedure in which the user is given blank subcriteria fields and scores are manually awarded. A re-evaluation would require the user to manually update such scores with new values before the evaluation is executed.

(Note: The prerequisite for manual Vendor Evaluation is that the blank [No Automatic Determination] scoring method is assigned to the subcriteria when defining subcriteria. The Manual maint. [manual maintenance] check box also needs to be selected for the relevant subcriteria fields during assignment of the subcriteria when maintaining the purchasing organization data. )

Figure 30 shows subcriteria (Response Rate, Adaptability Rate, and Innovation) defined for the main criterion Support/Customer Service. This manual evaluation is most relevant for in-house vendors or department support services.


Figure 30
Defined subcriteria with the No Automatic Determination scoring method

Figure 31 shows that the subcriteria Response Rate and Adaptability Rate have their Manual maint. check boxes selected. The Innovation subcriterion does not have the Manual maint. check box selected, thereby indicating that the Innovation subcriteria will not allow manual entry.


Figure 31
List of assigned subcriteria to purchasing organization 1000

After these settings have been configured in customizing, save your configuration.

Now I run Vendor Evaluation manually to appraise Customer Service of vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi).

To run a manual evaluation use transaction code ME61 or follow menu path SAP menu > Logistics > Materials Management > Purchasing > Master Data > Vendor Evaluation > ME61 - Maintain. Click the ME61 – Maintain node to display the screen shown in Figure 32. (This transaction can also be used for automatic and semi-automatic evaluation).


Figure 32
Maintain Vendor Evaluation settings to appraise vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi) using manual scoring

In Figure 32, input the purchasing organization and vendor that you want to appraise. In my example, I want to appraise purchasing organization 1000 and vendor X000098, so I enter these values in the Purch. Organization and Vendor fields, respectively.

Click the enter icon or press Enter. This action displays the screen in Figure 33. To manually award scores for the evaluation of vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi) for customer service, input 02 (unequal) in the Weighting key field and then in the Evaluation of main criteria section, select the Support/Customer Ser (support/customer service) box. On the menu bar, select Main Criterion and First Main Criterion. You could also click the Main Criterion button on the application tool bar.


Figure 33
The Main Criteria Scores overview screen

Note that the Main Criteria Support/Customer Service and the Overall Score are still 0. After awarding the scores for the Subcriteria manually, click the Auto. New Eval/MCrit button or on the menu bar go to Edit and select New Eval/MCrit to generate the main criterion score and the overall score (Figure 34).


Figure 34
The overview screen for subcriteria scores for vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi)

In Figure 34, note that the Response Rate is 90, and the Adaptability Rate is 75. Using the computation procedure that I explained previously, the system calculated the main criteria score for Customer Service as 84.

(Note: In the Evaluation of subcriteria section in Figure 34, the Innovation field is grayed out because the Manual maint. check box was not selected in customizing [Figure 31]).

The customer service performance evaluation score for vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi) is 84 (Figure 35). Click the save icon (not shown) to save your data.


Figure 35
The evaluated result for vendor X000098 (Gynmstarchi) for customer service performance

Tips for Effective Appraisal of External Service Vendors Using Vendor Evaluation

To consistently experience impactful appraisals for external service vendors using a semi-automatic scoring method, I strongly recommend that a standard Grading Chart be designed and agreed upon by all stakeholders. The scale of the grade is the standard for deriving the manual scores awarded in the Service Entry Sheet and Purchasing Info Record. I recommend that you consider using this Grading Chart for manual Vendor Evaluation.

I also recommend, that the Manual maint. check box be selected for only the Subcriteria fields in customizing, unless there is an exceptional case. This is a control measure to maintain the integrity of the Main Criteria and Total Scores by making the Main Criteria Scores non-editable by users.

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Patrick Imhen

Patrick Imhen (patrick.imhen@zocoderesources.com) is a business analyst and a certified SAP ERP consultant with proficient knowledge, skills, and experience in Materials Management (MM), Sales and Distribution (SD) and Plant Maintenance (PM) gathered from successful SAP implementations projects, support, training, business process analysis, modeling, unit testing, and integration testing. He has profound understanding of the supply chain process across industries and helps organizations cut the cost of operation and improve process optimization. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the business environment and six years’ experience in the SAP domain.



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