One day, a peer (SAP consultant) asked me what are the disadvantage/insufficiency of SAP QM module. This has aroused my thinking. Although I served as a QM consultant in the implementation of several SAP projects, I really haven’t thought about the disadvantages of SAP QM module carefully. The SAP projects I have done as a QM consultant are all global rollout projects, and I have not experienced too many self-development functions. If there is any disadvantages or deficiencies in the SAP QM module, I may not be as grounded as the consultants who have done many private enterprise SAP projects.
According to my personal experience and cognition of SAP QM standard functions, I sorted out several points and replied to the peer. This blog is based on my reply. If there is any misunderstanding, I hope that you can correct me.
In my opinion, the SAP QM module itself is still very powerful and has control points for the business processes of each logistics business department of the enterprise. However, I believe that there are some deficiencies in the SAP QM module (standard function):
1) For example, the inspection function of the production in-process is not very strong. It is not used in SAP project practice. It is just a chicken rib. The business team believes that this 03 inspection type is not applicable. If we setup 03 inspection type, then a control point is set in a certain production phase to trigger an inspection lot, but the subsequent operations execution cannot be prevented before the 03 type inspection lot is done usage decision. Strong control cannot be realized technically, but the inspection lot has to be processed in the SAP system (record results, use decisions, etc.) by manually, thus increasing the workload of system operation but it is worthless.
2), The inspection lot of type 06 (customer return inspection) is not relevant to the inventory, so the inspection control over the customer return process is weak, which is actually a chicken rib. However, I have met a customer in one SAP project. Their global template has enhanced the 06 inspection type. When they received the products returned from customer, a 05 type inspection lot is generated, the inventory is automatically transferred to the quality inspection (QI) status. After the inspection lot is released, the inventory is automatically released.
3), 07 inspection type and 89 inspection type overlap in function. In fact, the 89 inspection type is enough, and the 07 inspection type is redundant.
4), The inspection type related to the delivery note is actually chicken ribs. Even if the inspection lot is triggered, the goods issue posting of the delivery note cannot be prevented if the inspection lot is not fully released. Therefore, these inspection types are basically not practical.
5), The QM report is not very user friendly. For example, the inspection results of various inspection characteristics of multiple inspection lots cannot be displayed in a user-friendly format. It can only be realized through the function of self-developed report.
6), The QM module can’t support the batch hold function, so it needs to be enhanced. For example, if the business team finds that there is a quality problem with a batch of finished products, and this batch of finished products may already have inventory in many sales centers around the world, how to hold the batch globally through a batch hold function and prevent any sales center from shipping those inventory to customers. Another example, if a batch of raw materials has quality problems, all semi-finished products or finished products produced by this batch raw material cannot be held automatically through the batch hold function.
7), Although the quality notification in the QM module can support customer complaints, supplier complaints and internal quality investigation activities, its function is too weak and not easy to use.
8), The sap QM standard function does not support many typical scenarios in enterprise. For example, some enterprises need to lease a third-party warehouse to store materials due to the warehouse space limitation. If they transfer materials from an internal warehouse to an external warehouse managed by a third party, quality inspection is not required, but quality inspection is required when they transfer materials from an external warehouse to an internal warehouse. Second example, quality inspection is not required for the stock transfer from GMP materials to non GMP materials, but quality inspection is required for the stock transfer from non GMP materials to GMP materials. These scenarios are not supported by SAP QM standard functions.
9), The peer also added: SAP’s QM focuses on the processing and judgment of inspection data, and is weak in quality system, measurement and analysis, process data monitoring and prior control. This supplement is pertinent!
As for other deficiencies, I also hope peers will give suggestions. Thanks a lot.