Day in the life of a Material Buyer – 2

Purpose: The purpose of this blog post is to bring the real-life day-to-day scenarios of a material buyer based on my own domain experience as a material buyer.

This is the second blog post of the series – Day in the  Life of a material buyer. Please go through the first blog where all activities of a buyer were listed.

Here I would explain the first activity with SAP tools.

  • Review Vendor acknowledgment and communication.

Until now Supplier confirmation data was part of the purchase order tab. Now SAP has built a separate object called supplier confirmation. Read the blog post Supplier confirmation in S/4HANA.

The blog post also explains why supplier confirmation is required which is as below.

“Let’s imagine you are a purchaser in a mid-sized IT company. In a month from now, 8 new trainees will start at your company and will need a laptop. Therefore, you are checking your suppliers and want to order 8 new laptops. As you need them within in a month, you need to ensure that they are delivered in time. Hence you are requesting a confirmation from your supplier that the purchase order will be delivered as ordered. The supplier will confirm it and you will have 8 new laptops and happy trainees.

In this ideal scenario, you might even question why would we need confirmation. There might be deviations. Imagine, they would be only able to deliver 6 laptops in time. Then you need to think about alternatives. Would it be fine if the supplier can deliver them 1 day later? Is this too late? What are alternative suppliers? Can they deliver in time? And so on. Deviations could be in quantity, date/time, price, etc.

The complexity increases fast and you need to keep track of all those information.”

You may have all or some of the Vendor order acknowledgment scenarios which are listed below

1- Purchase order acknowledgment -Go to the confirmation tab, click the appropriate control confirmation dropdown key (Say order acknowledgment), then enter details like

  • CC (Confirmation Category): ZA (Not covering the topic here)
  • Delivery date:
  • Quantity:
  • Created on: date
  • Time: time
  • Reference: vendor reference
  • Order Ack.: reference

2-Scheduling Agreement Order acknowledgment– (Me38- choose confirmation category: Say AB, Delivery date (Same as delivery schedule or different), Quantity (you can enter partial qty)

Verify the Acknowledgement in ME32L (Confirmation control, Ack. required check mark.).Confirmation controls can be configured – Say Y310 – which is configured as order acknowledgment within 3 days after PO document date, and shipping notification 10 days before delivery date).

Monitor vendor confirmations through ME2A– Say-Show vendors with late or partial order acknowledgments for a specific purchasing group. (Choose the proper confirmation control key for PO or scheduling agreements) .

Expedite Order acknowledgment – ME92F: The scenario could be to Show and generate Order Acknowledgement expediters for a specific purchasing group on a given date. Generate output messages as required.

Some or all Vendor shipping notification activities may be applicable to buyers.

  • ME22N – Change Purchase Orders.
    • Use this transaction to Change Purchase Orders
    • Scenario: Enter a Shipping Notification into an existing Purchase Order
    • Enter the following:
  • –Confirmation Category: LA (Shipping notification)

    –Delivery Date:  Enter same as PO line

    –Quantity:  Enter same as PO line

  • ME38 – Maintain Sch. Agmt. Schedule
    • Use this transaction to Maintain Sch. Agmt. Schedule
    • Scenario: Enter a Shipping Notification into an existing Scheduling Agreement Schedule
    • Enter the following: (under Item / Confirmations / Overview)
  • –Confirmation Category: LA (Shipping notification)

    –Delivery Date:  Enter same as PO line

    –Quantity:  Enter same as PO line

  • ME2A – Monitor Vendor Confirmations
    • Use this transaction to Monitor Vendor Confirmations
    • Scenario: Show vendors with late or partial shipping notifications for a specific purchasing group
    • Enter the following:
  • –Confirmation category:  LA (Shipping Notification)

    –Purchasing Group:

  • ME91F – Show or Generate Delivery Reminders / Expediters
    • Use this transaction to Monitor Delivery Reminders / Expediters
    • Scenario: Show and generate Delivery Reminders / Expediters for a specific purchasing group on a given date
    • Enter the following:
  • –Purchasing Group:

    –Reference Date:

    Note: Number of Days for Reminder/Expediters must be defined for the PO or Scheduling Agreement Item

The purpose of the blog post is just to mention what SAP activities are carried out toward buyers’ “Review Vendor acknowledgment and communication”  activity.

Hope you find this blog useful. I will modify the blog with the corresponding Fiori app soon.