Goods receipt in a site (distribution center or store) can be done in one or two steps.
A (complete) goods receipt is executed directly
A rough goods receipt (delivery note) is performed first, followed by goods receipt
In a one-step goods receipt in external procurement, the typical reference document is the vendor purchase order, or the shipping notification. In a two-step goods receipt, first the vendor’s shipping papers, specifically the delivery note, is captured in the system and matched up with the relevant reference document(s). This is to prepare the actual goods receipt. For posting a rough goods receipt, a relevant confirmation control key is required.
When a goods receipt is posted, the merchandise is assigned to a storage location at the site that receives the delivery, and also assigned to a stock type. If the destination storage location (for example, in the case of a distribution center) is connected to warehouse management, articles are further assigned to specific storage bins (putaway). Putaway can be physically restricted to individual storage areas (= a grouping of different storage bins within a storage type for the purposes of putaway).
You can create a goods receipt (GR) with reference to a vendor purchase order, a shipping notification (inbound delivery), or a rough GR. The goods receipt in a store for merchandise shipped from a DC can be posted with reference to the respective outbound delivery. Goods receipt processing with reference documents has the following advantages:
The goods receiving department can check if the delivery actually contains the merchandise that was ordered.
When the goods receipt is maintained, data for the reference document is suggested by the system, thus making it easier to create the goods receipt and also monitor the development of the goods receipt.
Goods receipt data is updated in purchase order history. This means that associates can monitor the purchase order history, trigger the dunning procedure, and ensure that quantities and deadlines are adhered to in the system.
The relevant purchaser can be informed automatically about the goods receipt.
You can also run checks on goods receipt posting, for example, relative to delivery quantities, shelf-life expiration dates (best before dates), shipping instructions, or GTIN.
One additional feature of the goods receipt is the possibility to enter returnable transport packaging items as special stock. Returnable transport packaging can be transport equipment (for example, a pallet) or empties (for example, bottles).
It is also possible to post a goods receipt without a reference document. This allows you to subsequently (automatically) generate a purchase order, thereby allowing you to use the regular logistics invoice verification function with price determination in the purchase order, and quantity determination from goods receipt. This is for example useful for unplanned returns.
The figure above, SAP S/4HANA Warehouse Options, explains which possibilities exist for using or connecting warehouse management systems to a DC's storage location in SAP Retail. Stores usually do not use warehouse management.
#1: It is not required to use a warehouse management system at all, so you can use MM-Inventory Management for the storage location of a distribution center. This means no warehouse number is assigned to the storage location. This, for example, can be used for a returns storage location, where merchandise is subject to a quality inspection upon arrival.
#2: Lean WM can be set up using fixed bin storage. Inventory management is still on site/storage location level, but a fixed bin can be assigned in the Logistics: DC view of the article master and is then displayed in the relevant WM documents, such as a transfer order. Lean WM requires a warehouse number to be assigned to the storage location in question, and a simple WM structure to be defined. This is the scenario used in our training system.
#3: As part of the compatibility packs, it is possible to use SAP Warehouse Management (WM) in SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2027 with extended maintenance option until end of 2030. SAP S/4HANA Stock Room Management reuses major parts of LE-WM and can be used beyond 2027. For details about this solution see the SAP Note 2270211 - S4TWL - Warehouse Management (WM). This enables customers to keep running their less complex warehouses, as SAP S/4HANA Stock Room Management is relevant for smaller warehouses with manual operations. It is mainly intended for existing customers.
#4, 5, and 6: The warehouse number is set up as decentralized warehouse, either with SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) based on the SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) system, or on SAP S/4HANA, or with a non-SAP warehouse management solution. What needs to be considered is the mainstream maintenance for the SAP SCM based EWM, which is planned until end of 2027 (for SAP EWM 9.5). The embedded SAP EWM in SAP S/4HANA is the strategic go-to solution which will be developed further, for which SAP Fiori applications will be provided, and so on.
#7: In SAP S/4HANA, you can use the embedded EWM either as Basic Warehouse Management or Advanced Warehouse Management. The details are described in the Feature Scope Description of your SAP S/4HANA Release.
If stocks are to be managed within a storage location in a distribution center (site) at storage bin level, you can do this using the embedded Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) in SAP Retail, or connect a separate SAP Extended Warehouse Management system (based on the SCM system).
To do so, you must assign a warehouse number to the relevant storage location. The warehouse number represents the entire warehouse structure.
Parts of the warehouse that have different technical or organizational requirements are distinguished by different storage types in the warehouse number.
Examples: GR zone = storage type 9020, high rack storage area, bulk storage, GI zone = storage type 9100. To make goods receipt processing and picking easier, you can define several doors and staging areas under a warehouse number. A door can be used for either goods receipt or goods issue, or both. A staging area can be assigned to each door.
You can define storage sections as organizational subdivisions of a storage type, which group together storage bins with similar attributes for the purpose of putaway. The criteria for grouping bins together are freely definable - for example, heavy parts, bulky parts, fast-moving items, and slow-moving items.
Storage bins are defined within storage types, and can be grouped within the areas (storage sections/picking areas) defined for a storage type. The storage bins are identified by an 18-digit, alpha-numeric field, often used to reflect a coordinate system, for example, for high-rack storage: isle – stack – stack level. When articles are stored in storage bins, they are set as quants with all relevant attributes and data (goods receipt data, best before, handling unit number, batch number, weight, volumes, stock keeping units of measurement and so on).
Additional elements can be defined, which are related to the work processes in the distribution center. They even allow for capacity planning and labor performance calculations. These so-called activity areas and workstations are defined for a number of storage bins as well as for goods receipt- and goods issue staging areas within storage types.
The figure, Effects of Goods Receipt, provides an overview of the most important effects of goods receipts with reference to a purchase order. Transaction documents created with a goods receipt posting are article documents and also Financial Accounting/Controlling documents if the goods receipt is valuation-relevant.
A goods movement is a transaction that changes stock. The following types of goods movements are distinguished in the system:
Goods receipt (GR) is a goods movement in which the receipt of goods from an external vendor (or from production) is posted. A goods receipt leads to an increase in the warehouse stock. Relevant GR stock types are unrestricted-use stock, quality inspection stock, or blocked stock.
Goods issue (GI) is a goods movement in which a merchandise shipment to the customer, an article withdrawal or issue, or consumption is posted. A goods issue leads to a decrease in the warehouse stock.
Stock transfer consists of removing articles from one storage location and putting them away in another storage location. Stock transfers can take place both within the same site and from one site to another (also in different company codes). The sites can be both distribution centers and stores.
A transfer posting is a general term for stock transfers and changes to an article's stock identification or category. It is irrelevant whether the posting relates to a physical movement or not.
The single-screen, generalized Goods Movement function - Post Goods Movement - is available for each of these activities. You can also use it to display the article documents created in these postings.
Goods movements are controlled by movement types. These 3-digit numbers for example control, which reference documents (if any) are used for the posting, such as a purchase order for a goods receipt posting. Movement types play an important role in the updating of quantity fields, of stock and consumption accounts (account determination), and in determining which fields are available when entering a document in the system. For each goods movement activity, the Post Goods Movement transaction can be set up to default a relevant movement type.
In this application, the overview tree on the left hand side displays the last ten documents for your purchase orders, sales orders, article documents, and data on hold. This means you always have an overview of your most recently performed activities. You can also set user-specific default values, for example, for the actions such as goods receipt, cancellation, transfer postings, and so on. You can maintain a default site and storage location, and further general settings.