Posting Goods Issues for Production Orders

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Post Goods Issues for Production Orders

Goods Issues

Current Process Step

Let's continue with the next step in the production process of our new bike. After order release, goods issues are posted by the warehouse clerk or shop floor personnel. From an inventory perspective, the number of components on stock is decreased. In our scenario, this means that the bike components (for example frame, wheels, chains, etc.) are withdrawn from the warehouse, the respective on stock quantity is decreased and the component consumption is posted against the order.

How do you know which components shall be withdrawn from inventory? When an order is created, the system automatically determines the bill of material and creates a reservation for all required material components in the required quantity. Each material component of the order receives a separate item number within the reservation. You can only withdraw the reserved materials from the warehouse if the operation to which the materials are assigned in the order has already been released. For each reservation item, the following information is available:

  • Component material number
  • Required quantity of the component
  • Storage location where the component is stored in your plant (the system automatically determines the storage location)

As you can see in the figure above, material staging might precede the goods issue posting: This is a warehouse process that organizes the staging of a material from a central storage location to your production storage location before you can post the goods issue in the system, for example, if purchased components are delivered to the Bike Company's central warehouse, but their shop floor corresponds to a separate storage location in the SAP S/4HANA system.

Goods Issue Posting Options

The Bike Company can use two methods for goods issue posting to a production order: Manual or automatic. These two options are illustrated in the following image:

Assuming that the required component materials are already available at the production storage location, 101B in our example, you can post a goods issue to a production order using one of the following options:

In the case of manual goods issue posting, the system proposes the component quantity and the issue storage location since both are maintained in the reservation item. You can either accept the proposed values or change the quantities and/or storage locations as required. You can withdraw a lower quantity if, for example, you only manufacture a fraction of the ordered quantity, or a higher quantity if, for example, some components were destroyed during the assembly process.

In the case of automatic goods issue posting (→ component materials with a backflush indicator) together with a confirmation posting, the system automatically posts a goods issue at the storage location maintained in the reservation item when the operator posts the order or operation confirmation. The withdrawn quantity scales linearly with the confirmation quantity. For our bike example, confirming five bikes would result in a goods issue posting of five frames and ten wheels, respectively.

You should always use backflush when you don't want to stage materials for a specific order. It is assumed that the material is already staged and available at storage location for consumption. Typical application areas are flow and assembly lines and the staging of less valuable materials (for example, screws, grease, etc.).

Effects of the Goods Issue Posting

After the goods issue has been posted, several processes are triggered.

Watch the following video to learn more.

Goods Issue Posting with the Post Goods Movement App and the Picking List

Now that you know the options to post goods issues, let's see how to do this in SAP S/4HANA. In the following demonstration, you will learn how to analyze a production order using the order report. Afterward, you will see how you can post the goods issue of assembled components. Finally, you will learn how to analyze the effect of the goods issue posting on the production order.


If you have access to a practice system, you can now execute the exercise Post Goods Issues for a Production Order.

Material Staging and Kanban

As already stated above, the components required for the assembly of the manufactured product might not always be available in the required quantity at the production storage location. SAP S/4HANA offers various methods to organize the transfer of components from one storage location to another one. This process is called Material Staging.

The figure shows two different storage locations in one plant: The central storage location on the left side, 101A in our example, and the production storage location on the right side, 101B in our example. After purchasing and delivery from the supplier, raw materials are stored in a warehouse which is modeled as central storage location in the system. Furthermore, semi-finished components which were manufactured in other production facilities might also be stored here. For organizational reasons, the shop floor is modeled as a separate storage location. Therefore, before the production operators can consume the components, the latter must be staged from the central warehouse to the production storage location. SAP S/4HANA offers several approaches, for example:

  • Stock transfer using the Pull List

    The pull list controls the internal flow of material to supply production. It is assumed that the components required for production have already been produced in-house or procured externally and now merely need to be moved from their current storage location (101A) to the production storage location (101B). The pull list supports various replenishment strategies, for example, direct stock transfer (one step process) or triggering replenishment via stock transfer reservations (two-step process).

    You can, for example, execute the pull list on one day to trigger material staging of all components that are required on the shop floor on the following day. First, the system calculates the shortfall quantities at the receiving storage location. Then the system creates a replenishment proposal for the shortfall quantities. In our example, a replenishment proposal for a missing component corresponds to a direct stock transfer of a component from the central to the production storage location. In the last step, you accept the replenishment proposals and trigger staging. In the case of direct stock transfer, the system posts the stock transfer, that is, the goods issue for the components from the central to the production storage location. The physical stock transfer, however, is not executed in the system.

  • Classic Kanban stock transfer

    Kanban is a procedure for controlling production and material flow based on the physical material stock in production. Material that is required on a regular basis is continually kept available in small quantities in production. With Kanban, the replenishment or production of a material is triggered only when a certain quantity of the material has been consumed.

In the classic Kanban production control method, the demand source (for example, a production work center), the supply source (for example, a central storage location), and the procedure to be used to replenish the material (for example, direct stock transfer or stock transfer with reservation) are defined in the control cycle which is displayed in the figure above. In addition, the number of Kanban containers that circulate between the supply source and the demand source, and the quantity per container are defined in the control cycle.

Each Kanban container contains the quantity of material that work center personnel need for a certain period of time. When executing the Kanban process, the Kanban container circles between the demand and supply source: As soon as a container is emptied by the demand source, a replenishment signal is triggered (for example, by scanning a barcode). The signal is received by the supply source for the required material (for example, warehouse) and replenishment is started. After the now full again container is transferred back, that is, from the supply source to the demand source, the latter acknowledges the receipt of the container (for example, by scanning another barcode), which completes the Kanban cycle for one container.

Similar to the Pull List approach, Kanban in SAP S/4HANA supports various replenishment strategies for stock transfer:

  • The simplest replenishment strategy is a replenishment using direct transfer posting: You use this function if you want to transfer components without any previous reservation. Setting the Kanban to empty automatically triggers a transfer posting.
  • If you prefer a two-step procedure, you can use the replenishment using reservationsapproach: Setting the Kanban container to "Empty" generates a reservation from the supplying to the receiving storage location. The material is transferred with reference to the reservation and moved to the receiving storage location. The transfer posting automatically sets the Kanban container status to "Full" or, on the other hand, the change of status to "Full" automatically triggers the transfer posting.
  • And so on.
For more information about Kanban replenishment strategies, please refer to the SAP Application Help.

Determination of Issue Storage Location

For each material component in a production order, a default issue storage location can be determined at order creation based on master data settings. Note that the automatic determination of the issue storage location is not mandatory: When manually posting the goods issue, you can use, for example, stock determination or batch determination to automatically determine the storage location of the component. If you do not want to use an automatic approach at all, you can always manually specify the goods issue storage location in the respective app.

The component availability check is usually executed with respect to a storage location. Therefore, if you do not maintain the storage location in the order, availability checks might fail or cannot be used.

When automatically posting goods issue, it is mandatory to maintain the goods issue storage location in the production order as the automated goods movement fails if no storage location is maintained as the system does not know in this case from which physical location the component was taken.

For the sake of completeness, we want to mention that you can also use stock determination and/or batch determination in combination with automatic goods issues. In this case, you do not need to maintain the goods issue storage location in the order since the issuing storage location is automatically determined by the stock determination and/or batch determination.

As stated above, when the order is created, the system checks the master data to determine the goods issue storage location for each component. Since you can maintain the issuing storage location in different master data elements, it is important to understand the processing sequence used by the system:

  1. The manual assignment of a goods issue storage location to the component in the order is always considered with highest priority. In a consequence, you can always manually override the proposed storage location if required.
  2. Work center → production supply area → storage location: When defining production supply areas, you can assign the former to a storage location. Furthermore, you can assign work centers to production supply areas. If this is the case, the system determines the goods issue storage location of a component via the following sequence: Assignment of component to production operation → assigned work center → assigned production supply area → assigned storage location
  3. BOM item: During BOM maintenance, you can assign a storage location to each BOM item. If you alternatively assign a production supply area (PSA) in the BOM item and the PSA is assigned to a storage location, the latter is automatically entered in the BOM item.
  4. Material master: During material maintenance, you can assign a storage location to the component (field Production Storage Location on the MRP 2 view of the material master).

Automated Goods Issue Posting

To automatically post the goods issue for a component together with the order or operation confirmation, the backflush indicator must be set for the respective component. The system offers the following options:

  • You can set the backflush indicator in the routing (Component Overview tab). If you set the indicator in the routing, it applies irrespective of what you have defined in the material master record.
  • You can set the backflush indicator in the material master (MRP view). If the indicator is set to 'always backflush', the backflush indicator is set in the production order for the respective component. If the indicator is empty, you must manually post goods issues for the respective component. As a third option, you can let the work center decide whether a component is backflushed or not.
  • You can set the backflush indicator in the work center (Basic Data tab). If the indicator is set, the backflush indicator is set in the production order for the respective component.
  • You can set the backflush indicator directly in the production order (Component Overview tab). Note that this usually only done in exceptional cases.

From a business perspective, SAP recommends to set the backflush indicator in the material master if the material consumption is always automatically posted, for example, in automated manufacturing environments. If the same component is assembled at different work centers (some might be able to automatically assemble components, some not), you can decide on work center level whether a component posting is executed automatically or not.

If the system shall automatically post goods issues, you must ensure that the on-stock quantity is always sufficient. If not, you must rework unsuccessful withdrawal postings, for example, using the COGI transaction. It is also possible to use the stock determination and batch determination functions together with automated component consumptions.


In this simulation, you will observe the following steps:

  1. Execution of the simultaneous posting of operation confirmation and goods issues.
  2. Analysis of master data.

Negative Stocks and Postprocessing

If, for organizational reasons, goods issues are posted before the corresponding goods receipts, but the material already physically exists in the storage location, you can choose between the following procedures:

  • Allow negative stocks

    This scenario is displayed in the left side of the figure: Assume a current stock of 50 PC of a component, for example, wheels. Together with the operation consumption, you post a goods issue to the production order since the respective component is set up as a backflushed component. After goods issue posting, the current stock is -50 PC in the system. In the next step, you post the component replenishment of 120 PC, for example, by executing a stock transfer from the central to the production storage location using the pull list or a Kanban signal. After the stock transfer posting, the current stock is 70 PC in the system.

    Negative stocks are possible in inventory management. When you are working with negative stocks, you must make sure that you have no negative stocks on the balance sheet key date and at the time of taking physical inventory. When you run the month end closing program, there must be no negative stocks from the previous month.


    Note that, although the system might display negative stock quantities, this usually does not correspond to any physically existing situation since stock cannot be less than zero. Having negative stock quantities at one storage location usually results from the fact that the physical stock transfer already took place, but the respective system transaction (for example, the stock transfer booking) is missing.

    You set the indicator determining the permissibility of negative stocks in the material master.

  • Postprocess the error records from automatic goods movements

    This scenario is displayed on the right side of the figure: Assume a current stock of 50 PC of a component, for example, wheels. Together with the operation consumption, you post a goods issue to the production order since the respective component is set up as a backflushed component. Since you configured the system such that the stock transfer does not fail in case of missing stock, the system creates a backlog list entry. The stock quantity is still 50 PC. In the next step, you post the component replenishment of 120 PC, for example, by executing a stock transfer from the central to the production storage location using the pull list or a Kanban signal and the stock quantity temporarily increases to 170 PC. Now you post process the backlog list entry and the previous goods issue is executed, resulting in a new stock quantity of 70 PC.

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