Use Case Scenario
When we discussed how quality management is integrated into the sales and distribution process, you learned that you can create quality certificate documents for outbound delivery items and batches and which information can be included in such a certificate.
The quality planner defines the content and the layout of a quality certificate in the certificate profile master data object. Then they assign the certificate profile to a material or a material/customer combination to ensure that the certificate can be created for the outbound delivery.
Defining a Certificate Profile
As the following figure illustrates, a certificate profile controls the layout and the content of quality certificates.
What process steps should the quality planner define for the certificate profile?
When setting up a certificate profile, the quality planner first assigns a form. The form was developed beforehand by a form developer. In the form, the developer defined, for example, the position of the company layout and the position and layout of logistical information such as material number, batch number, delivery ID. For simple forms, it might be sufficient to print generic texts on the form (for example, "The material was produced following standard XYZ.".
For more detailed certificates, the quality planner might need to add inspection results. If so, the form developer defines in the form whether the actual content - that is, the individual characteristics - is displayed in tabular form or any other format and how the table looks like in detail.
In the next step, the quality planner defines a list of characteristics to be printed on the form. For each characteristic, they must define whether the data shall be taken from a quality inspection (→ master inspection characteristic) or batch data (→ batch characteristic). If the data is to be taken from a quality inspection, you must execute a goods issue quality inspection for the delivery item that contains the respective inspection characteristic.
When defining the outbound quality inspection, the Quality Planner must use master inspection characteristics. It is not possible to print inspection characteristics that are only defined in the inspection plan.
For more information, refer to the SAP Application Help.
If you want to create an outbound certificate for a batch managed material and don't want to execute outbound quality inspection, you can also print data from the shipped batch on the outbound certificate. It is even possible to print information obtained during production. The latter has an advantage, which is that you can print a lot of additional information on the quality certificate.
Check the following example of a production process. It illustrates how characteristics from batches of the production chain are displayed on the certificate for the finished product.
As you can see in the figure, the batch managed example material FERT01 is manufactured in various production steps:
- Starting from the purchased material ROH01, the semi-finished material HALB01 is produced in a first step.
- Then, HALB03 is produced by combining HALB01 and the purchased material ROH02.
- Finally, the finished product FERT01 is produced in step 3 out of the semi-finished material HALB03.
Each material is managed in batches and the SAP S/4HANA system records the batch that is used in which production step. Furthermore, for each batch, the batch characteristic values (R10, R11, R20, H31, H32, F10, and F11) are determined in a quality inspection.
When defining a certificate profile for the quality certificate to be created for the finished product FERT01, the quality planner has two options: They can either decide to print only information from batch F1-1 on the quality certificate (for example F10), or to include information from component batches (for example R10, R20, H31).
Technically, the quality planner assigns a list of materials to the certificate profile. When creating the certificate, the SAP S/4HANA system evaluates the batch where-used list for each material to obtain the information to be printed on the certificate.
This is only possible if you use batch-managed materials throughout the entire production chain since the SAP S/4HANA system obtains the batch information from the batch where-used list.
For more information on how characteristics for materials from the production chain can be used during certificate creation, refer to the SAP Application Help.
If this approach is not suitable for your business case, you might be able to use the Batch Derivation function in SAP S/4HANA, where you propagate batch characteristic values from a component material to a manufactured material so that, finally, all batch characteristic values of the entire production chain are available in the batch of the finished product.
Irrespective of the characteristic origin, the quality planner defines layout-related data for each characteristic, for example, the following:
- The order in which the characteristic is to be printed
- Information whether the printed result originates from the batch or from the quality inspection
- Information whether the characteristic short text is taken from the batch characteristic, the inspection characteristic, or from the respective entry in the certificate profile
- The output format and the unit of measurement
- Information about the inspection method that was used to execute the respective quality inspection
- Additional information that shall be printed if a characteristic was rejected
Assigning Certificate Profiles
Before a certificate can be created for an outbound delivery item, the quality planner assigns the certificate profile to, for example:
- A combination of material and customer
- A material
When the system or the user creates a quality certificate, the SAP S/4HANA system tries to select the certificate profile for the material/customer combination. If no record is found, the system ignores the customer and selects the profile assigned to the material. Then, the certificate is created and, for example, automatically transferred using e-mail to the customer or printed so that the document can be included in the shipping documents.
How to Execute Certificate Planning: System Demonstration
In the following demonstration, the following steps will be executed:
- Review of an existing certificate profile
- Assignment of a certificate profile to a customer/material combination