Using Quality Notifications

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the lifecycle of quality notifications
  • Process quality notifications in SAP S/4HANA

Lifecycle of Quality Notifications

Use Case Scenario

Whenever a problem occurs related to a supplier, a customer, production, or storage, Brian and Heli create and process quality notifications in SAP S/4HANA Quality Management to document, analyze, and correct the problem. Heli also uses quality notifications for monitoring or analytical purposes. For example, she wants to get an overview of the number of supplier complaints in the last month. For each type of problem, the SAP system provides a dedicated notification type.

Process in SAP S/4HANA

Let us quickly recap what you learned about processing quality notifications in SAP S/4HANA in this learning journey before:

  • We introduced the lifecycle of quality notifications in the video about event-based processes in the lesson Inspection Lots and Quality Notifications. The video provides you with an overview of the lifecycle from a business point of view:
  • In the lesson How to Process a Supplier Complaint, you learned how to record and process supplier complaints using quality notifications.
  • In the lesson How to Process Customer Complaints with Quality Notifications, you learned how to record and process customer complaints using quality notifications.
  • In the lesson How to Create a Defect for a Production Order, you learned how to record defects for production orders. We used a production defect as a starting point, however, you can also transfer the production defect to a quality notification for further processing.

What are the individual steps that Brian and Heli must do in SAP S/4HANA to process quality notifications?

The following graphic maps the business view of the lifecycle (inner circle) with the steps Brian and Heli do in the system (blue circle outside). You see that the SAP system distinguishes between activities and tasks. Activities document what is immediately undertaken to solve or mitigate a problem. Tasksspecify what an assigned processor must do considering a desired start and end date.

  1. Create notification

    When you create the notification, you document the problem at hand and provide as many details that are available to provide best input for the subsequent analysis. At least, you provide a description of the problem. If you have images at hand, you can add them to the notification. If the problem is related to another transactional data object in the system, you can provide a link to this object.

    For example, when entering a supplier complaint, you describe the nature of the problem. If you also know the material number, the batch number, or even the delivery item number, you can maintain that information in the corresponding fields of the Quality Notification.

    1. Document immediate activities

      The person creating the notification documents the immediate activities that they performed to contain the problem.

      For the supplier complaint example, you document that you moved the defective quantity to blocked stock to ensure that this material cannot be used any more.

    2. Define immediate tasks

      The person creating the notification can also involve other people by defining immediate tasks. In contrast to immediate activities, they specify what must be done, a desired end date, and a task processor. The latter is informed through mail that they must perform a task.

      For example, when you enter a supplier complaint and the person creating the notification does not have access to the warehouse, they might inform the warehouse clerk to move the defective quantity to blocked stock to ensure that this material cannot be used any more.

    3. Execute immediate tasks

      After the task processor was notified through mail, they review the task, execute it, and document in the system what they've done and when they've done it.

      For the supplier complaint example, the warehouse clerk could document that they changed the stock type of the defective quantity in the warehouse management system as requested and that they put a red label on the pallet in the warehouse.

  2. Process notification

    The notification responsible takes over and analyzes all data provided by the notification creator. They execute a (formal or informal) defect analysis and record the defects in the system. For each defect, the notification responsible again documents which immediate activities they executed (if any) and defines corrective tasks that will be executed by the task processor(s) after they've been informed accordingly.

    For the supplier complaint example, the notification creator referenced one delivery item in the notification. However, when executing defect analysis, the notification responsible found out that some of the items were broken, while other items were scratched. Therefore, they create a defect in the system for the broken and the scratched items, respectively. As a corrective task, they could, for example, decide to polish the scratched items whereas the broken items shall be sent back to the supplier for repair.

  3. Complete notification

    When all tasks are completed, the notification processor reviews the outcome and decides whether additional tasks are required. If so, they define them and return to step 2. If not, they document lessons learned and/or the root cause(s) of the defect(s) and close the notification in the system.

    For the supplier complaint example, a root cause for the scratched items could be incorrect handling by the warehouse personnel.

Note

Although the detailed process steps might differ in the details, the sequence for processing notifications is the same for all notification types in SAP S/4HANA.

Whenever you perform a function in the notification, the SAP system automatically assigns the corresponding status to the notification. The current system status shows you the processing phase that the notification has reached and the steps that still have to be implemented. Usually, the notification must have a certain status before it can be further processed. If the correct status is missing, a system message appears to inform you. A notification can, for example, be outstanding, in process, or completed. In addition, the system also indicates whether there are open tasks. In that case, you cannot close a quality notification.

Note

Some status values are predefined in the SAP S/4HANA system. However, the application consultant can also define a customer-specific status network on notification and/or task level to further adapt the notification to your requirements. For more information, refer to the SAP Help Portal.

If your company works, for example, in the medical device or pharmaceutical sector, there might be additional requirements to status changes stemming from, for example, FDA regulations. If so, SAP S/4HANA offers a digital signature in notification processing for notification and/or task status changes.

Structure of Quality Notifications

Play the video to learn about the structure of quality notifications, which elements are included and how you can use each element during notification processing.

How to Process Supplier Complaints and Customer Complaints using Quality Notifications: System Demonstration

In the following demonstrations, a simple supplier complaint and a simple customer complaint process using quality notifications are demonstrated. You saw those demonstrations already in the chapters Supplier Complaint and Customer Complaints.

Note
If you have access to the practice system, you can now do the exercise Process Quality Notifications.

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